What's New?

New fastener idea takes inspiration from mushrooms

February 22, 2021

Because hook-and-loop fastening materials such as Velcro® can damage the materials as the fastener is pulled apart, researchers got to work on an alternative inspired by mushrooms. The 3D-printed fastener that comes from work done at the Netherlands’ Wageningen University has no stiff hooks and instead uses soft polymer structures that are shaped like tiny …

What's New?

New biomedical tape uses origami techniques

February 22, 2021

Minimally invasive surgeries are generally performed via small incisions using miniature cameras. Surgical tools are threaded through the body to remove tumors and make repairs in the body. But it can be difficult to properly seal an internal wound or tear. Taking inspiration from origami, MIT engineers have designed a medical patch that can be …

Feature

Nonwovens and the “new mobility”

February 22, 2021

The evolution of electric vehicles relies on innovative nonwoven textiles. by Debra Cobb Nonwovens are playing an increasingly important role in automotive components as the evolution of electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs) create an imperative for transportation textiles that are lighter, quieter, stronger, cleaner and easier to recycle. Often unseen, nonwovens are found in backings …

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 …

In the Industry

Drexel University launches new startup initiative

February 22, 2021

Drexel Applied Innovation at Drexel University has launched a program to encourage and support the formation of startup companies based on research at the university. The “Drexel Express Startup License” is a startup- and investor-friendly licensing agreement with pre-set terms. This new licensing tool will be used in cases where the startup is partnering with …

In the Industry

Precision Textiles upgrades chemical-free FR portfolio

February 18, 2021

New Jersey-based, Precision Textiles, a supplier of coated fabrics, nonwovens and laminations is keeping ahead of a growing trend by states to tighten fire-retardant (FR) chemical regulations in consumer products. By constantly upgrading its portfolio of chemical-free FR solutions for quilted mattress panels and borders, FR filler cloth, FR sock, cap and laminated FR solutions, the …

EcoNote

Green Button: Hohenstein named an authorized certification body

February 17, 2021

Textile testing provider Hohenstein has been authorized by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to verify compliance for the Green Button, a German government certification for sustainable textiles. Now, in addition to certification for MADE IN GREEN by OEKOTEX®, a qualifier for the Green Button, Hohenstein certifies for the 46 Green Button …

In the Industry

brrr° automates with Texbase

February 16, 2021

Bozeman, Mont.-based Texbase, Inc., a cloud-based data management and collaboration platform for the textile and consumer products industries, announces their continued collaboration with brrr°. brrr° is the creator of a fabric technology that is “Proven to Keep You Cooler.” The company’s patented yarns and specialized manufacturing techniques combine natural cooling minerals, active wicking and rapid …

What's New?

Face mask designed to kill the coronavirus is launched

February 8, 2021

Face masks have become a part of life since the pandemic began, because they’re the most effective means to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Claros Technologies, St. Paul, Minn., a spinoff from the University of Minnesota, has developed a mask that it says is capable of killing the virus. Mike Miller, the president …

What's New?

Touch surfaces for interiors shown in concept car

February 8, 2021

Auto manufacturers’ concept vehicles increasingly exhibit car cockpits with no mechanical switches or buttons. The solid, seamless and gently curved surfaces are, instead, equipped with functions activated by touch. Concealed under the surface are control elements that only become visible when required, but this elegant appearance belies a complex underlying technology.  German coating manufacturer Leonhard …

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 …

Expo News

Overcoming Murphy’s Law yields pain-relieving yarns for socks

November 6, 2020

“Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat,” became the mantra of Matt Komes, CEO at VOLT, when his company took on the challenge of making CBD-infused socks for pain relief. Komes presented the VOLT product development process Oct. 5 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. VOLT, a division of Supreme Corp., has expertise in military and medical …

Expo News

Is hemp fiber the new sustainable knit for footwear?

