Expo News

GlideWear finds new applications in reducing friction

October 16, 2018

A variety of advanced textile products were discussed in sessions during IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15. Caroline Portoghese explained how her company’s product, called GlideWear, offers innovative skin protection by reducing friction and shear to prevent skin tears and blisters. The product has been used by athletes, burn patients wearing compression garments, in wheelchair components …

Expo News

Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his …

Expo News

IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Industry News

Zund America breaks ground on new North American headquarters

October 16, 2018

Zund America Inc. (Zünd) will construct a new North American headquarters in Oak Creek, Wis. The building will include loading docks for shipping and receiving, offices, as well as spaces for product display, customer and employee training, and warehousing for their product and miscellaneous materials that support the installation and servicing of Zünd equipment. The …

Expo News

Useful social media for companies of all sizes

October 15, 2018

Should you bother with social media? Most definitely yes, says Luke Gusman, marketing manager for Sta-Lok Inc., a longtime manufacturer of marine and architectural rigging hardware. Gusman says that no matter how large or small your company, there are five social media platforms that can increase engagement with your product or service and raise your …

Expo News

Successful multigenerational workplaces

October 15, 2018

This is the first time in history that five distinct generations are working in a single workplace, says J. Karl Sherrill Jr., a certified risk manager with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, in his 2018 Expo session “Leading Successful Teams in a Multigenerational Workplace.” “It’s a trend affecting every business,” says Sherrill. “You have people …

Expo News

Sewing tips and tricks

October 15, 2018

One of the trickiest things facing the sewing industry is finding qualified workers. Many new employees may be unfamiliar with the basics of sewing machine operation, says Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham Lake, Minn. In her IFAI Expo session “Sewing Tips and Tricks,” Roberts points out that many young people didn’t grow …

Industry News

Electronic flat knitting expands in Africa

October 15, 2018

The African continent has always played a significant role for Stoll, a manufacturer of flat-knitting machines based in Reutlingen, Germany, says in a recent Knitting Industry article. The company has an agency contract in South Africa dating back more than 35 years, for example, and Stoll machines built in the 1950s and ’60s are still …

Industry News

Construction fabrics market worth $2.26 billion by 2023

October 11, 2018

A new report from MarketsandMarkets predicts the construction fabrics market will grow from $1.47 billion in 2018 to $2.26 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent. The growth of the market can be attributed to the increased demand worldwide for construction fabrics in tensile architecture, awnings and canopies, and facade applications. These fabrics …

Expo News

GlideWear finds new applications in reducing friction

October 16, 2018

A variety of advanced textile products were discussed in sessions during IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15. Caroline Portoghese explained how her company’s product, called GlideWear, offers innovative skin protection by reducing friction and shear to prevent skin tears and blisters. The product has been used by athletes, burn patients wearing compression garments, in wheelchair components …

Expo News

Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his …

Expo News

IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Expo News

Useful social media for companies of all sizes

October 15, 2018

Should you bother with social media? Most definitely yes, says Luke Gusman, marketing manager for Sta-Lok Inc., a longtime manufacturer of marine and architectural rigging hardware. Gusman says that no matter how large or small your company, there are five social media platforms that can increase engagement with your product or service and raise your …

Expo News

Successful multigenerational workplaces

October 15, 2018

This is the first time in history that five distinct generations are working in a single workplace, says J. Karl Sherrill Jr., a certified risk manager with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, in his 2018 Expo session “Leading Successful Teams in a Multigenerational Workplace.” “It’s a trend affecting every business,” says Sherrill. “You have people …

Expo News

Sewing tips and tricks

October 15, 2018

One of the trickiest things facing the sewing industry is finding qualified workers. Many new employees may be unfamiliar with the basics of sewing machine operation, says Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham Lake, Minn. In her IFAI Expo session “Sewing Tips and Tricks,” Roberts points out that many young people didn’t grow …

Expo News

Making connections in smart textiles

September 29, 2017

When E.M. Forster wrote the words “only connect” in his Victorian novel Howards End, he was linking poetry and prose. But the phrase was given new meaning at IFAI Expo’s Advanced Textiles Conference Smart Fabrics Track on Tuesday by presenters who encouraged better connectivity between the textile and electronics industries. One company working to bridge …

Expo News

Best business practices for working with engineers

September 29, 2017

Mike Sullaway, principal engineer, president and owner of Sullaway Engineering Inc. in San Diego, Calif., presented a campfire session “Working with Engineers” at IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Throughout the presentation, Sullaway offered tips and advice on the best ways to go about working on a project with an engineer. How to find …

Expo News

First annual Greater Good Award given to Scott Massey of Awning Cleaning Industries

