Features

Major support for smart textile R&D announced

June 27, 2022

Government contracts, historically, have been a major source of funding for research and development in the advanced textiles world. An example of this significant commitment was announced recently with a new program through The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). It has introduced its Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems (SMART ePANTS) initiative to …

What's New?

Self-powered smart pillow tracks sleep

June 27, 2022

Many people who struggle to get enough sleep could benefit from monitoring their sleep, but they have limited options for doing so. In a new study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, one team describes a potential solution: a self-powering smart pillow that tracks the position of the head. According to a report on the technology in offgridenergyindependence.com, …

EcoNote

A wearable for cows among Terra Carta winners

June 27, 2022

A methane-reducing mask for cows was among the winners in a U.K. climate solution competition. Prince Charles and former Apple CDO Jony Ive recently announced the four winners of Terra Carta Design Lab, founded to develop climate crisis solutions. Out of 125 submissions, the awarded projects include: a clean-tech start-up spearheading the capture and monitoring of tire wear; a 100 percent recyclable …

What's New?

Reebok introduces its first adaptive shoes

June 27, 2022

Reebok has teamed up with Zappos Adaptive to launch a sneaker collection specifically designed to empower people with disabilities. Named ‘Fit to Fit’, the adaptive footwear is envisioned for functionality and inclusivity without compromising on style. There are two sneaker models in the collection: the Nanoflex Parafit TR for sports activities, and the Club MEMT Parafit tennis shoe. …

In the Industry

Techtextil, Texprocess held in Frankfurt 

June 27, 2022

With 117 participating nations, the re-launch of the international textile fairs at the Frankfurt exhibition center was achieved. Across all three events—Techtextil, Texprocess and the one-time Heimtextil Summer Special—Italy, France, Turkey, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Pakistan and the U.S. formed the top visitor nations.  “The textile trade …

What's New?

Textile-based filter could remove carbon dioxide

June 27, 2022

North Carolina State University researchers found they could filter carbon dioxide from air and gas mixtures at promising rates using a proposed new textile-based filter that combines cotton fabric and an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase, one of nature’s tools for speeding chemical reactions. The findings from initial laboratory testing represent a step forward in the development of …

Industry News

OSHA administers $11.7 million in training grants

June 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor will provide a funding opportunity for $11.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to support the delivery of training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Administered by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the grants will target disadvantaged, underserved, low-income, and other hard-to-reach, …

Industry News

Textile groups urge U.S. to maintain penalty tariffs on China

June 16, 2022

The Biden administration should maintain Section 301 penalty tariffs on finished textiles and apparel from China or risk reversing once-in-a-lifetime nearshoring trends and undermining critical investments and jobs in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere, three key American textile manufacturing groups said today. In a formal submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office, which is …

In the Industry

Covation Biomaterials launch is announced

June 9, 2022

Covation Biomaterials, a global company offering bio-based solutions, launched today as an independent business, following the acquisition of DuPont Biomaterials by the Huafon Group. The company says it is creating the sustainable building blocks for customers to make innovative and high-performance, bio-based products accessible globally.  “As a supplier of bio-based materials solutions, we are an important gateway …

What's New?

Dissolving pacemaker just got smarter

June 9, 2022

Just one year ago, Northwestern University scientists introduced the first-ever transient pacemaker—a fully implantable, wireless device that harmlessly dissolves in the body after it’s no longer needed. Now, they have unveiled a new, smart version that is integrated into a coordinated network of four soft, flexible, wireless, wearable sensors and control units placed around the upper body. …

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 …

Features

Major support for smart textile R&D announced

June 27, 2022

Government contracts, historically, have been a major source of funding for research and development in the advanced textiles world. An example of this significant commitment was announced recently with a new program through The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). It has introduced its Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems (SMART ePANTS) initiative to …

Features

Expanding the definition of “textile”

June 9, 2022

When is a material a textile? When is a textile a fabric? The unprecedented scope of new materials in development—by academia, government-funded technology groups, and start-ups—is challenging traditional concepts of fabric formation. How this will impact the larger industry is a useful question to consider.  E-textiles are progressing from “devices” mounted on a fabric structure, …

Features

From concept to market success

May 23, 2022

There is no shortage of innovation in medical textiles, but it remains a persistent challenge to get those great ideas to market. In terms of patents filed, medical technology is showing relatively slow growth among the technology fields—just 6.5 percent during the period 2008–2018, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Around 40 percent …

