COVID-19

Top tips for operating a specialty fabrics business during a pandemic

April 1, 2020

IFAI Division Webinars this week are bringing together diverse members of the specialty fabrics industry to discuss how they are navigating the COVID-19 crisis. For companies that are operational—that is, they have either been deemed essential businesses or they are not currently under a “shelter in place” order—worker health and safety is a major concern. …

COVID-19

Drexel U. works to fill critical need for masks and respirators

April 1, 2020

Drexel University design professor Genevieve Dion shifted 3D knitting machines from a Dept. of Defense project to the challenge of developing masks and respirators, according to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “This is an opportunity to show what advanced manufacturing can do and rapid prototyping can do,” said Dion, who directs Drexel’s Center for Functional …

COVID-19

ASTM providing free access to COVID-19-related standards

April 1, 2020

ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to important ASTM standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment—including face masks, medical gowns, gloves and hand sanitizers—to support manufacturers, test labs, health care professionals and the general public as they respond to the global COVID-19 public health emergency. Click “Access” below, register if …

Company News

Vertilux producing face mask kits: sewers needed!

March 31, 2020

Vertilux, headquartered in Miami, Fla, is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of fabrics, components and automated solutions for the window covering industry. Recently, the company decided to join the fight against COVID-19 and start producing face masks kits for other people and organizations who have the capabilities to sew them in large quantities. …

COVID-19

MMI providing critical supply chain services to medical industry

March 31, 2020

As a global supplier to the diverse textile market, MMI Textiles, headquartered in Westlake, is often called upon for the products and components needed for medical industry professionals. Today that call is greater than ever. “We’re seeing unprecedented demand,” said Amy Bircher, president and founder of MMI Textiles. “Today alone we are sourcing all sorts …

COVID-19

Supply chains get tripped up due to “essential” and “non-essential” designation

March 30, 2020

The need for more medical textile products, such as face masks and hospital gowns, has been well publicized since the exponential growth of the COVID-19 pandemic. But equally important is a means to get the materials required to make the products, a means of transportation to move materials and end products and getting the final …

COVID-19

IPC to host weekly Zoom meetings

March 30, 2020

IPC, a global association that serves the electronics industry, has launched an online community and will host weekly Zoom meetings to collaborate and help one another through the COVID-19 crisis. The meetings are open to anyone, including those from the general textile community. More information can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ipc-e-textiles-committee-launches-covid-19-response-open-jorgensen/?trackingId=f6wLL3TfTDuGye0HwEk3TQ%3D%3D. Chris Jorgensen, director of IPC technology …

COVID-19

Taking action

March 30, 2020

The textile industry moves quickly to provide critical supplies to fight COVID-19. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, the story has changed daily and even hourly. The textile industry has galvanized to respond to the need for medical masks, hospital gowns and other textile applications. In some cases, manufacturing facilities shuttered due to the crisis, were …

In the Industry

FEMA calls for PPE solicitations

March 27, 2020

Lloyd Wood, with the International Trade Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce (www.trade.gov) has notified IFAI that on March 26 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted a new solicitation for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies in response to COVID-19. Products identified include (but are not limited to) face shields, gown coveralls, face masks, and …

COVID-19

SCORE launches coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Resource Center

March 27, 2020

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has launched the Coronavirus Small Business Resource Center, a central hub of up-to-date information and best practices for small business resilience at this time. The completely free resource center includes financial support resources, live and on-demand educational content and access …

Company News

IFAI president responds to Coronavirus, adjusts upcoming events

March 17, 2020

As concern over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows, I want all IFAI members to know we are closely monitoring developments and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We will follow their recommendations to keep our employees, their families and our members healthy and safe. With this in …

Expo News

Award breakfast transforms into a networking event

October 4, 2019

Keynote speaker Thom Singer hosted IFAI’s annual award ceremony October 3 at Expo 2019, continuing his message to “see people.” As Expo exhibitors and attendees entered the breakfast event, Singer encouraged people to separate from familiar colleagues and sit with new people. This year’s award ceremony was infused with an additional goal—that of networking with …

