What's New?

Nextiles launches smart fabric software development kit

July 26, 2021

Textile manufacturing startup Nextiles is launching a Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow a variety of industries to have access to their novel human movement analytics captured through Nextiles’ smart fabric. The company blends traditional sewing techniques with printed circuit boards to create a smart fabric that allows for biomechanic and biometric sensing. Industry …

What's New?

Biodegradable patch could help heal broken bones

July 26, 2021

Scientists have studied the use of electricity in healing wounds, including bone fractures, but as that requires surgically implanting and removing electrodes powered by an external source, a better means of delivering electricity to bones was needed. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have now developed that needed improvement in the form of a biodegradable …

In the Industry

Soft automotive top stands up to extreme cold

July 26, 2021

To demonstrate the resilience of the Lexus LC Convertible under extreme weather conditions, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) recently froze the vehicle at – 18 C (-40 F). While in deep freeze at the Millbrook Cold Weather Chamber, the convertible was outfitted with a high-performance Sonnenland A5B/DS soft top material from Haartz Corp. that shielded its interior components …

What's New?

Washable, battery-free, wearable alternative developed at Purdue

July 26, 2021

Purdue University engineers have developed a new spray and sewing method that makes it possible to transform any conventional fabric items into battery-free wearables that can be cleaned in a washing machine. The Purdue News Service reports that these smart clothes are powered wirelessly through a flexible, silk-based coil sewn on the textile. “By spray-coating …

Feature

Robotics go underground

July 26, 2021

Plant growth and burrowing animals inspire breakthrough technology. by Janet Preus Soft robotics have received deserved attention lately, and ongoing research is demonstrating real progress in this science, particularly when used in exoskeletons. Mobile robots that can climb, fly or even swim have also had quite a lot of attention, but robots that can burrow …

IFAI news

IFAI 2021 State of the Industry report now available for purchase

July 21, 2021

The 2021 State of the Industry report from Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now available for sale at IFAI’s e-store. IFAI members may purchase the report for $79, a $300 discount off the non-member price. Read a summary of the report here, and purchase the full report here. IFAI conducts research annually among its …

Feature

Breakthroughs in textiles for the aerospace market

July 12, 2021

New fibers and composite technologies offer high-tech solutions in Space exploration.   by Marie O’Mahony In Space, from the needs of humans to rocket engines, advanced textiles are providing some of the most effective solutions in performance and protection. However, to focus on spotting “the next Aerogel” is to risk missing where the real progress is …

My Take

The new Space race

July 12, 2021

by Janet Preus The U.S. has been seriously engaged in space exploration since 1958 with the founding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA as we all know it. That act of Congress followed the 1957 launching of the satellite Sputnik by the Soviet Union.  And the space race was on.  I stood …

In the Industry

AR Tech products support Delta IV Heavy rocket launch

July 12, 2021

When a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base recently, it was carrying the NROL-82 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). AR Tech, a division of A&R Tarpaulins Inc., Fontana, Calif., provided essential products in support of this mission. AR Tech creates multi-layer and single-layer insulation blankets …

In the Industry

ESA seeks ways to make spacesuit underclothes more hygienic

July 12, 2021

The European Space Agency (ESA) is working on a more hygienic kind of underclothing worn by astronauts in their spacesuits. The ESA reports that the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) will work with the Vienna Textile Lab on the BACTeRMA project to test textiles with improved anti-bacterial properties for spacesuits used on long-duration space missions. As …

Events

Messe Stuttgart’s Sun Shading Expo North America moves co-location debut with IFAI Expo to 2022

July 7, 2021

Messe Stuttgart announced that its new U.S.-based show Sun Shading Expo North America will not be held in 2021 as a separate trade show but will instead contribute its expertise in internal and external sun shading systems at IFAI Expo 2021 in the form of expert talks, open discussions and more. IFAI Expo 2021 will still take place …

Expo News

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021

May 10, 2021

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021. IFAI Expo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the show this November, and you won’t want to miss it! After a long hiatus of in-person events, this year’s show is the perfect place to reconnect with your industry. Register now to get the Early Bird rate! Early Bird rates end …