Features

A startup ecosystem

May 9, 2022

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for, and the benefits of, translational research, which enables startups. “Startups are akin to having new plants and trees in an ecosystem,” says Dr. Atul Parvatiyar, director, Center for Sales & Customer Relationship Excellence at Texas Tech University. “Without new plants and trees, we will have a …

Features

Expanding the possibilities with e-fibers and yarns

April 25, 2022

Electronic or e-yarns are a natural development within e-textiles as the sector strives for greater miniaturization, flexibility and a more seamless integration of electronics and textiles. Emerging, in a relatively short time, is the added value and novelty that it can bring to both smart materials and to yarn development.  Here we look at two …

Features

Progress through collaboration

April 25, 2022

The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) continues to be in the forefront of new developments in technologies for advanced textile systems. Michelle Farrington, vice president of strategic growth for AFFOA, provided several examples of projects with its industry partners. The organization has been working with new textiles for wearable products, including carbon nanotube textile advancements; …

Features

Workforce, supply chain and manufacturing

April 11, 2022

This year’s Smart Fabrics Summit zeroed in on the industry’s most important issues, building a new in-person event with more than 150 attending at North Carolina State University (NC State), its producing partner.  Elena Veety, education director and operations manager, ASSIST Center at NC State, described the university’s center headquartered at the university. However, it …

Features

Sustainability and fibrous substrates

March 28, 2022

While sustainability efforts in the industry may have suffered over the past two years due to the pandemic, supply chain issues and the current crisis in Ukraine, we should not lose our focus on the importance of addressing climate change. A recent report from the Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change …

Features

The end of petrochemical-based fabrics?

March 14, 2022

According to The Nature of Fashion, a 2021 report published by the Biomimicry Institute, over 60 percent of textile fibers are synthetics derived from petrochemicals. Petrochemical fibers, whether made from recycled or virgin feedstocks, will not biodegrade. In addition, the processes used to make these fibers release greenhouse gas (GHG) chemicals and other waste products, which …

Features

A new way with wearables

February 22, 2022

The innovation driving wearables and mass adoption is undeniable. According to Gartner Research, spending on wearable devices grew to $81 billion last year, up 18 percent from 2020. Pew Research reported one out of five Americans used some form of wearable technology regularly in 2020. This trend is inevitable, and eventually, we will all be …

Industry News

OSHA administers $11.7 million in training grants

June 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor will provide a funding opportunity for $11.7 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants to support the delivery of training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Administered by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the grants will target disadvantaged, underserved, low-income, and other hard-to-reach, …

Industry News

Textile groups urge U.S. to maintain penalty tariffs on China

June 16, 2022

The Biden administration should maintain Section 301 penalty tariffs on finished textiles and apparel from China or risk reversing once-in-a-lifetime nearshoring trends and undermining critical investments and jobs in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere, three key American textile manufacturing groups said today. In a formal submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office, which is …

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 …

Out There

Squid-inspired insulating material can be mass produced

May 9, 2022

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have invented a new insulation material designed to shield hands from heat, but, because it can be economically mass produced, the adaptive fabric could potentially have a range of uses. Drawing inspiration from cephalopod (squid) skin, the engineers in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have shown that the …

Out There

NASA to test centrifugal force satellite launcher

April 25, 2022

NASA has agreed to test SpinLaunch’s technology, designed to launch a satellite into space at hypersonic speeds with an electric centrifuge instead of a rocket. The company says that modern carbon fiber is one of the main reasons why the technology was not possible until recently, as the fiber has transitioned to more widespread industrial …

Out There

Lightweight material is stronger than steel

February 21, 2022

Scientists have believed it’s impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets, but using a novel polymerization process, MIT chemical engineers have created a new material that is stronger than steel, as light as plastic, and it can be easily manufactured in large quantities.  According to press information from MIT, the material is a two-dimensional …

Out There

New cooking system operates with a flexible mat

February 3, 2022

Italian company Lapitech has created a cooking system that could be completely concealed under a modern sintered stone kitchen counter. Activated by a high-tech cooking mat, the Lapitec Chef features an electrothermal component developed in collaboration with the University of Padua.  To operate the induction cooking system, the Lapitec Chef silicone mat is placed on …