Expo News

Solar encompasses endless possibilities

October 4, 2019

“The building block is fabric, but there are a million possibilities to utilize solar,” says Pvilion founder and CEO Colin Touhey. Touhey gave an introductory presentation October 3 at Expo 2019 on cases for energy generation in fabric products. One of his first projects using solar cells in fabric was architectural in nature when he …

Expo News

Puerto Rico pups steal hearts at IFAI Expo 2019

October 3, 2019

Amid the latest fabrics, equipment, technology and services for the specialty fabrics industry, Lorenzo, Lilo, Lolo, and Lulo stole hearts, and, according to some dog lovers—the show—at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. For this Expo, the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando came together to promote two great causes. …

Expo News

Follow the right steps to successfully bid on military contracts

October 2, 2019

The U.S. government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world, and there are enough opportunities available for everyone to participate in military contract bidding, if you follow the right steps, according to Jennifer Fennell, CPM, director of procurement for Polo Custom Products, Topeka, Kan.  Fennell and Jeff Papalia, textiles program manager …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2019: Growth through diversification

October 2, 2019

Bud Weisbart, vice president of AR Tech, Fontana, Calif., led the advanced textiles conference session “Growing through diversification into technical markets: from trash covers and truck covers to ground support and flight hardware,” presented Tuesday, Oct. 1, at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. The session explored how diversification based on core competencies—capabilities or advantages …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2019 Keynote: ‘Choose people’ to make effective connections

October 2, 2019

Thom Singer, the keynote speaker at IFAI’s annual meeting on Wed., Oct. 2, at IFAI Expo, is clear about one thing: People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. And that connection won’t happen through second-hand tools offered on social media or other electronic sites. Singer, a consultant to executives and …

Expo News

2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition Winners Announced

October 18, 2018

Advanced Textile Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently selected the winners of the 2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition. The awards were announced during IFAI Expo 2018, held in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 15-18. First Place First-place honors went to J. Walter Lee, Stephanie Wang and Caroline …

Expo News

Testing basics provide key communication points on textile products

October 17, 2018

When you plan to sell a textile product, there are numerous reasons to test it before taking it to market. Many of those testing results tell you what you can ultimately communicate to others about your product, and what they can expect of your product. Dr. Emiel DenHartog, North Carolina State University, College of Textiles, …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

COVID-19

Taking action

March 30, 2020

The textile industry moves quickly to provide critical supplies to fight COVID-19. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, the story has changed daily and even hourly. The textile industry has galvanized to respond to the need for medical masks, hospital gowns and other textile applications. In some cases, manufacturing facilities shuttered due to the crisis, were …

Feature

Developments in the advanced fibers market

March 9, 2020

High performance and sustainability are the drivers in materials research.  by Seshadri Ramkumar The textile industry is a major contributor to the manufacturing sector. While labor costs and market competition have forced the textile industry to move from predominantly Western countries to Eastern ones, the high-performance textiles sector that focuses on disruptive and incremental value-added …

Feature

Trade, tariffs and textiles

February 24, 2020

The impact of the Trump administration’s trade actions on the textile industry. by Lawrence A. Ward and Dave Townsend Textile trade has long been complicated, requiring careful attention to the source and production methods throughout the supply chain to determine whether imports were allowed under quotas, or what tariff rate applied to the imports. Although …

Feature

Brexit and the larger European trade picture

February 10, 2020

New, long-term trading partnerships are just beginning to take shape. by Marie O’Mahony The only trade certainty at present would seem to be uncertainty. As old alliances are fractured, new allegiances are starting to form. While they may not offer the same financial benefits—at least initially—these may ultimately offer economic gain and growth by providing …

