2013 marks Fitesa’s 40th year of processing polypropylene resin pellets into fabrics and fibers. From our roots in packaging and staple fibers to our transition into the nonwovens business beginning in 1988, we continue to grow around the world.
Fitesa was established in 1973 by Petropar, a Brazilian industrial holding company now known as Évora, to manufacture polypropylene packaging (woven bags), carpet backing and staple fibers for textile applications.
In 1988, the Novotex division was created within Fitesa to produce spunbond nonwovens. Novotex represented a technology breakthrough from which Fitesa migrated to more sophisticated technologies and products for application in hygienic disposables (diapers, sanitary napkins), medical disposables and durable products.
In 1989, Fitesa Industrial Ltd. was established to produce polypropylene staple fibers for application in carded thermal bond nonwovens, needle-punched carpets and rugs, laminated plastic substrates, filters and other end-uses.
Development and Recent Progress
- 1991: Fitesa North America was established in North Carolina for the production of spunbond nonwovens. Staple fiber production capacity was expanded at Gravatai, Brazil.
- 1993: A second spunbond line was added in Gravataí.
- 1994: Production capacity at Fitesa North America was expanded with two new spunbond lines. A melt blown line was added in Gravatai and a new spunbond production facility was established in Ceara, Brazil.
- 1996: Assets of Fitesa North America were sold.
- 2004: A second melt blown line was added in Gravatai and one of the spunbond lines was upgraded.
- 2006: The first Reicofil 4 multi-layer nonwovens production line was installed in Gravataí.
- 2007: Spunmelt operations in Ceara were discontinued and the staple fiber business was closed.
- 2008: The second Reicofil 4 production line was installed in Gravatai.
- 2009: The FitesaFiberweb JV was formed with Fiberweb’s North America operations.
- 2011: The hygiene assets of Fiberweb in Europe, North America and China were acquired as well as Fiberweb’s 50% share of the JV, raising Fitesa to the second position worldwide in the production of spunmelt fabrics for the hygiene market.
- 2012: A new spunbond production facility was established in Lima, Peru with the installation and start-up of a Reicofil 4 line. A carded resin bond/air through bond line was added in Gravatai.
- 2013: A new line was added in Tianjin, China. Fitesa announced a 50-thousand metric ton spunmelt expansion to serve hygiene customers in the USA as well as Western and Eastern Europe.
- 2014: A second production line was installed in Simpsonville, SC. Fitesa announced a 45-thousand metric ton spunmelt expansion to serve hygiene customers in Mexico, Central America and both East & West Coasts of South America.