Expo News

Standard for active illumination developed in Europe

November 16, 2020

In a session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, “Smart Textiles Standardization, Active Illumination,” Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert Hohenstein Group, explained the new standard for active illumination that will soon be implemented in European Union countries.  Organizations worked together to develop the standards. It is notable, he said that both textile and electronics industries …

Expo News

Textile industry leaders call for policy changes to support U.S. production of PPE

November 13, 2020

The U.S. textile industry has stepped up to meet the demand for face masks, medical gowns, wipes and other products necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but it needs policy changes from Washington so that the U.S. is not caught off-guard again in a future crisis, according to association leaders speaking at Industrial Fabrics Association …

Expo News

The larger issues in respiratory protection

November 12, 2020

Dr. Bryran Ormond, assistant professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State explained respiratory protection in an “Ask an Expert” session with Jing Liang, Medical PPE Consulting LLC. Dr. Ormand has typically worked in the area of chemical and biological protective equipment, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, began to focus on respiratory protection generally, …

Expo News

Surgical gowns require extra manufacturing considerations

November 11, 2020

All surgical gowns are not created equal, and a Nov. 11 presentation at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 helped sort out the differences. The finer points of surgical gowns were discussed by Dr. Martin King, a professor at the Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, and Jing Liang, president of Medical PPE Consulting LLC. …

Expo News

Rodgers: Textiles are the “T” in STEM

November 11, 2020

How do you create a channel from research to application? How do you create a pathway toward understanding complex human problems across supply chains and market sectors? STEM—a curriculum based on teaching science, technology, engineering and math—has branched out from basic chemistry and biology and physics classes, into collaborative efforts, including textiles, according to Stephanie …

Expo News

E-textile testing and standards are evolving

November 11, 2020

At the 2020 Virtual Expo session, “Ask the Expert: Textile Electronics Testing and Standards,” Jesse Jur, a professor at the Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, discussed how standards and testing continue to evolve due to the evolution of textile-based electronics (e-textiles). Jur said that standards have long been a vital resource for …

Expo News

Guidance offered in commercial insurance market

November 10, 2020

Wildfires, hurricanes, a pandemic and civil unrest have wreaked plenty of chaos on the commercial insurance market in 2020. Steve Christenson, with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, offered guidance to business owners Nov. 9 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. “The business insurance market has been going through several changes this year,” says Christenson, with U.S. …

Expo News

How to make your business attractive to a buyer

November 6, 2020

Thinking about selling your business—either to an outside party or the next generation? Then it’s time to start considering how your equipment and processes fit into your succession plan. Jonathan Palmer, the second-generation owner and CEO of equipment supplier Autometrix, and Autometrix director of global sales Truy Pham, led an educational session at IFAI Virtual …

Feature

Robotics go underground

July 26, 2021

Plant growth and burrowing animals inspire breakthrough technology. by Janet Preus Soft robotics have received deserved attention lately, and ongoing research is demonstrating real progress in this science, particularly when used in exoskeletons. Mobile robots that can climb, fly or even swim have also had quite a lot of attention, but robots that can burrow …

Feature

Breakthroughs in textiles for the aerospace market

July 12, 2021

New fibers and composite technologies offer high-tech solutions in Space exploration.   by Marie O’Mahony In Space, from the needs of humans to rocket engines, advanced textiles are providing some of the most effective solutions in performance and protection. However, to focus on spotting “the next Aerogel” is to risk missing where the real progress is …

Feature

Energy in the sustainable textiles’ equation

June 28, 2021

Advanced textiles that support energy conservation fill a growing need.  by Seshadri Ramkumar While it upended normal activities, COVID-19 has provided opportunities to think about what is best for our future globally, in terms of health planning, climate change, energy infrastructure and inclusive economic growth. Textile materials are important components of the energy and sustainability …

Feature

Textiles’ role in a growing energy industry

June 14, 2021

European collaborations lead the way in sustainable wind energy production. by Marie O’Mahony The Biden administration is wasting little time putting plans in place to achieve the goal of a carbon-free energy sector by 2035.  Offshore wind energy is an important part of a vision that seeks to combine environmental, employment and industrial benefits. Danish companies …