Feature

The future with plant-regenerated synthetics

January 27, 2020

Sustainability issues leap to the forefront in creating new synthetic fibers. by Ericka Ford, Ph.D. Robert Hooke’s 1664 belief—that plants eaten by the silkworm could spin into a silk alternative—was an oversimplification of the biological processes that ultimately allowed the food satiated silkworm to spin silk. Nevertheless, the timely invention of the regenerated cellulosic fiber, …

Feature

Insights into the year ahead

January 13, 2020

Industry experts point to market need, collaboration and sustainability to drive textile markets this year.  by Marie O’Mahony The start of a new year is a time to consider what might lie ahead and what might be the trends, technologies and global events that could offer opportunity for the industry or conversely create a barrier …

Feature

Making protective apparel safer

December 16, 2019

New standard reduces exposure gaps to multiple hazards by Glenna B. Musante Improving safety apparel for workers operating in hazardous situations is a constant effort by the textile industry, but a task not always easily accomplished. Hazardous materials professionals can be exposed to any number of chemical, biological and flammable materials in the same environment, …

Feature

A clear pathway to new product development

December 9, 2019

By Janet Preus “Failure’s not a bad thing; it’s a necessary requirement of product development,” said Dr. Martin W. King. “But if you fail, fail early,” he added. King is a professor in Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science (TECS) at the Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University. He was addressing an audience at …

Feature

Weaving the biomedical structure

December 9, 2019

by Amir Islam As medical technology increases, so too does the availability of options for different biomedical applications. With so many different characteristics available in woven biomedical textiles, choosing the right, reliable textile is essential for mitigating risk and ensuring successful procedures and applications. Woven biotextile properties Weaving biomedical textile structures, such as straight, tapered, …

Feature

The circular economy

November 25, 2019

What’s driving sustainable practices in today’s textile industry. by Marie O’Mahony The story of sustainability in the textile industry has grown and evolved, particularly in the last decade, with circularity now driving sustainability across the materials sector. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, “A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste …

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 …

Industry News

Funding innovation: the Rhode Island Advanced Materials Innovation Center

October 11, 2019

Governor Gina Raimondo recently joined with University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley to announce $1 million in funding for the creation of the 401 Tech Bridge, the Rhode Island Materials Innovation Center. Industry partners will be able to work in the 401 Tech Bridge Center with the University of Rhode Island and entities …

Industry News

New leadership for IFAI

October 2, 2019

Each year, the Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) follows a detailed process outlined in association bylaws for electing new board members. As recently announced at IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo in Orlando, the following individuals have been chosen to serve on the IFAI board of directors: Ron Houle, president …

Industry News

Learn from the experts at IFAI Expo’s AT Conference

July 29, 2019

Join industry experts October 1 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., as they lead educational and inspiring sessions at the Advanced Textiles Conference. Presentations will cover topics in military, medical, smart fabrics and aerospace markets, as well as discussions about innovation and standards. Speakers include: Elaine Duncan, MSME, RAC, AIMBE, Paladin Medical Inc. …

Industry News

Nonwovens conference, RISE 2019, set for Sept. 24-25

June 19, 2019

The Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) presents RISE 2019 Sept. 24–25 at North Carolina State University (NC State) in Raleigh, N.C. The conference is designed to be two days of in-depth technical exploration into “what’s next” and “what’s needed” from leaders in materials research and innovative science as applied to engineered fabrics, the organizers of …

Industry News

Covestro TPU expansion in Taiwan

June 18, 2019

Covestro has completed the expansion of its thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) capacity at its Changhua manufacturing site in Taiwan, according to Knitting Industry.com. The company predicts that the plant will cater to the Asia Pacific region’s market needs, including providing bio-based TPU. TPU is used for flexibility and performance in the footwear and automotive markets as …

Industry News

IPC E-Textiles 2019 registration opens

June 17, 2019

IPC E-Textiles 2019 is a technical education workshop for innovators, technologists and brands to learn about the latest innovations, designs and manufacturing concepts and to collaborate on solutions and identify partners. The event takes place at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 10–11, 2019. The event will provide a venue for active participation during technical …