Out There

“Soft silica” is made from knitted glass

January 24, 2022

Canadian designer Sarah Roseman is working in a new material that straddles the boundary between textile and glasswork. According to a story on designboom.com, Roseman began her research experimenting with knitting glass fibers, working to find innovative and sustainable industry alternatives in materials. The result is a material called “soft silica,” that can be formed into …

Out There

Apparel developed to confuse CCTV recognition algorithms

December 20, 2021

German design studio WertelOberfell, in collaboration with a consortium of technical partners, sought to find a way to protect people from a very modern hazard: CCTVs that are equipped with AI human-recognition algorithms. With today’s sophisticated technology, CCTV doesn’t just record video footage, it also uses artificial intelligence with human detection and facial recognition algorithms to track our behavior …

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 …

What's New?

Textile-based filter could remove carbon dioxide

June 27, 2022

North Carolina State University researchers found they could filter carbon dioxide from air and gas mixtures at promising rates using a proposed new textile-based filter that combines cotton fabric and an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase, one of nature’s tools for speeding chemical reactions. The findings from initial laboratory testing represent a step forward in the development of …

What's New?

Reebok introduces its first adaptive shoes

June 27, 2022

Reebok has teamed up with Zappos Adaptive to launch a sneaker collection specifically designed to empower people with disabilities. Named ‘Fit to Fit’, the adaptive footwear is envisioned for functionality and inclusivity without compromising on style. There are two sneaker models in the collection: the Nanoflex Parafit TR for sports activities, and the Club MEMT Parafit tennis shoe. …

What's New?

Self-powered smart pillow tracks sleep

June 27, 2022

Many people who struggle to get enough sleep could benefit from monitoring their sleep, but they have limited options for doing so. In a new study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, one team describes a potential solution: a self-powering smart pillow that tracks the position of the head. According to a report on the technology in offgridenergyindependence.com, …

What's New?

Dissolving pacemaker just got smarter

June 9, 2022

Just one year ago, Northwestern University scientists introduced the first-ever transient pacemaker—a fully implantable, wireless device that harmlessly dissolves in the body after it’s no longer needed. Now, they have unveiled a new, smart version that is integrated into a coordinated network of four soft, flexible, wireless, wearable sensors and control units placed around the upper body. …

What's New?

PANGAIA and Spiber launch biofabricated hoodie

June 9, 2022

Materials science company PANGAIA, based in London, introduces the fourth capsule within PANGAIA Lab—a limited-edition sweatshirt made in partnership with Japanese biomaterials manufacturing group Spiber Inc., featuring biotech Brewed Protein™ fibers and organic cotton. The company says this is the first time a sweatshirt made from Brewed Protein fibers will be available worldwide. It represents …

What's New?

Smart stent can transmit blood flow data

May 23, 2022

Stents can make a life-saving difference for people with vascular problems because they open up narrowing blood vessels. An experimental new implant is being developed that goes beyond this with the ability to transmit blood flow data remotely to an external computer or mobile device.  The team at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) …

What's New?

Smart skin mimics human skin’s sensing ability

May 9, 2022

Researchers have worked to build a smart skin that can mimic the sensing capabilities of natural skin, but this has been elusive. Now, a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have had success with ionic skins made of flexible, biocompatible hydrogels that use ions to carry an electrical charge.  In contrast …

What's New?

Automated knitting streamlines fabrication of assistive wearables

May 9, 2022

Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have devised a scalable pipeline to computationally design and digitally fabricate soft pneumatic actuators. “PneuAct” has addressed an issue with soft robotics, which have typically required manual design and fabrication, by using a machine-knitting process that operates autonomously. A human designer specifies the stitch and …

What's New?

Student research showcased at the Smart Fabrics Summit

April 11, 2022

With this year’s Smart Fabrics Summit taking place on the campus of North Carolina State University (NC State), another day of activities was added, which included student demonstrations and tours of the Zeis Textiles Extension complex and the Nano-EXtended Textiles lab (NEXT) at the Wilson College of Textiles on the NC State campus.  Zeis director Dr. Andre …

What's New?

A new method for prototyping wearable sensors

April 11, 2022

Engineers at the University of California Berkeley have developed a means that will enable medical researchers to prototype test new wearable sensor designs faster. Typically, researchers would build island-bridge systems using photolithography, but this is a multistep process using light to create patterns on semiconductor wafers that requires a clean room and sophisticated equipment.  The …