Feature

Helmets and impact resistance

May 24, 2021

Material and design improvements offer better head protection in sports activities.  By Seshadri Ramkumar, Ph.D., and Janet Preus According to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), about 1.6–3.8 million concussion cases arise every year due to sports and related activities. These are caused by impact or hard blows to the head. According to AAN, helmets …

Feature

Giving gloves their due

May 10, 2021

Specialized hand protection covers a range of work environments.  by Dr. Marie O’Mahony The specialty glove market is highly diverse, ranging from disposable products to ones that protect against extreme environments, or cuts and other trauma dangers. In addition to the technical challenges, which are to be expected, the market is increasingly dealing with issues …

Feature

Gaining warfighter advantage with flexible hybrid electronics

April 26, 2021

FHEs and advanced textiles are a natural fit for sensing applications.  by Ed Hendricks Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) technology combines the flexibility and low cost of printed electronics technology with the performance of semiconductor devices to create a new category of electronics. No longer constrained by rigid, bulky and non-conforming printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), …

Feature

Electronics and materials: an integrated approach

April 12, 2021

Flexible hybrid electronics show progress with advances in sensory yarns and fabrics.  by Dr. Marie O’Mahony Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) bring together capabilities from electronics, printing and material sectors including textiles, offering an alternative to product assembly with a more integrated approach for electronics and materials. Textiles-based FHE offer some unique solutions that are attracting …

Feature

U.S./international textile trade

March 22, 2021

The top five challenges and opportunities facing the industry in 2021.  by Nate Bolin The list of trade issues facing Washington policymakers in 2021 is long and growing. Indeed, from the ongoing U.S.–China trade dispute, to new trade and investment rules for U.S. manufacturers, importers and exporters, there seems to be no end to the …

Feature

Manufacturing revival: a timely necessity

March 8, 2021

The U.S. is shaping its future in the international textile market.  by Seshadri Ramkumar In the past two decades, most advanced nations have focused on advanced technology, paying specific attention to sectors such as information technology and biotechnology. While these fields are vital to the economy, COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in the manufacture of products …

Industry News

Brown and Manning call for Biden to prioritize American manufacturers and bolster domestic PPE

January 29, 2021

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) wrote to President Biden calling on the Administration to prioritize purchasing fully made in America Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), according to Textile World in a January 24 article.  The lawmakers outline four steps the Administration can take now to ensure our frontline workers have products needed …

Industry News

Industry and union coalition outlines PPE recommendations to Biden and Congress

January 29, 2021

 A broad coalition of industry organizations and labor unions, representing a broad spectrum of manufacturers and workers who stepped up to make essential PPE and other products throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sent a letter today to President Biden and congressional leaders outlining recommendations on specific policy initiatives that must be adopted to re-establish a permanent …

Industry News

Take IFAI’s survey: COVID-19’s Business Impact in 2020

December 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as one of the most challenging and unprecedented periods ever for the specialty, technical and engineered textile industries. As 2020 comes to a close, Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) would like your help in understanding how businesses in our industries were affected by the events of this year and …

Awards

2020 Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients announced

November 12, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is very fortunate to have so many volunteers who give of themselves selflessly, helping every day by serving on different boards, task forces and committees. These volunteers judge competitions, provide education and impassioned leadership to others day-in and day-out. To acknowledge their service, IFAI developed a program in 2012 called …

Awards

2020 Honored Life Member Award Recipient announced

November 12, 2020

Honored Life Member status for Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is designed for individuals who have shown a commitment to the association. Honored Life Membership is bestowed by special request only, and at the discretion of the IFAI Board of Directors to candidates based on the following criteria: Meritorious or outstanding work accomplished for the …

Awards

Meet the Newly Elected and Re-elected 2021 IFAI Board of Directors

November 12, 2020

Each year, Industrial Fabrics Association International’s (IFAI) Leadership Development Committee follows a detailed process outlined in our bylaws for electing board members. It is IFAI’s pleasure to announce the newly elected and re-elected individuals who were chosen to serve on the 2021 IFAI Board of Directors. Newly Elected Directors Jennifer Fennell, Polo Custom ProductsJennifer Fennell …

