Designers’ Appetite for ‘Metallic Look’ Sparks Interest in New Specialty Fabric

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Metallic fashion trend creates new applications for Barracuda® aluminized glass fabric.

In case you missed all the fashion analyses from this year’s celebrity red carpet season, here’s the executive summary version: metallic is IN. Fashion mavens from trusted sources like Elle and Teen Vogue magazines are gushing about celebs sporting clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories made from metallic-look fabric.

What does the metallic fashion trend have to do with those of us not in the market for designer evening wear? Apparently, what happens on the celebrity red carpet has a lot to say about design trends for everything from luggage to sporting goods. Designers from seemingly every segment of the consumer product landscape are looking for ways to “metallicize.”

One solution for manufacturers looking to bring the glint of metal to various products is Barracuda®, a new aluminized glass fabric developed by BGF Industries in Greensboro, NC.

“In design applications, Barracuda is like moldable steel,” explains Tom Blackburn, Market Manager at BGF. “It’s made from fiberglass fabric, with an aluminum finish. So it has the strength and flexibility of industrial hi-performance glass fabric, and when combined with a resin, it has a 3-D sheen that looks like woven steel.”

With the look of metal and the functionality of traditional high performance fabrics, Barracuda was developed for product applications that require aesthetic appeal and strength. “Products using Barracuda have already been introduced in the automotive and sporting goods markets,” Blackburn says, “And we’re getting interest from product developers in markets like luggage, aircraft, marine and furniture as well.”

Blackburn adds, “Barracuda is lightweight and flexible enough to mold to the shape of just about any hard surface. And when you combine that with its strength and durability, designers are finding that there’s practically an endless list of potential products this material could be used for.”

About BGF Industries
BGF Industries is a global supplier of woven fabric reinforcements for high performance composites, filtration, marine, insulation and ballistic protection applications. BGF was the first weaver of fiberglass textile fabrics beginning in 1941. Today, BGF manufactures woven and nonwoven products from various specialty fibers for a wide range of industries from aerospace to automotive. A subsidiary of the Porcher Group, BGF operates four manufacturing facilities in the US with Corporate Headquarters and R&D facility located in Greensboro, NC. For more information, please visit


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Tom Blackburn
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