Industry News

LOOMIA wins 2019 NYCxDesign Award for Technology

June 10, 2019

The LOOMIA Electronic Layer (LEL) by New York, N.Y.-based LOOMIA Technologies has received the 2019 NYCxDesign Award for Technology. The small startup was in competition with projects by much larger companies, such as Steelcase, Basalte, and Frasch. While LOOMIA is known for its smart textiles for apparel projects, the firm’s industry reach now extends to …

Out There

Scientists study potential for mycelia homes in Space

February 24, 2020

Although it cannot be described as a textile, this material could replace some things that textiles provide. A team of scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is investigating and prototyping new technologies that could grow habitable structures on the moon, Mars and beyond. The technologies rely on fungi and mycelia, the branch-like threads that are …

Out There

EXOlung claims unlimited air supply for divers

January 27, 2020

The EXOlung, an underwater breathing device, has been designed to give divers an unlimited air supply, its creator says. The device translates the diver’s swimming motions into air movement, keeping breathing air flowing—as long as the diver keeps swimming. EXOlung uses a buoy that floats on the surface of the water to provide the diver …

Out There

Cuttlefish inspires soft material turbines

January 13, 2020

Inspired by the cuttlefish’s undulating fin motion, startup company Undula Tech LLC has developed a turbine using soft material that can harvest the energy in flowing air and water. The goal, is to make renewable energy accessible and affordable worldwide.  Its Undula Generator is, by design, more adaptable, sustainable and cost-effective than rotary turbines and solar …

Out There

Wood pulp and algae T-shirt decomposes at end-of-life

November 25, 2019

Tech-based clothing startup Vollebak has launched a T-shirt made entirely from wood pulp and algae. The shirt will break down in soil or in a composter within three months. Vollebak sources wood from eucalyptus, beech and spruce trees, which are chipped and pulped before being turned into fiber, then yarn and finally into fabric for …

Out There

Artificial skin may provide a natural feel for smartphones.

November 7, 2019

Scientists have developed a new product called Skin-On that’s meant to look and feel like a human, as well as react to caressing, tickling and pinching. According to an article on designboom.com, the interfaces are sensitive cases that can be attached to mobile phones, wearable devices and laptop touchpads to increase their capabilities.  Skin-On artificial skin …

Out There

“Sleep Robot” encourages restful sleep

October 25, 2019

The Somnox Sleep Robot is designed to help users fall asleep by mimicking breathing patterns.The device was developed by a team of engineers who met at the Robotics Institute of the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. The soft robot is meant to be cuddled like a teddy bear, helping to induce slow, rhythmic breathing and encourage restful …

Out There

Walking again with a brain-controlled exoskeleton

October 21, 2019

A 65 kilogram robotic suit has helped a paralyzed man walk again. The suit uses advanced computer software and two brain implants that read and transmit information from the part of the patient’s brain that controls motor function. As reported on designboom.com, the patient had surgery to place the implants on the surface of his brain, …

Out There

YSL will launch Google Jacquard™ backpack

September 23, 2019

According to Google, Cit-e Backpack by Saint Laurent (YSL), featuring Jacquard™ by Google Technology, is “the first connected luxury backpack that can control music, drop pins on the go, take pictures, and do more with a simple gesture.” According to digitaltrends.com, the backpack comes with a new, revised version of the Project Jacquard tag, which …

Out There

Magnetics used to make “anti-gravity” shoes

September 3, 2019

Japanese artist and designer Yukako Hihara has created a pair of shoes that uses magnetic forces to create the physical sense of walking on the moon. The “anti-gravity” shoes were created as part of an experiment to offer consumers a product that made them feel like they were flying. To create shoes that give the sensation of defying …

Out There

Squid-inspired jacket reflects full color spectrum

August 26, 2019

Innovative sportswear and sports gear company, Vollebak, has launched a jacket that will reflect all colors of the visible light spectrum. The Black Squid Jacket is a fully waterproof and windproof outer shell that mimics one of nature’s most mesmerising innovations – the adaptive camouflage of the squid.  Over the last 500 million years they’ve …

What's New?

