The heads of Toyobo and Goodyear after signing an agreement for the introduction of polyester technology. (Front right: President Toyosaburou Taniguchi)

Entry into the synthetic fibers business

Toyobo had been researching synthetic fibers since before WWII. However, our expansion into synthetic fibers started with the development of acrylic fibers in 1956 through Japan Exlan Co., Ltd., which was jointly managed with Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. This came from the idea that, “within the natural fibers, silk can be replaced with artificial silk or polyamide, and cotton can be replaced with staple fibers or vinylon. It is essential that an acrylic that has a similar texture to wool be introduced”, and technology was introduced from ACC company in the United States.

In September 1962, permission to use technologies from Goodyear was approved, and production at the Iwakuni plant started in May 1964.