My Take

Doing business with China

January 10, 2022

by Janet Preus I’ve learned a lot about the textile industry during my time at IFAI. I feel especially good about becoming conversant, at least, in the advanced textiles arena. There are other issues of importance to the textile industry, however, where I am fundamentally lost.  Such as international trade. I can ask intelligent questions …

EcoNote

Flexible, paper-based battery biodegrades in soil

January 10, 2022

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have created a paper-based battery that is fully biodegradable in soil after about a month. The battery could eventually be used in non-disposable, flexible electronic devices and smart fabrics. One version of the battery is just 4 by 4 cm (1.6 in) and can power a small electric fan for …

What's New?

Commercial applications possible for fabric that adapts to sweat

January 10, 2022

Japanese performance material developer Teijin has announced a knitted fabric that it says can “respond to perspiration” to increase breathability and eliminate clamminess. The company says the new “self-adjusting fabric” will come to market in its 2023 fiscal year and predicted it would become a core product for year-round sports and outdoor apparel.  The fabric …

What's New?

High-tech sleeping bag could solve vision issues in space

January 10, 2022

The University Texas Southwestern (UTSW) has been involved in a brain pressure project that NASA says is critical to its mission to Mars. According to press information from UTSW, scientists there have created a sleeping bag designed to help solve vision issues that occur when astronauts experience zero gravity over a prolonged period of time.  …

Feature

New Year, new reasons to know your supply chain

January 10, 2022

New law will impact how textile companies do business with China.  by Nate Bolin On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which will significantly raise the stakes for any company importing from or doing business with China. Most significantly, once the statute fully comes into effect …

What's New?

Mask fabric glows when exposed to traces of the coronavirus

December 20, 2021

Japanese researchers have developed a mask filter that will glow in the dark indicating traces of coronavirus on the mask. Led by Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, Kyoto Prefectural University, the researchers turned to the ostrich for a simple detection system.  Knowing that ostriches can produce various antibodies that can neutralize foreign substances in the body, the team …

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 …

Feature

Life-saving textiles

December 20, 2021

Experts weigh in on the future of the nonwovens market.  by Seshadri Ramkumar Textiles are necessities in our daily lives, but single-use and semi-durable products where nonwoven materials find predominant applications have become absolutely indispensable for hygiene and personal protection. COVID-19 has in fact, strengthened the presence of nonwoven products that quite literally help to …

EcoNote

Floating solar panels studied

December 20, 2021

A consortium led by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) has launched a study on floating, flexible solar energy systems. IDTechEx reports that the system of floating units has been installed in the Fieldlab Green Economy Westvoorne in Oostvoornse Meer lake, near the Maasvlakte, the Netherlands, a harbour and industrial area close to …

What's New?

Infection activates silver nanoparticle wound dressing

December 20, 2021

Although silver is highly effective at killing bacteria, it can also be toxic to humans in large amounts. A new wound dressing has been created that will release its silver nanoparticles only when infections are present. Currently being developed at the University of South Australia, the dressing is intended mainly for use on children with …

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

New Year, new reasons to know your supply chain

January 10, 2022

New law will impact how textile companies do business with China.  by Nate Bolin On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which will significantly raise the stakes for any company importing from or doing business with China. Most significantly, once the statute fully comes into effect …

Feature

Life-saving textiles

December 20, 2021

Experts weigh in on the future of the nonwovens market.  by Seshadri Ramkumar Textiles are necessities in our daily lives, but single-use and semi-durable products where nonwoven materials find predominant applications have become absolutely indispensable for hygiene and personal protection. COVID-19 has in fact, strengthened the presence of nonwoven products that quite literally help to …

Feature

Managing one’s personal climate

December 13, 2021

New materials help to maintain thermal comfort indoors or out.  By Debra Cobb With COP 26 in the rearview mirror, the remediation of climate change remains uncertain. While the struggle to limit global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels will continue, scientists are also looking at ways to mitigate the negative effects of climate change …

Feature

Sustainability and responsibility

November 22, 2021

Advanced Textiles Conference speakers discuss the textile industry’s challenges. by Marie O’Mahony and Janet Preus As world leaders sat down for COP26 in Glasgow, sustainability panelists debated the impact of climate change at IFAI Expo in Nashville. The crisis is a global one, and one where the smart and advanced textiles industry is playing its …