November 5, 2020

Zoe Newman, a graduate student from North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles, shared her research on the impact of introducing hemp fiber into more sustainable knit footwear during IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. Newman explained that sustainable materials are lacking in the textile industry, especially for footwear, and integrating natural fibers into the market …

Feature

Nonwovens and the “new mobility”

February 22, 2021

The evolution of electric vehicles relies on innovative nonwoven textiles. by Debra Cobb Nonwovens are playing an increasingly important role in automotive components as the evolution of electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs) create an imperative for transportation textiles that are lighter, quieter, stronger, cleaner and easier to recycle. Often unseen, nonwovens are found in backings …

Feature

Transportation textiles on the move

February 8, 2021

Major changes in vehicles will offer opportunities to innovators in this market.  by Marie O’Mahony Recent reports illuminate key factors influencing tomorrow’s automotive textiles segment. Most notably, the automotive lightweight material market is expected to reach $247 billion by 2026, according to Global Market Insights. “In 2010 almost 40 percent of an average car’s weight …

Feature

A year like no other

January 25, 2021

Examining the past year and looking ahead to a new normal. by Janet Preus Editor’s note: What our editorial calendar intended to cover and what we actually covered in 2020 presents an interesting perspective on the larger picture, overwhelmingly impacted by a worldwide pandemic. This article is a brief retrospective of the “year like no …

Feature

What’s new in ballistic materials

January 11, 2021

The next leap in these protective technologies is on the horizon.  by Debra Cobb For the past few decades, para-aramid fibers and UHMWPEs (ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene) have been the standard bearers in ballistic textiles. But the changing nature of warfare and the need to increase mobility while improving protection are challenging the industry to step …

Feature

Hemp on the horizon

December 21, 2020

Natural materials can help achieve a cost and benefit balance in sustainability goals.  by Seshadri Ramkumar COVID-19 has up-ended our normal way of life, which we may have taken for granted. With the economy suffering as a result, and with the need to create growth and employment, the manufacturing sector has its work cut out …

Feature

PPE on earth and beyond

December 7, 2020

Spacesuits and medical protective apparel share the challenges of functionality and wearability.  by Marie O’Mahony A recent webinar series, “From PPE to Spacesuits” sought to help participants gain a better understanding of shared challenges and solutions, between the two divergent end products. The webinars were organized by Stephanie Pau from the Hamlyn Centre (part of …

Feature

Circularity: an opportunity for innovation

November 23, 2020

IFAI Expo participants demonstrate the various routes to a shared goal. by Marie O’Mahony Social and environmental impacts have made their mark amongst this year’s exhibitors and presenters at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. In North America, President-elect Joe Biden has already shown his concern with these issues so that the new administration is expected to …

Feature

A vision of the future in advanced textiles

November 9, 2020

Virtual Expo 2020 advanced textiles education notes industry progress and new opportunities.  by Janet Preus The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) opened the advanced textiles education sessions of Virtual Expo 2020 with topics designed to support the successful research, development and commercialization of new, advanced textile technologies and products. The first session was presented by …

Feature

Life-saving textiles

October 26, 2020

Enhanced functionalities drive healthcare textiles’ growth. by Seshadri Ramkumar Healthcare textiles span a range of applications from hospital drapes to wound care and compression products used during recovery and rehabilitation after surgeries. Single-to-limited-life textile products find medical-related applications such as implants, barriers against microbes and lifestyle enhancement products used in caring for everyone from babies …

Feature

The expanding world of e-textiles

October 12, 2020

IPC E-Textiles Summit covers innovations, markets and business advice. by Janet Preus A large group of presenters and attendees participated in IPC’s two-day conference on e-textiles recently, sharing insights about new technologies, the business of e-textiles, markets and trends. The textile industry, generally, has been quick to respond to industry needs throughout the course of …

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

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 …

Out There

Solight Design launches the SEEUS95 self-adhering mask

September 14, 2020

Known for its solar-powered and origami-inspired lighting, Solight Design, based in New York, N.Y., has ventured into the mask design arena with the SEEUS95 clear, self-adhering, earloop-free mask, which the company says can provide better protection than masks made with nonwoven polypropylene, woven or knit fabrics.  The mask features a natural filter made of bamboo, silk, …

Out There

Designer works with researchers to create “biogarmentry”

September 14, 2020

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. consumers send about 70 percent of the clothes and footwear produced each year to landfill. Project Biogarmentry, by designer Roya Aghighi, has been launched to address the drastic increase in the environmental impact of textile waste and air pollution. Using the fields of synthetic biology and design, its …

Out There

Transforming Touch project is all about serious play

September 8, 2020

London-based smart textile designer Michelle Rinow has unveiled her Transforming Touch Series, which was developed based on research about the benefits of sensory play for adults. “Many people think play is just for children, but I believe play is necessary through all stages of life and should be accessible to people no matter their physical abilities, age …

Out There

“Smart” face mask translates and transcribes language

July 27, 2020

With mask-wearing now a part of everyday life worldwide, designers and innovators have tried to provide improved face coverings that address a variety of concerns. Some have been made transparent; others are made with biodegradable materials to address disposal problems. But among the innovations, there hasn’t been a mask that connects to the Internet … until …

Out There

Twisting elastomers show promise in soft robotics

June 22, 2020

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University have demonstrated a new method for ‘programming’ liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs) that enables them to twist and bend in the presence of light. This made it possible to replicate the complex twisting actions of the human muscle system in the materials, a breakthrough particularly useful for applications in soft robotics …

What's New?