September 29, 2017

Scott Massey, owner of Awning Cleaning Industries, was awarded the first annual Greater Good Award at the IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Massey’s business is based in New Haven, Conn. The Greater Good Award focuses on an IFAI member company that does good business—and strives to be a good neighbor, good citizen, and …

Featured

Natural fibers, unconventional uses

October 8, 2018

Bio-based technologies show promise in addressing textile sustainability concerns. The introduction of new regulations and standards can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the industry or material group that it is directed at. Europe adopted a European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy earlier this year and is seriously considering the introduction …

Featured

Protecting the protectors

September 24, 2018

The DHS addresses crucial needs with its First Responder PPE Program. First responders—from firefighters to law enforcement to emergency medical services technicians—need to be ready daily to handle any situation they encounter, and they need the appropriate gear to quickly respond to emergencies. They courageously confront risk, drawing on their experience to make sound decisions in …

Featured

HEROES and collaborators

September 24, 2018

Behind every effective PPE are materials designed for specific and critical purposes. When we think of personal protective equipment (PPE), we may first visualize the end applications: a firefighters turnout gear or a soldier’s helmet, perhaps. How these products are constructed is important, but the materials that go into them are equally crucial in making …

Featured

Understanding the protective textiles market

September 10, 2018

Participants can benefit from strong growth predictions when armed with solid information. The protective textiles sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4 percent, according to a recent report by Leeds, U.K.-based WTiN Intelligence Service. Earlier estimates by other market survey agencies, such as Grand View Research, estimated the annual growth rate …

Featured

What textiles could become

August 20, 2018

Three industry leaders talk about innovation in the textile industry and how early adopters impact the development of new technologies and products. IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & TextilesTM” that exists to support those who innovate by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director …

Featured

Tackling wrinkling in advanced textile composites

August 6, 2018

New research shows breakthroughs in solving a persistent challenge in textile composite manufacturing. The birth of the modern composites industry dates back to the introduction of high performance continuous fibers, including aramid and carbon, in the 1960s. Over the years, the increasing availability of such fibers has allowed the rapid development of a range of …

Featured

Tomorrow’s composites

July 23, 2018

The ability to incorporate new materials into composites could open up another world of possibilities. In material science, strength alone is often found to have its limitations so that a combination of hard and soft, rigid and flexible is an area of increasing interest for a wide range of applications from building, to sports equipment, …

Featured

The world of composites

July 9, 2018

Fiber-based composite development sparks special interest. Composites is a high-growth industry and, according to two major market intelligence groups, will reach more than $100 billion by 2022. Paris-based JEC Composites has estimated that this sector grew from $75 billion to $82 billion in one year during 2015-16 and will reach a value of $103 billion …

Featured

Textile-based robots

June 25, 2018

Harvard researchers collaborate in developing soft, wearable robotics for hands. Soft, wearable robotics is an emerging field which looks at methods of enabling functional, powered support to assist human movements using lightweight, low-profile and flexible materials such as textiles. A diverse team of researchers in the Harvard Biodesign Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically …

Featured

Rethinking robotics

June 11, 2018

Soft robotics and exoskeletons offer human-centric solutions. On March 19, 2018, the New York Times ran a headline that said, “Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam.” Although the science of robotics has made impressive strides, robots are having something of a crisis of identity. For more than a century science fiction …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Industry News

Zund America breaks ground on new North American headquarters

October 16, 2018

Zund America Inc. (Zünd) will construct a new North American headquarters in Oak Creek, Wis. The building will include loading docks for shipping and receiving, offices, as well as spaces for product display, customer and employee training, and warehousing for their product and miscellaneous materials that support the installation and servicing of Zünd equipment. The …

Industry News

Electronic flat knitting expands in Africa

October 15, 2018

The African continent has always played a significant role for Stoll, a manufacturer of flat-knitting machines based in Reutlingen, Germany, says in a recent Knitting Industry article. The company has an agency contract in South Africa dating back more than 35 years, for example, and Stoll machines built in the 1950s and ’60s are still …

Industry News

Construction fabrics market worth $2.26 billion by 2023

October 11, 2018

A new report from MarketsandMarkets predicts the construction fabrics market will grow from $1.47 billion in 2018 to $2.26 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent. The growth of the market can be attributed to the increased demand worldwide for construction fabrics in tensile architecture, awnings and canopies, and facade applications. These fabrics …

Industry News

Schoeller celebrates 150 years of textile manufacturing

October 8, 2018

For Swiss company Schoeller Textil, 2018 means celebrating 150 years of textile manufacturing. The textiles solutions company specializes in the development and production of technical fabrics and smart textile finishing technologies. According to the company, it began as Switzerland’s first worsted yarn spinning mill in 1868. Now, for its more than 500 brand partners in …

