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Baltex completes 600k investment at Basford Factory

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Date Posted: 19 Jan, 2018

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Casino Royale, The Lord of the Rings and Gravity are some of the Hollywood blockbusters that have used materials produced by a historic technical textiles manufacturer – which has been “transformed” by a new-look factory.

Baltex, which has been in business for 186 years, has invested £600,000 in its dyeing and finishing plant in Basford.

"It started out from a dye house that used to dye a bit of lace and a few industrial products.

"Now it’s a fully operational factory and it’s been totally transformational for the business because it means we’re taking all that dyeing and finishing under our own control."

BDF

Baltex was founded by William Ball and his brothers Francis and Thomas in 1831, starting life as a silk and lace manufacturer, before adapting to specialist fabrics after facing fierce competition from cheap imports.

It employs 51 people in the UK, including 27 in Burr Lane, Ilkeston; 19 in Bar Lane Industrial Park, Basford; and five in Shepshed, Leicestershire.

The company also has a subsidiary in Poland, and works with agents in Hong Kong, Italy, Finland and the USA. Exports account for 60 percent of the business.

It provides high-tech fibres to the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, such as those used in cut-resistant materials, bullet-proof jackets and aircraft pressure seals.

Part of Sandra Bullock’s spacesuit in Gravity featured Baltex fabric, as did Daniel Craig’s polo shirt in Casino Royale – manufactured by Long Eaton firm Sunspel.

It also set up a separate business called Airospring. Based at BioCity, it makes a pressure relief cushion that aims to prevent pressure ulcers using its own 3D fabric technology.

Baltex, which has experienced a 16 percent rise in exports over the past year, produced a wheelchair cushion designed specifically for Paralympic cyclist Karen Darke MBE, who used it as she won a gold medal at Rio 2016.

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