New fastener idea takes inspiration from mushrooms

February 22, 2021

Because hook-and-loop fastening materials such as Velcro® can damage the materials as the fastener is pulled apart, researchers got to work on an alternative inspired by mushrooms. The 3D-printed fastener that comes from work done at the Netherlands’ Wageningen University has no stiff hooks and instead uses soft polymer structures that are shaped like tiny …

What's New?

New biomedical tape uses origami techniques

February 22, 2021

Minimally invasive surgeries are generally performed via small incisions using miniature cameras. Surgical tools are threaded through the body to remove tumors and make repairs in the body. But it can be difficult to properly seal an internal wound or tear. Taking inspiration from origami, MIT engineers have designed a medical patch that can be …

What's New?

Face mask designed to kill the coronavirus is launched

February 8, 2021

Face masks have become a part of life since the pandemic began, because they’re the most effective means to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Claros Technologies, St. Paul, Minn., a spinoff from the University of Minnesota, has developed a mask that it says is capable of killing the virus. Mike Miller, the president …

What's New?

Touch surfaces for interiors shown in concept car

February 8, 2021

Auto manufacturers’ concept vehicles increasingly exhibit car cockpits with no mechanical switches or buttons. The solid, seamless and gently curved surfaces are, instead, equipped with functions activated by touch. Concealed under the surface are control elements that only become visible when required, but this elegant appearance belies a complex underlying technology.  German coating manufacturer Leonhard …

What's New?

RxFiber announces patent for medical device fiber

February 8, 2021

RxFiber LLC has announced that it has been issued a U.S. patent directed to methods related to the production of high-tenacity fibers for use in sterilized medical devices. The company’s fiber is marketed as RxFibron HT©. The company is actively seeking potential partners to license or purchase the patented technology for the development of lower-profile …

What's New?

Fabric with MXene can block electromagnetic waves

January 25, 2021

Researchers at Drexel University have created “Faraday fabrics” that can block almost all electromagnetic waves. The development could help protect wearables from interference and people from potentially dangerous radiation. According to information from Drexel University, the key ingredient is a 2D material called MXene.  Electromagnetic waves have proven incredibly useful, but with so many uses, …

What's New?

Westex and Polartec debut the Polartec FR Collection

January 22, 2021

Two Milliken & Company textile businesses—Westex®, maker of dual-hazard protective textiles, and Polartec®, provider of sustainable textile solutions—announce a new collection of flame-resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) knit fabric. The Polartec FR Collection introduces three unique Polartec fabric constructions engineered with Westex FR/AR fabric technology that provides hazard protection. The products span shirting, insulation and weather resistance fabrics that …

What's New?

Multivitamin textile treatment meets Oeko-tex® standard

January 11, 2021

Devan Chemicals’ latest technology, R-Vital Multivitamin, has met the requirements of Standard 100 by Oeko-tex® (Class II). The company, based in Belgium, says the technology is part of Devan’s R-Vital® range of micro-encapsulated active ingredients.  R-Vital is a fabric treatment that enables textile manufacturers to boost their textiles with a patented range of microencapsulated active …

What's New?

Technology for sterilizing masks is launched

December 21, 2020

Swiss corporation Osmotex announces that it has developed the Osmotex Steriliser Technology that can make textiles virus and bacteria free. With the market for sterilizing facemasks and personal items increasing, due to the pandemic, the company considers its solution a breakthrough. “With the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw new opportunities for our proprietary osmosis technology. To …

What's New?

Puffer jacket is solar charged for visibility

December 21, 2020

High-tech apparel brand Vollebak has released a its Solar Charged Puffer, a warm jacket for extreme environments that builds on its original solar charged jacket, launched in 2017.  Pure white during the day, the jacket will start glowing in the dark when it is exposed to light. In fact, one can literally write on it …