Francis Dinsmore Limited (FDL), of Kells, Co Antrim, is investing £1.2 million in innovative value-added fabrics and a new finishing process for export markets with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.
The investment was announced by Professor Terri Scott, Invest NI’s managing director of Clients and Entrepreneurship, and Barry Corrigan, FDL’s managing director. The new products include ‘Allersafe’ - branded low allergy bedding aimed at asthma sufferers, and ‘Performa’, a branded waterproof/fire retardant finishing process for textiles. The company now markets its products and services under Dinsmore Textile Solutions.
Professor Scott said: “This is an important strategic investment by FDL in technical textiles, a knowledge-led sector that is experiencing significant growth and offers substantial new business opportunities for the extensive expertise in fabrics and finishing processes which this company possesses.
“The company has effectively reinvented itself as a provider of textile solutions specialising in ‘intelligent’ products and services and moved away from high volume, low margin fabrics that are increasingly being supplied by manufacturers in lower cost regions.
“Companies that thrive today must be prepared to continually innovate and look to new markets, especially emerging markets overseas,” added Prof Scott.
Mr Corrigan, outlining the investment, said: “Our strategic plan revolves around three key strands:- value added, innovation, and branding. We aim to develop these three strands by focusing on technical fabrics and the application of specialist or ‘performance’ finishes.
“It involves building on the existing and longstanding capability within the Dinsmore team in fabrics and finishes to create a strong and highly competitive textile business which delivers innovative solutions that meet the specific requirements of customers in international markets.
“Significantly, the quality of ‘Performa, our new industrial finishing brand for fire retardant applications, has been recognised recently in an award from the influential British Contract Furnishings Association. This is an exceptionally important endorsement that will support our marketing campaign.”
“An important aspect of this investment is the introduction of new technology that will move the company closer to existing and potential customers. Specifically, FDL will be able to develop its global capability thanks to a new online ordering facility. www.allersafe.co.uk will allow Allersafe products to be purchased from anywhere in the world, directly from FDL, ensuring significant savings for the customer.
“The implementation of new systems and procedures like this, will ensure our customers receive highly responsive and flexible service, thereby increasing our overall competitiveness in a fast-developing business sector,” he added.