Thermal regulation heats up

May 22, 2017

Refined materials and improved processes impact climate control applications. New developments in climate control for technical textiles are seeing the emergence of more refined materials offering enhanced possibilities in a range of industries from automotive to architecture. At the TechTextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, in May, a number of these innovations were showcased, reflecting …

TAPPI meeting showcases innovation and collaboration

The Technical Association of the Paper and Pulp Industry (TAPPI) hosted the PaperCon International Conference in April with about 1600 attendees and 75 exhibitors gathered in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The unique feature of this event has been the co-location of the nonwovens conference of TAPPI, referred to as NET Inc. TAPPI has been gaining …

Thermal control: beyond apparel

May 9, 2017

A range of industries could benefit from new materials, processes and technologies. Recent advances in thermal control for apparel have “grabbed the headlines” in this type of textile technology, but there are highly sophisticated materials and technologies that are less obvious, but at least as impressive. Depending on what the desired outcome is, an approach …

AATCC conference examines new textile developments

April 24, 2017

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) held its annual international conference in Wilmington, N.C., March 28–30.  It was the largest gathering in ten years with 280 attendees. Enthusiasm was evident during the daytime proceedings and at receptions held in the evenings, which had 20 exhibitors involving testing instrument makers, and chemical and …

IP for innovators

Wearable technology faces rising legal questions. Wearable technology is impacting the college and professional sports industry at every level from fitness training to spectator engagement. With the trend set to increase over the next five years, it is worthwhile to ask, “What could this mean for intellectual property (IP) and data ownership?” Consider the audience …

Patent law for innovators

April 7, 2017

Protecting the technologies and products that drive growth in the textile industry. Is innovation a key component of your business plan?  Will you distinguish yourself with unique product offerings? Whether protecting our men and women in uniform, advancing the treatment of medical conditions, or adding to a more sustainable tomorrow, innovation fuels the growth of textile …

Are smart textiles ready for the real world?

March 24, 2017

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a slow but sure evolution of wearable electronics, including smart textiles, designed primarily to monitor body functions and communicate with the Internet of Things. But a great many were not especially wearable, and some never made it out of the lab. The tide, however, seems to be turning. Première …

Better together

March 10, 2017

Collaborative efforts support growth in the smart textiles industry. The more high tech an industry is, the greater the range of expertise it may need. Advanced textiles, particularly smart materials, are a prime example of this. Textiles often undergo a variety of processes requiring specialized skills and equipment, so collaboration is essential to the industry. …

Energy harvesting steps up

February 24, 2017

Recent university and scientific lab research from around the world has focused on the potential of kinetic energy harvesting methods, but it may be too soon to see wide-spread commercially viable production. “We set out to answer the question of whether you can get useful amounts of electrical power out of something that looks like …

Textile integration of piezoelectric energy harvesting

February 10, 2017

Breathing is the most consistent source of kinetic energy in the human body, as it produces a large circumferential displacement in the chest, even during sleep. This oscillation is one of few mechanisms in the human body that can also be exploited non-invasively for energy harvesting. The National Science Foundation’s ASSIST (Advanced Self-Powered Systems of …