News

Deadline Extended for Steve Lukos Memorial Education Scholarship

September 16, 2021

The Steve Lukos Memorial Education Scholarship, to honor the career of Steve Lukos in the industrial textiles industry, has been extended to Monday, October 4.  Steve Lukos was known as a hardworking, intelligent—a bit on the stubborn side—and innovator that refused to settle for anything less than perfection. He is noted as giving generously to …

News

IFAI launches first podcast

September 14, 2021

IFAI Talking Textiles The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) recently launched IFAI Talking Textiles, a podcast hosted by the IFAI Canada and the Advanced Textiles Products divisions.   One episode will be available each month featuring interviews with members in the Canadian and advanced textile markets. “The Canada division wanted to offer content specific to …

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. …

In the Industry

Coal ash fiber company launches fundraising campaign

September 13, 2021

GCS Fibers, an environmentally friendly manufacturer based in Virginia, announces the launch of an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for its growth in the U.S. and international markets. The company’s patented technology produces high quality, non-toxic mineral fiber through repurposing coal ash. GCS is seeking to raise $3.5 million to expand operations and build as many as …

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?

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 …

EcoNote

Footwear maker reaches net-zero emissions

September 13, 2021

Twisted X®, a Twisted X Global Brands company, and maker of sustainable footwear, announces that the company has reached net-zero emissions and is furthering its commitment to maintaining carbon neutrality. This qualification comes after assessing 2020 emissions from business operations at their headquarter offices in Texas, contract factories in Mexico and Asia, and third-party distribution …

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 …

Company News

Indorama Ventures to acquire Oxiteno

August 25, 2021

Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), a global chemicals producer, has agreed to acquire Brazil-based Oxiteno S.A. Indústria e Comércio, a subsidiary of Ultrapar Participações S.A. The acquisition gives IVL a unique portfolio in high-value surfactants and significantly extends its existing Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) business. Oxiteno is a leading integrated surfactants producer and …

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

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 …

Feature

Giving gloves their due

May 10, 2021

Specialized hand protection covers a range of work environments.  by Dr. Marie O’Mahony The specialty glove market is highly diverse, ranging from disposable products to ones that protect against extreme environments, or cuts and other trauma dangers. In addition to the technical challenges, which are to be expected, the market is increasingly dealing with issues …

Feature

Gaining warfighter advantage with flexible hybrid electronics

April 26, 2021

FHEs and advanced textiles are a natural fit for sensing applications.  by Ed Hendricks Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) technology combines the flexibility and low cost of printed electronics technology with the performance of semiconductor devices to create a new category of electronics. No longer constrained by rigid, bulky and non-conforming printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), …

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

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 …

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 …

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 …

What's New?

Ultrasound patch could detect heart attack or stroke danger

August 9, 2021

A skin patch that sends ultrasound pulses into the wearer’s body has been developed that could offer an early warning system for cardiovascular problems. It is generally accepted that the earlier someone receives care for a heart attack or stroke, the better the chances for recovery.  Newatlas.com reports that the device, created at the University …

What's New?

Biodegradable patch could help heal broken bones

July 26, 2021

Scientists have studied the use of electricity in healing wounds, including bone fractures, but as that requires surgically implanting and removing electrodes powered by an external source, a better means of delivering electricity to bones was needed. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have now developed that needed improvement in the form of a biodegradable …

What's New?

Nextiles launches smart fabric software development kit

July 26, 2021

Textile manufacturing startup Nextiles is launching a Software Development Kit (SDK) that will allow a variety of industries to have access to their novel human movement analytics captured through Nextiles’ smart fabric. The company blends traditional sewing techniques with printed circuit boards to create a smart fabric that allows for biomechanic and biometric sensing. Industry …