EcoNote

Partnership pursues closed-loop textile recycling

January 25, 2021

Swiss fluid engineering company Sulzer announces that its partnership with H&M Group and Worn Again Technologies is developing technology for closed-loop recycling of textiles. Textile waste is one of society’s pressing environmental issues, Sulzer says, and because of the complexity of garments’ production, chemical recycling techniques to date have been applied to a minor share of …

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 …

In the Industry

Messe Frankfurt postpones major trade shows until 2022

January 25, 2021

In September 2020, a decision was reached by Messe Frankfurt and the industries involved to forgo any physical events at its home base in the first quarter of 2021. Now, following close consultation with customers, the company announces that it will postpone the international physical trade fairs planned for April and May as a result …

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 …

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 …

In the Industry

Insect repellent uniforms donated to JGI in Tanzania

January 20, 2021

Affix Labs, Waste2Wear and Logonet have developed a new high-tech uniform, designed to commemorate the ground-breaking research by the primatologist Jane Goodall and the work carried out by the scientists and rangers at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in Gombe, Tanzania. The partners donated the eco-friendly, insect repellent uniforms to the Institute on its 60th …

EcoNote

DSM and Clariter partner in chemical recycling solutions

January 19, 2021

Royal DSM, a global science-based company and Clariter, an international clean-tech company, have announced a strategic partnership to pursue a next-generation chemical recycling solution for products based on DSM’s Dyneema®, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber.  In line with its sustainability targets and following the successful launch of bio-based Dyneema® (mass balance), DSM Protective Materials is …

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 …

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 …

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

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 …

Feature

An energized market

September 28, 2020

E-textile technologies have taken their place in the larger textile arena.  by Janet Preus In the midst of the reworking of so many segments of the textile industry due to the pandemic, one market segment has been able to stay focused on the basics of what it does: e-textiles, and now conductive fibers and yarns. …

Feature

From fiber to final product

September 14, 2020

Wearables become more commercially viable with conductive fiber technology.   By Marie O’Mahony Fibers that offer sensing with purpose have been given a more determined emphasis with the current pandemic. Like many smart materials and wearable technologies, there may be many exciting advances, but finding an application as equally forward looking can be challenging. Some recent …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Out There

UCI scientists engineer human cells with squid-like transparency

June 8, 2020

Octopus, squid and other sea creatures can perform a disappearing act by using specialized tissues in their bodies to manipulate the transmission and reflection of light, and now researchers at the University of California Irvine have engineered human cells to have similar transparent abilities. In a paper published recently in Nature Communications, the scientists described how …

Out There

Bio-designers produce a home-grown cellulose mask

May 25, 2020

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the race has been on to provide adequate numbers of personal protective equipment (PPE). Designers, manufacturers and individuals at home have come out in force to offer creative solutions ranging from 3D printed shields to DIY face masks.  Since many of these designs have used plastic-based material, Elizabeth Bridges and Garrett Benisch of Sum …

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 …

What's New?

Nanomesh sensor developed for human fingers

December 7, 2020

Japanese scientists have created a pressure-sensitive “e-skin” that can be used on human fingers. The ultra-thin “nanomesh sensor” was built by a team at the University of Tokyo, led by Sunghoon Lee.  According to information provided by the University, it’s made up of four layers, one of which is an insulating polyurethane mesh, and another …

What's New?

UV-activated polymer for smart fabrics developed

December 7, 2020

E-textiles have progressed to e-fibers. The next means of incorporating functional elements may be in process, give the research into a new polymer that’s activated by UV light. As reported on newatlas.com, a team at MIT started by developing a photosensitive thiol-epoxy/thiol-ene polymer. When the material is exposed to ultraviolet light, its molecules crosslink with …

What's New?

Partnerships in smart textile products

November 23, 2020

The second week of IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 advanced textiles educational sessions began with a presentation that illustrated the importance of collaboration. “Smart textiles for healthcare and wellbeing: a collaborative approach” had three presenters speaking from different perspectives, but with one, unified message about reaching across geographical distance and areas of expertise to create successful …

What's New?

The challenge and possibilities in e-textiles

November 23, 2020

As part of the advanced textiles education at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, Dr. Amanda Mills, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, discussed e-textiles in her presentation, “Textile Electronics: Product Design.” Putting all the elements together for an e-textile product is “a balancing act,” she said, stressing the importance of “innovation at every level,” starting …

What's New?

A cheaper, easier way to 3D print textiles

November 9, 2020

3D fabric structures have been around for thousands of years, but the process of turning fiber into fabric hasn’t changed very much. A research team based at MIT and headed by Jack Forman recognized a need for a fast and accessible approach to manufacturing textiles into 3D forms.  A report provided by MIT says their …