A Leader in the Coated Webbing Industry
By Liisa Andreassen
If you’ve ever had a baby, a dog or a horse; been in the military; worn a belt or used a wallet; carried a sporty handbag; had a boat or tent (and the list goes on) – you’ve likely come in contact with BioThane®. BioThane® is the brand name of all coated webbing products made by BioThane® Coated Webbing Corp. It’s basically polyester webbing with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or polyvinylchloride (PVC) coating that makes it more durable, waterproof and easy to clean and weld. It’s also available in different colors and some even glows in the dark.
Versatility is Key
Manufactured in U.S. at a plant located in Ohio, BioThane® coated webbing is a key element in many of the following products:
- Changing table straps
- High chairs
- Car seats
- Watch bands
- Fashion belts
- Tie downs
- Tent reinforcements
- Marine products
- Earthquake-proofing straps
Their products are mostly used in the equine and canine industries, but are also commonly used in the medical, sporting goods, safety and military markets. The company’s engineering and research and development focus has made them a leader in the field since 1977.
A Little History
A family-run, second-generation business with humble beginnings, BioThane® has since grown into a 30,000-square-foot facility with 60 employees. Frank Boron, one of the original founders, worked for B.F. Goodrich. A harness maker from the standardbred racing industry approached B.F. Goodrich about making a coated webbing for harnesses. B.F. Goodrich passed on the project because the volumes were low. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention,” so Frank and his colleague, Don Warner, saw this as an opportunity and well … the rest is history. A few other B.F. Goodrich employees joined the movement and BioThane® was born.
Frank sold the company to his son, Ethan, who became president in 2004. Ethan grew up outside of Cleveland and began his career at BioThane® in 1992, where he worked in Operations. After learning how BioThane® products were made, he moved into a sales role in 1997, and traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe selling and building the BioThane® brand. When he’s not working, he enjoys playing golf, volunteering on the Cleveland Christian Home Board of Trustees, watching Cleveland Sports and taking his dog, Cecil, on walks with his wife, Amber.
To date, Ethan says the company’s greatest challenge has been keeping their manufacturing in the U.S. with U.S. sourced materials, while still providing competitive pricing.
“That said, we will continue to invest in growing the company and expanding our operations in the U.S., to provide the highest quality products that our customers have come to expect,” Ethan says.
Products are field tested and field proven. Quality checks are constant for things like abrasion and adhesion, with improvements ongoing.
Ethan adds that they will continue to bring new and relevant products to market. For example, the company recently launched Beta reflective, Glow BioThane® and Twill Webbing within its entire Semi-Gloss Series (Granite 281, Griamond 481 and Beta 580).
“The cleanable, durable and waterproof characteristics of BioThane® are a no-brainer and increase the longevity of the product,” Ethan says.
Watch a video about what BioThane® has to offer here: https://www.biothane.us/about-us/about-biothane/.
Just Say “Woof”
RESCUE by BioThane® is a dog collar that is cleanable, durable, waterproof and stink-proof. It’s made from slightly off-grade belting (often in color only) that failed to meet the company’s stringent first-quality specifications. So, as a way to reduce its carbon footprint and to give back to the dog communities, The RESCUE program was born – a free program for rescue shelters.
“We currently have 31 shelters participating in this program,” Kim Madjar, director of marketing, says. “We send boxes of 50 dog collars and leashes to all participating shelters on a continual basis.”