Feature

Understanding the U.S. trade agenda

November 22, 2021

What companies in the advanced textiles industry need to know.  by Janet Preus A panel lead by trade attorney Nate Bolin, partner, DLA Piper, with the Hon. Bill Jackson, asst. U.S. trade representative for textiles, and John Macisso, legal counsel and director of global trade compliance, Albany International Corp., discussed priorities of the Biden administration …

Feature

New problems, new solutions

November 8, 2021

Addressing the challenges of scaling up for e-textiles and other novel materials.  by Janet Preus “We still have the post-development valley of death,” says Clare King, president of Propel LLC. Her company has been involved in developing new smart products for about a decade. “It’s the gap in the transition [from prototype] to scaling up, …

Feature

Textile EPMs and evolving fluorocarbon regulations

October 25, 2021

Regulatory changes are ahead that could affect some textile end product manufacturers, particularly those who switched to shorter-chain C6 chemistries. by Pamela Mills-Senn Keeping abreast of regulations restricting the use of, or banning altogether, of certain chemicals considered carcinogenic can prove challenging for textile end product manufacturers, who are often several steps up the supply …

Feature

Flexible photovoltaics

October 25, 2021

President Biden’s climate agenda includes support for solar energy. by Seshadri Ramkumar The climate change issue is front and center on today’s political stage. The massive budget bill proposed by President Biden includes a climate agenda, which has also thrown a spotlight on the subject. In fact, the passage of the bill may very well …

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 …

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

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 …

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, …

What's New?

High-tech sleeping bag could solve vision issues in space

January 10, 2022

The University Texas Southwestern (UTSW) has been involved in a brain pressure project that NASA says is critical to its mission to Mars. According to press information from UTSW, scientists there have created a sleeping bag designed to help solve vision issues that occur when astronauts experience zero gravity over a prolonged period of time.  …

What's New?

Commercial applications possible for fabric that adapts to sweat

January 10, 2022

Japanese performance material developer Teijin has announced a knitted fabric that it says can “respond to perspiration” to increase breathability and eliminate clamminess. The company says the new “self-adjusting fabric” will come to market in its 2023 fiscal year and predicted it would become a core product for year-round sports and outdoor apparel.  The fabric …

What's New?

Mask fabric glows when exposed to traces of the coronavirus

December 20, 2021

Japanese researchers have developed a mask filter that will glow in the dark indicating traces of coronavirus on the mask. Led by Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, Kyoto Prefectural University, the researchers turned to the ostrich for a simple detection system.  Knowing that ostriches can produce various antibodies that can neutralize foreign substances in the body, the team …

What's New?

Infection activates silver nanoparticle wound dressing

December 20, 2021

Although silver is highly effective at killing bacteria, it can also be toxic to humans in large amounts. A new wound dressing has been created that will release its silver nanoparticles only when infections are present. Currently being developed at the University of South Australia, the dressing is intended mainly for use on children with …

What's New?

NASA heat shield features a new design architecture

December 13, 2021

by Debra Cobb Heat shields are a critical part of vehicles for space exploration, enabling science payloads to safely pass through the atmosphere of distant worlds. NASA’s deployable heat shield design called ADEPT (Adaptable, Deployable, Entry and Placement Technology) is one such component. Key to ADEPT’s success is its ability to be compactly packed for …

What's New?

E-textiles prove their worth in diagnostic medical applications.

December 13, 2021

by Marie O’Mahony Smart textiles are having an increasing impact on medical textiles. In a presentation at IFAI EXPO 2021, Carsten Linti from the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) outlined some of the institute’s R & D in this field. DITF works with more than 1,200 enterprises, 78 percent of which are …

What's New?

Inkjet printing of e-textiles shows promise

November 22, 2021

E-textiles were a prominent topic at IFAI Expo’s Advanced Textiles Conference in Nashville, and as they slowly but surely move into a more mainstream position in the world of advanced textiles, different methods for creating an e-textile have been developed and are currently being researched.  The two main processing strategies to make e-textiles are using …

What's New?

Deployable inflatable robotics have multiple applications

November 8, 2021

Robotics. Flexible robotics. Flexible, inflatable robotics. Deployable, inflatable robotic systems. At each step this method of addressing a range of challenges gets more complex, but the possibilities for its practical uses grow, as well. The fundamental properties are surprisingly similar, but the final implementation in each case is nothing short of ingenious.   In his presentation, …

What's New?

Artificial spider silk could be scaled up for industrial use

October 25, 2021

Spider silk is one of the strongest materials available and researchers have long tried to develop artificial spider silk, in particular for medical and industrial use. In a study published in Materials Today, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) announced that they have developed spider silk that can be …

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 …