How Nonwoven Technical Textiles Transformed a Dream Into Reality

The Story of the KA Kaddy KitchenAid® Mixer Caddy

Textile Manufacturer Albarrie Canada

Necessity is the mother of invention is a modern-day idiom that communicates our need and desire to create, taken from the old quote by Plato, “our need will be the real creator.” So, the love of baking bread and other goodies led Kelowna-based entrepreneur Don Drummond to invent his KA Caddy. This sleek and simple tray clicks into the base of a KitchenAid® mixer to make it easier to lift, carry and slide the cumbersome mixing tool used primarily for baking.

“I needed it; prior to having it, my wife wouldn’t bake unless I was there to extract the mixer from our pantry,” says Drummond, “and my daughters and friends liked it.”

He designed and built his wooden prototype over 12 years ago but decided it was time to take his idea to market after receiving encouragement from neighbors and friends. “For the record, I never embarked on this venture through a need to make money, but more curiosity, a challenge, and feeling that if I didn’t do it, I’d spend the rest of my life wondering what could have been, ” says Drummond.

Drummond knew he needed a more streamlined design and a nonwoven technical fabric for the project. His initial wooden version used a felt-type material for the entire base. His research led him to Barrie-based textile manufacturer Albarrie Canada Ltd. “I hadn’t initially given much thought to the fabric for the underside of the base”, says Drummond, “So how difficult could it be?”

Little did he know that industrial felts come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors, produced from various fibers and coatings. The selections made for the nonwoven technical fabric are crucial to the final product’s performance in its intended application. Drummond needed a felt that would peel and stick, easily slide across the counter and provide enough resistance to keep the KitchenAid® mixer in place while in operation.

Neil Chappell, Albarrie’s Technical Sales Manager, worked with Drummond on the project. Neil recommended that the fabric only cover the caddy’s edges, an idea Drummond wasn’t initially receptive to but ended up being the best thing to do.

“It all took a while, but in the end, we absolutely nailed it”, says Drummond. “The plastic fits the tilt-head KitchenAid® mixer exactly as it should; the industrial-grade fabric makes it easy to slide but with enough resistance that it doesn’t move while the KitchenAid® mixer is running.”

After two years and four months of working with manufacturing partners like Albarrie, Drummond’s product was finally ready to hit the market.

“I was so pleased to find a company that produced their own technical fabric,” Drummond says. “And had a variety of different types and textures, many of which I tested. The fabric was equally as important as the plastic for the success of the product. My dealings with Albarrie were always very positive and very professional. From my first contact email, Neil immediately replied that ‘we serve all companies who have an interest in our product,’ and he offered to meet me in Langley, BC the next week. I was confident that I was dealing with a quality company.”

KA Caddy officially hit the market on Feb 23, 2020. Anyone using a KitchenAid® Mixer who wants to lift, carry, slide, and store it with ease can purchase it through the website > Click Here

Looking for a technical fabric for your product idea? Follow us on social media #Fabricschangingindustry. Albarrie produces technical felts for a wide range of industrial applications. Our textile processing expertise in conjunction with our “hands-on” approach to industry applications is the foundation of our extensively engineered and diverse product offering.

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