LENZING HIRES: Lenzing Fibers Corp., the Lowland, Tenn.-based rayon fiber maker, has appointed Craig Barker to the position of president and chief executive officer. He replaces Peter Landl, who served as ceo and chief financial officer during a yearlong interim appointment after Cal Bonawitz retired as ceo in June 2002.

Also, Peter Grant has assumed the role of vice president, finance, and cfo. Landl, meanwhile, has been appointed to the company’s board.

“Basically, my goal here is to get the cost structure in order,” said Barker, who has spent 13 years with Lenzing and worked as ceo of South Pacific Viscose in Indonesia. “The plant in Indonesia was the second largest rayon plant in the world and I want to bring some of the efficiencies here and modernize parts of the plant to solidify our position in North America.”

Also, Barker’s background in fiber development will bode well for the domestic textile community. He said he plans to develop more noncommodity rayon fibers geared for U.S. apparel manufacturers.

DAK INCREASE: DAK Fibers said Wednesday it plans to increase its polyester-staple fiber prices by five cents beginning Sept. 1.

The increase represents a 7 to 10 percent jump in price, according to a DAK spokesman. Overall, the fiber price now sits about 25 percent higher than during the same period last year.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based polyester fiber maker attributed the increase to the rise in raw materials costs — which includes petrochemicals such as monoethylene glycol and paraxylene — stemming from the consolidation of suppliers in the market.

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