Industry News

APPI explains energy contracts

September 3, 2020

By Kathryn Allen, APPI Energy (Editor’s note: APPI energy services are included in the membership benefit package offered by Industrial Fabrics Association International. The following information was compiled by APPI to help explain their services.) APPI Energy provides our clients a comprehensive way to reduce energy expenses and create budget certainty. Unbiased and independent, we …

Industry News

New fabric for U.S. Army to destroy nerve agents

February 10, 2020

Nerve agents are some of deadliest substances on the planet. From Sarin gas, which turns the human nervous system against itself, to mustard gas, which burns on contact and disrupts respiratory function, these chemicals, often unseen, are ones the U.S. Army is working to protecting against and destroy. A new fabric, generated by Omar Farha’s …

Industry News

New IPC standard reflects growth of e-textiles industry

January 27, 2020

by Chris Jorgensen During a meeting at IPC APEX EXPO 2017, members of the e-textiles industry approached IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) to help achieve their goal of developing international standards for their burgeoning field. IPC standards are open international standards, meaning anyone can participate in the process and can influence IPC standards, and because …

Industry News

Global yarn and fabric production figures released

October 21, 2019

Global yarn production has increased by 17 percent between the final quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, according to the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), a recent article in knittingindustry.com said. Higher output levels were observed in Asia (+18 percent), Brazil (+18 percent), the U.S. (+3.2 percent) and Europe (+1.6 percent). The …

Out There

New “skin” could help prosthetics and robots sense injuries

June 28, 2021

When a person bumps an elbow against a wall, they not only feel pain but can also experience bruising. But robots and prosthetic limbs don’t have these warning signs, and that could lead to further injury. Researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have developed an artificial skin that senses force through ionic signals and changes color …

Out There

Solar desalination unit tested

May 24, 2021

Although a large percentage of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, most of it is undrinkable. Removing the salt, compounds and microbes that make it unsafe to drink could expand the world’s supply of safe drinking water and address many human health concerns.   Desalination is an important technology that could help accomplish this, and …

Out There

Researchers create a stretchy “biological battery”

March 22, 2021

Researchers at Colorado University (CU) Boulder have developed a new, low-cost wearable device that transforms the human body into a biological battery. The device is stretchy enough that it can be worn like a ring, a bracelet or any accessory that touches the skin. The device taps into a person’s natural heat, employing thermoelectric generators to …

Out There

Soft actuators used to create an insect-sized drone

March 22, 2021

Video: MIT.  If you’ve ever swatted a mosquito away from your face, only to have it return, you know that insects can be remarkably acrobatic and resilient in flight. Those traits help them navigate the aerial world, with its wind gusts and obstacles. MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen has built a drone system that …

Out There

Collaboration yields bio-based garment

March 8, 2021

Designer Phillip Lim has partnered with New York-based industrial designer Charlotte McCurdy to create a dress made of a biodegradable base layer and covered in algae-grown bioplastic sequins.  Dezeen.com reports that the collaboration is part of the One X One project, an incubator organized by the Slow Factory Foundation that pairs high-profile designers with sustainability innovators. “Sustainability in fashion is not …

Out There

ShadowSense gives robots a sense of “touch”

February 22, 2021

Touch-sensitive electronic skin for robots is a project under development by a number of groups. Cornell University reports that scientists there are pursuing a simpler approach, however, using shadow-imaging cameras to let robots know when they’re being touched. Known as ShadowSense, the experimental system incorporates a USB-powered laptop-connected camera, located beneath a non-electronic translucent “skin” on a soft-bodied …

Out There

Researchers create thread that senses and tracks movement

February 8, 2021

Engineers at Tufts University in Massachusetts have created and demonstrated flexible thread-based sensors that can measure movement of the neck, providing data on the direction, angle of rotation and degree of displacement of the head.  The discovery raises the potential for thin, inconspicuous tatoo-like patches that could, according to the Tufts team, measure athletic performance, …

Out There

Absorbent film could lead to sweat-powered wearables

January 25, 2021

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a new film that can absorb sweat and potentially use the moisture to power wearable electronics. For sweat to cool us down properly, it needs to evaporate, which carries the heat away. The new film is designed to speed that process up, with the research …

