Feature

Providing your own power

October 11, 2021

New energy harvesting technologies show promise for successful commercialization.  by Marie O’Mahony, Ph.D. Power and efficiency are not the only drivers of energy harvesting technology for e-textiles. Bulk, weight, flexibility, sustainability, ease of integration and scalability by no means complete the list, either. This is directing R&D in some spectacularly different directions, which in turn …

EcoNote

New, eco-friendly dying process for jeans developed

October 11, 2021

As much as consumers love blue jeans, few may realize their favorite casual clothes are not environmentally friendly to manufacture. Specifically, the process by which they’re dyed is the problem. A new coloration technique, however, has been developed that researchers at the University of Georgia say offers a more earth-friendly alternative.  Led by Prof. Sergiy …

What's New?

A new class of human-powered bioelectronics

October 11, 2021

A team of bioengineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has invented a novel, soft and flexible, self-powered bioelectronic device. The technology converts human body motions, from bending an elbow to subtle movements such as a pulse on one’s wrist, into electricity that could be used to power wearable and implantable diagnostic sensors. The researchers discovered …

My Take

Using what’s available

October 11, 2021

By Janet Preus Scientists know that the body generates a lot of energy, and if that energy could be harvested efficiently, a person could conceivably provide the energy needed to power devices he or she is carrying. For workers in the field, warfighters, athletes, people with medical conditions and others, this kind of technology could …

What's New?

Heart monitoring shirt made with flexible carbon nanotube fibers

October 11, 2021

Researchers at Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, Houston, Texas, have successfully woven flexible carbon nanotube fibers into clothing for accurate and more comfortable heart monitoring. The lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali reported in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters that it had sewed nanotube fibers into athletic wear to monitor the heart rate and …

IFAI news

IFAI introduces member benefit program and Expo discount offer

October 5, 2021

IFAI has announced a new benefit for IFAI members in the United States: the IFAI Health and Benefit Insurance program. In light of the announcement, IFAI is also offering members a 25% discount on any IFAI Expo registration type to attend the show and learn more about the new benefit.  Use the code 21EXMD25 when registering for IFAI …

What's New?

New fabric heats on one side and cools on the other

September 27, 2021

Scientists from China’s Zhejiang University and Westlake University have created a jacket out of an experimental, reversible fabric that can both heat and cool the wearer. The multi-layered “Janus textile” consists of a base of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) polymer fibers. When a garment made from the material is worn with the warming side facing outwards, …

My Take

Catching up with nature

September 27, 2021

by Janet Preus A relatively new success story in the world of advanced textiles is that of phase change materials. They’ve even earned their own acronym – PCMs, which, in fact covers quite a range of materials designed to provide specific functionalities by responding to various environmental conditions. At the heart of PCMs are the …

Out There

Inflatable hand could give amputees real-time tactile control

September 27, 2021

Engineers at MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have designed a soft, lightweight and potentially low-cost neuro-prosthetic hand that can give an amputee the ability to perform daily activities with dexterity. Additionally, the researchers found the prosthetic, designed with a system for tactile feedback, restored some primitive sensation in a volunteer’s residual limb.  The MIT …

EcoNote

Hybrid Air Vehicles announces passenger service

September 27, 2021

British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is bringing a new – and quite luxurious – option into the passenger transportation market. Billed as the “world’s largest aircraft,” the company expects its Airlander 10 to be ready for passenger transportation in 2025. The exterior looks just like a very large airship, but the inside more closely resembles …

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

Providing your own power

October 11, 2021

New energy harvesting technologies show promise for successful commercialization.  by Marie O’Mahony, Ph.D. Power and efficiency are not the only drivers of energy harvesting technology for e-textiles. Bulk, weight, flexibility, sustainability, ease of integration and scalability by no means complete the list, either. This is directing R&D in some spectacularly different directions, which in turn …

Feature

Textiles’ role in the phase change material success story

September 27, 2021

Material advances: the next phase by Seshadri Ramkumar, Ph.D. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its mutating variants, continues to rage worldwide, but it’s not the only pressing global issue. Climate change, too, has impacted nature and contributed to catastrophic fires and floods, and impacted our natural world in other concerning ways.  According to the U.S. Environmental …

Feature

Anti-viral textiles wage war on COVID-19

September 13, 2021

New treatments for textiles support the effort to contain the pandemic.  by Debra Cobb While prosperous countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. are successfully vaccinating large numbers of their populations against the COVID-19 virus, the majority of the world’s inhabitants are still not vaccinated and remain at great risk for contracting the disease. …

Feature

Get to know the Defense Logistics Agency

August 23, 2021

Understanding the processes, procedures and proposals in U.S. military contracting. by Bill Sismour When Dorothy was told in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, “Follow the yellow brick road,” it helped her navigate an unfamiliar territory to see the Wizard and eventually return her home. Government contracting, at first glance, may appear as unfamiliar as the …

