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The right word

August 20th, 2018 / By: / My Take

As a writer it’s irksome to run out of words to say what you want to say. I don’t run out of words, generally, but sometimes I can’t find just the right word to say exactly what I mean. In the English language, you would think that would never happen, but I use a handful of the same words over and over when I talk about what’s new in textiles.

One of them is “innovation.”

Advanced textiles are never boring. There’s always something new (innovative) happening, and I never run out topics for our features. But I did reach the point where I wanted to talk about that word “innovation.” The approach I chose was to ask three industry innovators (there it is again) to talk about how early adopters impact product development and success. I could never have imagined such different approaches in their answers! And all of them fascinating.

But that was just the beginning. It’s kind of impossible to rein in people who are so deeply invested in the advanced textiles industry, both in its past and most definitely in its future. The conversations were wide-ranging and insightful. Each conversation could have been its own feature, but I thought it would be especially interesting to see how they could be woven (knitted?) together into one unique “cloth.” Could be … innovative, right?

You don’t have to tell me that there were many more sources I could have used. Many more. And I bet that if I asked another three industry experts (or five or ten more) I’d get as many new “takes” on the subject. I also think there would be consensus on some points, too – especially the challenges facing innovative businesses, products and technologies. (Can you think of a better word to use in that last sentence? Bet you can’t.)

I hope you’ll read “What textiles could become,” and you’ll offer comments on the topic. Please feel free to contact me, as well. I’m always looking for new perspectives—as well as just the right words to talk about them.


Janet Preus is senior editor of Advanced Textiles Source. She can be reached at