This page was printed from

How can a textile be protective?

My Take | September 10, 2018 | By:

For the uninitiated, the idea that fabric can be “protective” may seem like an oxymoron. We know, however, that protective textiles of many kinds play crucial roles in a range of applications. But that’s hardly news to you. What may be news is the growth of the safety and protective textiles market: strong, steady and out-pacing the economies of many developed and developing countries’ economies. When you think of it in those terms, kind of makes you want to know more, doesn’t it?

I invite you look at our new feature, “Understanding the protective textiles market” by Seshadri Ramkumar. It will point you in the right direction to understand where this market is likely headed in the near future, and it will point out some market segments that are so ubiquitous (but nonetheless important) that you may overlook them.

What amazes me is the ability of textiles and textile composites to protect from a staggering array of potentially lethal hazards—and the industry is offering improved versions all the time. Where would we be without anti-ballistic (“bullet-proof”) vests, hazmat suits, antimicrobial fabrics and treatments, and thermal control textile systems, for example? These accomplishments are the result of diligent and, generally, collaborative work that brings government, industry and academia together to solve a safety problem or improve on the existing solution.

One way to be a part of new developments is to get to know the participants who are guiding the R&D and launching better products. A great way to do that is to get to know the Advanced Textiles Products Division of IFAI, which you can do by attending IFAI’s Expo 2018 in Dallas, October 15-18. You can find a summary of the advanced textiles portion of Expo in “IFAI Expo 2018 offers a range of advanced textiles options” and much more detail here:

Yes, that’s a promo for the event and this great group of industry professionals in ATP, but I do hope you’ll also see that I’m serious about promoting both as unique opportunities for you to learn, create and build relationships, and find your way in this complicated and complex market. I’ll be there, and I hope to meet you in person.


Janet Preus is senior editor of Advanced Textiles Source. You can reach her at

Share this Story