Feature

The material difference

August 9, 2021

New technologies in anti-ballistics are just beginning to emerge, offering opportunities in this protection market.  by Seshadri Ramkumar, Ph.D. As tensions and danger prevail in many parts of the world, ballistic protection technologies are an important and integral part of countermeasures to threats. This segment within the advanced textiles sector is a growing market due …

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 …

Industry News

Drexel University seeking volunteers for e-textile focus groups

September 2, 2021

The Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center (PA FDC) at Drexel University is recruiting for focus groups with e-textile professionals from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and challenges in developing and integrating e-textile applications. Researchers will be conducting focus groups with designers, engineers and manufacturing experts working in the e-textiles space to better understand the challenges …

Industry News

Global textile coatings market forecast

August 26, 2021

According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the market for textile coatings is expected to grow at a CAGR of less than 4% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2026. Major factors driving the market studied are increasing standards for protective textiles. Thermoplastics have dominated the global textile coatings market due to their superior properties …

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 …

Out There

Inflatable hand could give amputees real-time tactile control

September 27, 2021

Engineers at MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have designed a soft, lightweight and potentially low-cost neuro-prosthetic hand that can give an amputee the ability to perform daily activities with dexterity. Additionally, the researchers found the prosthetic, designed with a system for tactile feedback, restored some primitive sensation in a volunteer’s residual limb.  The MIT …

Out There

Wearable keyboard is MIDI capable

August 23, 2021

Musical keyboards with digital interfaces (MIDI), no matter how big or small, expensive or not, are rigid structures that can be very heavy. Irmandy Wicaksono from MIT’s Media Lab turned to user-friendly textiles to create an interactive textile-based musical interface, laid out in 88-keys, just like a full piano keyboard. The prototype KnittedKeyboard II utilizes digital knitting technology, utilizing …

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 …

What's New?

A new class of human-powered bioelectronics

October 11, 2021

A team of bioengineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has invented a novel, soft and flexible, self-powered bioelectronic device. The technology converts human body motions, from bending an elbow to subtle movements such as a pulse on one’s wrist, into electricity that could be used to power wearable and implantable diagnostic sensors. The researchers discovered …

What's New?

Heart monitoring shirt made with flexible carbon nanotube fibers

October 11, 2021

Researchers at Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, Houston, Texas, have successfully woven flexible carbon nanotube fibers into clothing for accurate and more comfortable heart monitoring. The lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali reported in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters that it had sewed nanotube fibers into athletic wear to monitor the heart rate and …

What's New?

New fabric heats on one side and cools on the other

September 27, 2021

Scientists from China’s Zhejiang University and Westlake University have created a jacket out of an experimental, reversible fabric that can both heat and cool the wearer. The multi-layered “Janus textile” consists of a base of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) polymer fibers. When a garment made from the material is worn with the warming side facing outwards, …

What's New?

Chronic wound dressing is made from human protein

September 13, 2021

Customized, biomedically applicable materials based on tropoelastin, a human protein, are being developed in a joint project by Skinomics GmbH from Halle, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS. The material combines biocompatibility, durability, biodegradability and favorable mechanical properties similar to those of skin.  Preclinical tests have …

What's New?

Yarn biodegrades for sustainable athletic garments

September 13, 2021

High-performance cycling apparel brand Sher has chosen Italian fiber manufacturer Fulgar and other textile companies as leading partners in the sector of research and sustainable development, with the goal to reduce waste in raw materials, as well as to reduce overall environmental impact. The activewear brand has produced a collection of sports apparel made with biodegradable …

What's New?

Scientists 3D print shape-shifting “chainmail” fabric

August 23, 2021

A new type of shape-shifting technology modeled on ancient chainmail armor has been developed by scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Caltech in the U.S. Described by the researchers as a type of “wearable structured fabric,” the material is able to quickly change from flexible to stiff due to carefully arranged interlocking particles. In …

What's New?

New clothing proven effective against mosquito bites

August 23, 2021

North Carolina State University (NC State) researchers have created insecticide-free, mosquito-resistant clothing using textile materials they confirmed to be bite-proof in experiments with live mosquitoes. Using a computational model of their own design, they developed the materials which describes the biting behavior of the mosquito that carries viruses that cause human diseases like Zika, Dengue …

What's New?

Smart glove translates sign language

August 23, 2021

Wulala Technology Co., a Chinese startup, has found a way to commercialize and mass produce a smart glove that can translate sign language into text or audible speech. The glove is worn on the user’s right hand and is paired via Bluetooth to a subscription-based app for smartphone. It incorporates two-way bending sensors in each finger, …

What's New?

Body-temp camouflage for soldiers shows promise

August 9, 2021

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a wearable technology that can hide a person from heat-detecting sensors, such as night vision goggles, adapting to temperature changes within minutes. As reported by the UC San Diego news center, the technology uses materials that can create heating or cooling effects when the ambient temperature …

What's New?

Stronger engineered spider silk created

August 9, 2021

Spider silk is said to be one of the strongest, toughest materials on earth. Now engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have designed amyloid silk hybrid proteins and produced them in engineered bacteria. The resulting fibers are even stronger and tougher than some natural spider silks. To be precise, the artificial silk, called “polymeric …