A Giant in the Nonwovens Sector

By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University

Mr. C. K. Wong fondly known as CK to many across the globe in the technical textiles industry died at the age of eighty-six last week.

Mr. Wong with an engineering background, established the U. S. Pacific Nonwovens Industry Limited, which specialized in converting roll goods into consumer, industrial and multi-use products. In addition to his entrepreneurship, he is well known for his service to the global nonwovens and technical textiles sector.

My path crossed with him in the early 2000s at the INTC conference organized by INDA and TAPPI and ever since he has been a friend and supporter. I had the good fortune of meeting him last July in Atlanta at the World of Wipes conference, which was my last meeting with him. While hosting me at lunches, Mr. Wong advised me about the importance of sustainability in the advanced textiles sector. His company has pioneered the development of converted products using PLA.

“Cotton can find new opportunities in the nonwovens sector as the cost will be competitive with bioplastics, advised C. K. Wong in my interview with him last July. The industry has been successful in developing food packaging and medical products using bio-based materials such as PLA,” added C. K. Wong.

Mr. Wong took a keen interest in the Indian technical textiles sector and visited India many times. He was an esteemed guest at the Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit hosted by Hon. Narendra Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India.

CK collaborated with me closely to take INDA to India and participated in the “Link with India,” a major event hosted by INDA in 2007, in Mumbai.

It was destiny that I wrote two articles based on my recent interactions with him, in my TexSnips and Horizons columns. In these columns, it is evident how he was active and always enjoyed interacting with people, particularly with youngsters.

On a personal note, it was so touching that he and Mrs. Sabrina Wong attended my wedding held in Chennai, India, travelling all the way from Hong Kong.

CK was a genuine person, who will be missed by our industry, but his legacy will live on the many cherished friendships he had developed around the world. Mr. C. K. Wong was a “Karma Yogi,” in a true sense, travelling and working well into his eighties.

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