Eastman announces Avra™ Performance Fibers capacity expansion at Unifi Manufacturing plant in Yadkinville, N.C.


SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Following up on the introduction of Avra Performance Fibers last August, Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN) today announced that it is expanding its production capacity for the product.

Avra™ from Eastman is a family of performance fibers enabled by a proprietary spinning technology. The additional capacity will be situated at the Unifi Manufacturing facility in Yadkinville, N.C. “The construction work at Unifi is now complete and we are proceeding with our plan to start up the new lines this month,” said Dawn Allen, Eastman business director. “This capacity will be used to satisfy current and anticipated demand in the North American performance apparel market.”

The exceptional moisture management imparted by Avra fibers means that fabrics dry quickly – up to 50% faster than conventional polyester fabrics – helping wearers stay more comfortable during demanding physical activities. In addition, the highly flexible Avra fibers further enhance wearer comfort through the superior drape and remarkable softness they provide.

“We’re excited about the potential for the Avra platform as the next generation of fiber technology. We launched our first commercial Avra product in August – a small flat fiber developed for base layer applications. But that only scratches the surface of what this technology can do. The fiber technology enables the production of fabrics with unique combinations of performance and feel that are also desired in other textile applications. We can tune the size and shape of the fiber, which provides a great deal of design versatility in other applications,“ said Tim Dell, Eastman vice president.

Avra fibers are made in the USA in collaboration with Unifi Manufacturing in Yadkinville, N.C. This joint effort has enabled a physical plant expansion at Unifi and provided additional jobs to the region. “We are pleased to add Unifi’s fiber manufacturing expertise to Eastman’s innovative spinning technology,” said Mark McNeill, vice president of technology and business development at Unifi. “Combining the technical capabilities of both companies will keep the industry well supplied with Avra fibers in 2017 and beyond.”

To speak to an Eastman representative about the Avra Performance Fibers platform, please contact us at info@AVRAfromEastman.com.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market: Booth #MR155-417

About Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2015 revenues of approximately $9.6 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 15,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.

About Unifi

Unifi, Inc. is a multi-national textile manufacturing company that produces and sells textured and other processed yarns designed to meet customer specifications, and premium value-added (“PVA”) yarns with enhanced performance characteristics. Unifi maintains one of the textile industry’s most comprehensive polyester and nylon product offerings. Unifi enhances demand for its products, and helps others in creating a more effective textile industry supply chain, through the development and introduction of branded yarns that provide unique performance, comfort and aesthetic advantages. In addition to its flagship REPREVE® products – a family of eco-friendly yarns made from recycled materials – key Unifi brands include: SORBTEK® , REFLEXX® , AIO® – all-in-one performance yarns, SATURA® , AUGUSTA® , A.M.Y.® , MYNX® UV and MICROVISTA® . Unifi's yarns are readily found in the products of major brands in the apparel, hosiery, automotive, home furnishings, industrial and other end-use markets. For more information about Unifi, visit www.unifi.com; to learn more about REPREVE®, visit www.REPREVE.com.

Eastman Contacts:

John Cahill, jcahill@eastman.com, 423-229-5306

Brad Lifford, blifford@eastman.com, 423-229-6543

Unifi Contact:
Jennifer Whisnant, jwhisnant@quixotegroup.com



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