Chitosan extracted from crab shells

Most people are unaware that our carpets, clothing, car seats, mattresses, even mop heads – are coated with metals, like copper and aluminum, and chemicals. The yarns and fabrics are routinely dosed with fire retardants, anti-odors and other things for our protection.

To the rescue: Crab shells from Alaska.

All-natural Tidal-Tex treatments are being applied instead of metals and chemicals at Leigh Fibers in South Carolina, one of the nation’s largest and oldest textile manufacturers.

Tidal-Tex is a drop-in liquid derived from chitosan in crab shells, mostly from snow crab and red king crab from St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea.

It’s a new partnership with Tidal Vision, proprietary maker of the crab-based product, one of several it began in  Juneau six years ago and now produced at three facilities near Seattle.

Craig Kasberg is Tidal Vision CEO.

“Having a partnership with Leigh Fibers was really strategically advantageous for us because they produce the fibers that then get turned into yarns that then get turned into all sorts of woven or non-woven textiles for everything from the automobile industry to the carpet industry, to the acoustic sound insulation industry, to the mop head industry, to the furniture industry. So starting with Leigh Fibers, who’s at the top of the supply chain, and treating those fibers, was the easiest way to have the biggest  impact in the textile industry.”

Tidal-Tex provides the same fabric protections as the other manmade agents but in a bio-friendly way and at far less cost.

Because of its unique molecular makeup (the only biopolymer in the world with a positive cationic charge), Kasberg calls chitosan a “turnkey chemistry solution” to displace toxic synthetic methods.

“That’s a key thing, right? All these heavy metals need to be mined, need to be refined, and then need to be modified into these metal base chemicals. Whereas what we’re doing is we’re taking an abundant and even problematic byproduct from the seafood industry, and then with a really low cost extraction method producing a biochemistry solution that can provide the same properties in these industries. So our inputs are tied to a byproduct.”        

Tidal Vision has tested a lot of those inputs, Kasberg says, but Alaska crab packs the best chitosan punch-

 “And that’s one advantage of the Alaska species and crab shells. The starting molecular weight of the chitosan is higher. It’s advantageous for us to start with a high molecular weight and then process it down to meet the needs of our different customers.”

See Tidal Vision’s other products, including water clarifiers and game protective spray at and on Facebook and Twitter.