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Publication Date: 
January 2018
Case study from: Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation

Textor Technologies is proof of the power of a big idea. In 2000, Textor was a small and struggling Victorian manufacturing company, producing limited volumes of textiles for local suppliers in hygiene and car manufacturing.

Phillip Butler, then a director and now company chair, imagined a different future. He believed that with higher-value products and higher-volume production facilities, the company could be a global exporter.

Butler knew that product and process innovation and an export strategy were critical to a turnaround. Textor Technologies developed innovative textiles designed to control moisture absorption that prevent leakage in products such as nappies, wound pads and other hygiene products, ensuring skin remains dry and in good condition. The company also invested $17 million to upgrade its factory in Tullamarine to a state-of-the-art, automated facility.

Support from government programs incentivising research and collaboration was critical to the company’s improvement journey and growth. The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive enabled Textor to expand its R&D capability, now employing 13 engineers and two PhDs focused on product and process development. Textor also partnered with CSIRO to develop novel 3D moisture-trapping fabric. This new material is used in the millions of nappies produced in Sydney, the United States and Russia by global company Kimberly-Clark.

These innovations have transformed Textor Technologies into a healthcare and hygiene leader exporting across the Asia Pacific. Textor now manufactures 100 million square metres of moisture-trapping fabric each year. The business has grown by 300 per cent, and has opened-up a multinational textile value-chain.