Shima Seiki releases knitting data for WHOLEGARMENT® mask

March 23, 2020

In light of the recent worldwide shortage of surgical masks due to the spread of COVID­-19, flat-knitting solutions provider Shima Seiki has released knitting data for producing a 3D knitted version of the masks on its WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines. According to a report in Knitting Industry, the released data is aimed at producing cotton masks …

What's New?

Mitsufuji launches reusable Hamon AG mask

March 23, 2020

Mitsufuji Corp., a company that develops and sells wearable products, has launched the Hamon AG mask, a high-performance mask that can be washed in any home washing machine up to 50 times, and reused repeatedly.  A report on designboom.com says that the product is made from medical fibers developed for wearables and uses the silver-plated fiber …

What's New?

HeiQ Viroblock technology can combat coronavirus

March 23, 2020

HeiQ has recently launched HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, an antiviral and antimicrobial textile treatment that has tested effective against coronavirus, a news release from the company says. According to HeiQ, the treatment in HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 is proven effective against human coronavirus (229E) in face mask testing, enhancing the antiviral log reduction from 2.90 of untreated …

What's New?

Company designs firefighting gear for women

March 20, 2020

After five years of research and development, a women-owned company focused on making firefighter uniforms for wildland firefighters said it’s ready to launch a line of female-specific uniforms. A report in sportstextiles.com says Green Buffalow will soon be taking pre-orders for uniforms that address several key problems with conventional uniforms made in what’s largely a male-dominated field.  …

What's New?

Coats, Osram partner in Signal Active Illumination

March 9, 2020

Coats is partnering with lighting specialist Osram to introduce new active illumination for garments and accessories. The Coats Signal Active Illumination light system made by Osram is designed to enhance the wearer’s safety and visibility during low-light conditions and at night, Coats reports.  The new Coats Signal Active Illumination range consists of a light system, …

What's New?

Volleback chooses ceramics found in jet engines

March 6, 2020

Outdoor brand Vollebak has embedded a hoody with ceramics that have traditionally been used in missiles and jet engines. Sportstextiles.com reports that the U.K. brand says the 60,000 ceramic particles are thinner than human hair, which means the material remains high wicking, lightweight and breathable,“ but it’s also second only to diamonds for abrasion resistance, the company …

What's New?

Startup makes shape-shifting jacket prototype

February 24, 2020

Startup company Skyscrape plans to makes clothing that naturally adapts to the temperature of both the wearer and the environment with yarn that changes shape as temperatures change, becoming thicker as temperatures drop, which provides more insulation and comfort to the wearer. The company reports that active yarns in the fabric expand and contract and, …

What's New?

LOOMIA Releases a 4-Wire Bus sample

February 24, 2020

LOOMIA has recently announced the release of its latest development, the 4-Wire Bus sample. This material innovation demonstrates how the LOOMIA Electronic Layer (LEL) looks and feels on a performance fabric. It is the company’s first test-able sample, making it ideal for engineering groups that need resistance or impedance measurements when validating an e-textile solution. …

What's New?

Robotic glove designed for hand paralysis

February 10, 2020

Koreon start-up Neofect has developed a robotic glove that’s meant to help patients suffering from paralysis. The product prototype, named Neomano, is a smart glove designed for patient rehabilitation of the hand following a stroke, spinal cord injury, or another condition that limits patients’ ability to use their hands.  The wearable hand robot helps with ordinary daily activities, …

What's New?

Flexible device powered by body heat

February 10, 2020

North Carolina State University (NCSU) engineers have demonstrated a flexible device that harvests heat energy from the human body to monitor health, according to an article provided by NCSU. The flexible thermoelectric generators (TEGs) use the body’s heat energy to power wearable devices to measure glucose, heart rate and blood oxygen. The technology has the potential …