Out There

MIT researchers send sensing fabrics to the ISS for testing

December 21, 2020

A team of MIT researchers has sent samples of high-tech fabrics, some with embedded sensors or electronics, to the International Space Station (ISS). According to information released by MIT News, the samples will be exposed to the space environment for a year to determine a baseline for how well these materials survive the harsh environment of …

Out There

Fruit fly eye study could impact future textiles

October 26, 2020

Russian and Swiss scientists have learned how to replicate a nanocoating with antimicrobial, anti-reflective and self-cleaning properties, based on the structures covering the corneas of fruit fly eyes, that could find applications in the textile industry. Researchers from Far Eastern Federal University teamed with colleagues from the University of Geneva, the University of Lausanne and Zurich’s Swiss …

What's New?

Biodegradable patch could help heal broken bones

July 26, 2021

Scientists have studied the use of electricity in healing wounds, including bone fractures, but as that requires surgically implanting and removing electrodes powered by an external source, a better means of delivering electricity to bones was needed. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have now developed that needed improvement in the form of a biodegradable …

What's New?

Nextiles launches smart fabric software development kit

July 26, 2021

Textile manufacturing startup Nextiles is launching a Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow a variety of industries to have access to their novel human movement analytics captured through Nextiles’ smart fabric. The company blends traditional sewing techniques with printed circuit boards to create a smart fabric that allows for biomechanic and biometric sensing. Industry …

What's New?

Washable, battery-free, wearable alternative developed at Purdue

July 26, 2021

Purdue University engineers have developed a new spray and sewing method that makes it possible to transform any conventional fabric items into battery-free wearables that can be cleaned in a washing machine. The Purdue News Service reports that these smart clothes are powered wirelessly through a flexible, silk-based coil sewn on the textile. “By spray-coating …

What's New?

Commercial, high-altitude ballooning gets a lift

July 12, 2021

Space Perspectives has launched its first test flight from the Space Coast Spaceport in Florida, located adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. The June 18 un-crewed flight, lasted about six-and-one-half hours, reaching a maximum altitude of 108,409 feet. It splashed down as scheduled in the Gulf of Mexico. The test flight carried a number of scientific payloads, …

What's New?

Engineers create a programmable fiber

June 28, 2021

Researchers at MIT have created the first fiber with digital capabilities, able to sense, store, analyze and infer activity after being sewn into a shirt. The digital fiber contains memory, temperature sensors and a trained neural network program for inferring physical activity, according to a report from the MIT news service.  Yoel Fink, professor of …

What's New?

Inkjet printing could be a new strategy for making e-textiles

June 28, 2021

In a new study, North Carolina State University (NC State) researchers demonstrated they could print layers of electrically conductive ink on polyester fabric to make an e-textile that could be used in the design of future wearable devices.  Sources at the university report that since the printing method can be completed at room temperature and …

What's New?

Super elastic sensor developed

June 14, 2021

The laboratory of photonic materials and fibre devices (FIMAP) department of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne [EPFL]) research institute recently proposed a new, patented way of preparing flexible sensors. Led by EPFL associate professor Fabien Sorin, the project team developed a method that can embed different types of microstructures in “super-elastic” fibers, forming fibers …

What's New?

HeiQ launches antiviral surgical mask

June 9, 2021

Global materials innovator, HeiQ, has launched HeiQ MetalliQ, a surgical mask technology that destroys viruses and bacteria tested, as much as 100 percent efficacy. The mask contains an ultra-thin pure copper coating applied via a high-tech vapor deposition process, which converts a minute amount of copper into vapor, allowing it to be deposited evenly to surround …

What's New?

Microneedle patch shows promise in treating MRSA skin infections

May 24, 2021

Assoc. Prof. Georgios Sotiriou and Ph.D. student Jill Ziesmer  at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have created a microneedle device that provides a localized treatment for MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) skin infections.  These potentially serious infections are usually treated by an antibiotic injection. However, injecting the medication sends it throughout the patient’s bloodstream, which can cause side …

What's New?

A “smart foam” could give machines a sense of touch

May 24, 2021

As smart as robots and machines are becoming, the sense of touch and the ability to feel complexities in the machine’s surroundings is still reserved for humans. But a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have now invented a “smart foam” that can give machines more than a human touch. Called …