Sioen, world market leader in coated technical textiles
Whether it is boat sails, truck tarpaulins, gym mats or other fabric products, it is highly likely that the textiles used to make them were designed in Belgium.
Founded in 1960 by Jean-Jacques Sioen and now managed by his daughter Michèle, in the space of a few decades, the family business based in Ardooie (West Flanders) has become a group with many production sites in North America, Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as in Belgium with units in Ardooie as well as in Kerksken, Bornem, Poperinge, Liège and Mouscron.
Among the 4,500 people employed worldwide, 120 work solely on researching new materials, production processes, niches and applications in the R&D (Research & Development) department. This multidisciplinary team, consisting mainly of material scientists, chemists, textile specialists and composite experts and biologists, forms the basis for the innovations that enable the Sioen Group to maintain its position as a global leader in the production of coated technical textiles.
The majority of boat sails around the world and truck tarpaulins in Europe are manufactured by this company from Flanders. Sioen also specialises in protective clothing: uniforms for police forces, firefighters, sailors and military staff with bulletproof vests, as well as geotextiles used on roads, composites for the automotive sector and radars.
Recently, it is the sustainable sector that has received a special focus with biosourced and biodegradable fibres, such as the famous disposable tea bags which, thanks to Belgians, are no longer made of polyester.