Industry News

Arc’Teryx debuts film

September 28, 2018

Arc’Teryx, North Vancover, Canada, has debuted “The Science Behind Gore,” one of four short films in the “Who We Are” video series that explores the brand’s heritage, ethos and DNA. The film explores the technology collaborations between Gore and Arc’Teryx that have pushed industry standards forward, as well as the people and processes that continue …

Industry News

Bolger and O’Hearn products on ZDHC list

September 27, 2018

With the recent collaboration between bluesign® and ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), several of the chemistries developed by Bolger and O’Hearn Specialty Chemicals are now listed on the official ZDHC list of sustainable, approved textile industry chemistries. ZDHC is a global sustainability leader at the forefront of phasing out hazardous substances from the supply …

Industry News

Joe Belli retires from Eide Industries

September 26, 2018

After a remarkable career of 37 years with Eide Industries Inc., based in Cerritos, Calif., Joe Belli has announced his retirement, effective September 6, 2018. Belli became part of the Eide team in 1981, ending as president of the company. From the start, he invested his time and abundant energy into building Eide Industries into …

Industry News

Westex by Milliken wins Canadian award

September 24, 2018

Westex® by Milliken announces that the company has won a 2018 Readers’ Choice Award for best protective fabrics, presented by Canadian Occupational Safety magazine. Nearly 1,200 Canadian industry professionals voted in the awards program, in which the company was chosen as one of the top three out of 13 companies vying for the best protective …

Industry News

Mentor Meetings at IFAI Expo

September 21, 2018

Need confidential advice? IFAI is now offering a fully endorsed mentorship program at IFAI Expo 2018. Professional consultations are available by appointment during show floor hours. Book a 30-minute meeting with an impressive lineup of industry experts! This opportunity is open to all attendees and exhibitors and free with any registration type.   Why Seek Mentorship? Mentors become trusted advisers …

Out There

Researchers investigate seeds’ natural “armor”

October 8, 2018

Biomimicry has revealed ways that nature can be copied to create new products and improve existing ones. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire in the U.S. has shown how the seed coats of certain plants could help in the development of flexible materials that are strong and resilient. An article …

Out There

Printing 3D sand: strength and design freedom in concrete

August 20, 2018

Researchers in Switzerland have fabricated a lightweight 80-square-meter concrete slab ceiling that uses 3D sand printing for its formwork. The ceiling consists of 11 segments of Smart Slab, which is 20 millimeters at its thinnest point and is reported to be less than half the weight of a conventional concrete ceiling, although even at half …

Out There

Giant space blanket serves a communal purpose

August 6, 2018

Moscow-based designer Alex Shtanuk will be contributing a piece of space travel nostalgia to the 2018 Burning Man gathering later this summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, while giving festival attendees a place to escape the desert heat. A giant “space blanket” will provide a casual place for festival goers to find a …

Out There

Functioning QR codes are woven into a jacket

July 23, 2018

Artist Julie Helles Ericksen has created a jacket with QR codes woven into it that can access digital information as the wearer shares it. According to Ericksen, “We communicate to others through what we wear, what we post on social media and what we choose to hide. We curate ourselves to present different versions.” Ericksen …

Out There

Wearable controller tracks hand and finger gestures

July 10, 2018

A hand-wearable device called Kai enables the wearer to control any digital device by tracking hand and finger gestures. Human augmentation start-up Vicara has created the device, a smart band that fits over the hand, that’s meant to increase productivity. Kai features gesture-based computer interaction technology that is compatible with any bluetooth-enabled device, including laptops, …

Out There

Facial recognition technology used in adidas display

June 25, 2018

Adidas has commissioned designer Behnaz Farahi to create a display case with the ability to “read” facial expressions and respond to them. According to the designer, the emotive display called “Mesolite” was designed to showcase an adidas concept shoe. The name is a reference to Mesolite crystals, which it closely resembles in its appearance. The project is …

Out There

Textile art pays homage

June 19, 2018

Textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky’s latest creations, a series called Tree Stumps, uses strips of fabric gleaned from her late father’s clothing. The intricately layered detailed forms are an allusion to her father’s body returning to the environment after his passing. Kostianovsky was inspired by Andean people who believe that Mother Earth is embodied in the surrounding …

Out There

Fabric has user-controlled color and pattern function

June 11, 2018

The College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) announces that it has produced a fabric that allows the user to change the color or pattern of the fabric via smartphone. According to the university, CREOL’s ChroMorphous technology can be applied to large, woven fabrics and cut-and-sewn textile products. Each …

Out There

Snake skins used in tribology study at Drexel University

June 11, 2018

A Drexel University professor is studying snakes and their skins to better understand traction and to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints and even footwear. Hisham Abdel-Aal, Ph.D, an associate teaching professor in Drexel University’s College of Engineering, believes that snakes offer an excellent means to study …

Out There

Paradiddle: a 3D-printed drumming prosthesis

June 6, 2018

An open-source 3D-printed upper-extremity prosthesis gives drummers who have lost a hand or arm a new way to play. Working with renowned drummer Greg Anton, who lost his left hand, “Paradiddle” designer Dominic Siguang Ma developed unique features that allow the drummer to play intuitively and comfortably. One of Siguang Ma’s main challenges was to design a mechanism that can …

Expo News

GlideWear finds new applications in reducing friction

October 16, 2018

A variety of advanced textile products were discussed in sessions during IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15. Caroline Portoghese explained how her company’s product, called GlideWear, offers innovative skin protection by reducing friction and shear to prevent skin tears and blisters. The product has been used by athletes, burn patients wearing compression garments, in wheelchair components …

What's New?

NAFTA replacement has textile chapter

October 10, 2018

The United States, Mexico and Canada have concluded negotiations on a trade agreement to replace NAFTA. The text of the deal, referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, was released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. “The U.S. textile industry is pleased the United States, Mexico and Canada have reached an agreement because …

What's New?

Mechanical exoskeleton developed for manual workers

October 8, 2018

Italian technology and innovation company Comau has created MATE (muscular aiding tech exoskeleton), a wearable ergonomic support device that eases the strain of repetitive movements. Developed in collaboration with ÖSSUR, an Icelandic noninvasive orthopedic company, and IUVO, a spin-off company of the Italian BioRobotics Institute specializing in wearable technologies, the MATE Exoskeleton is able to …

What's New?

Origami kayak for two launched

October 1, 2018

Oru Kayak’s latest folding watercraft is a tandem—the first of its kind, says the company. The largest of Oru’s origami-inspired models, the Haven goes from box to water in about 10 minutes, an article on designboom.com reports. Oru chief designer and company co-founder, Anton Willis, explained that the new foldable kayak was “designed with families …

What's New?

Reversible, all-season tent introduced

September 24, 2018

The makers of a new, unique tent call it “revolutionary,” but what may be most revolutionary about the company is what it does with its tents. Billion Bricks Ltd., a Singapore-based nonprofit design and technology studio, says its weatherHYDE tent is the world’s only reversible, all-season, family tent. While campers and outdoor enthusiasts are likely …

What's New?

Wūru Wool brings blister prevention secrets to the U.S.

September 12, 2018

Outdoor and endurance athletes may appreciate the blister-preventative properties of loose lanolin-rich wool, to be available this fall from New Zealand by Salt Lake City based brand, Wūru Wool. While New Zealanders have used loose wool for decades to reduce soreness, minimize blisters, regulate temperature, and keep feet dry, Wuru says that it’s the first …

What's New?

Unique SAF needlefelt nonwoven now available

September 10, 2018

Technical Absorbents has announced the launch of a new superabsorbent fabric. The patent-pending 100 percent SAF needlefelt nonwoven is now commercially available, according to the manufacturer. Superabsorbent SAF™ needlefelt  fabrics latest development is “truly unique,” the company says, containing only SAF and no other synthetic, natural or binder fibers. The company expects it to “open …

What's New?

Carbon nanotubes collect real-world data

September 6, 2018

A team of engineers at the University of Delaware (UD) is developing next-generation smart textiles by creating flexible carbon nanotube composite coatings on a wide range of fibers, including cotton, nylon and wool, an article in Printed Electronics World reports. Their work is documented in ACS Sensors and demonstrates that the sensors have the ability …

What's New?

SensationWool Sock for pain relief is introduced

September 5, 2018

A recent release announced the introduction of Kentwool’s Sensationwool Sock, a therapeutic sock designed for the relief of foot pain. The new sock features the company’s combination of superfine Merino wool with Nufabrx nylon, which is infused with capsaicin and a synthetic cooling agent. This combination of warming and cooling ingredients aims to provide temporary …

What's New?

Graphene-coated jacket prototypes released

August 30, 2018

Graphene is invisible and a single atom thick, yet reported to be the strongest, most conductive and lightest material ever discovered. But it is also expensive to produce at scale, difficult to work with and is found primarily in research labs. Despite the hurdles of working with the substance, Vollebak is releasing graphene-coated jackets as …