Robotic tail for humans developed

August 23, 2019

Researchers at Keio University in Japan have developed “Arque,” a robotic tail that humans can wear to improve balance. The device was informed by the ways animals passively use their tails to shift their center of gravity. Arque consists of interlocking plastic vertebrae that use a spring-based structure to handle shearing and tangential forces. Each vertebra is controlled …

Lunar landing anniversary marked with special socks

August 19, 2019

EnerWear marked the 50th anniversary of the first mission to the moon by creating their “Lunar Lander” socks, made with patented Outlast fabric that was tested in Space. A recent news release from the company says the new socks are crafted from phase-changing materials that can absorb, store and release heat for thermal comfort. The …

“Black Hole” bags made from plastic bottles launched

August 16, 2019

Patagonia has unveiled a new range of bags made from recycled plastic bottles, which made up 100 percent of the body fabric and webbing for the companies “Black Hole” bags. The Black Hole line is part of Patagonia’s commitment to move toward 100 percent renewable and recycled raw materials. The company’s goal is to be carbon neutral …

Global Footwear Sustainability Summit in Shanghai

August 15, 2019

The eighth Global Footwear Sustainability Summit will be held August 29–31, 2019, at the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao. The event’s organizer, Shanghai-based Copex Global, says the summit is expected to attract more than 300 participants from the management of global footwear brand companies, as well as senior executives from sourcing, corporate social responsibility(CSR) and supply chain …

Glen Raven announces new chief marketing officer

August 13, 2019

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, makers of Sunbrella®, announced the hiring of Steve Pawl as its first chief marketing officer. Pawl has a track record of developing growth strategies and strengthening brands for global companies including Husqvarna Group, Fruit of the Loom, Newell Brands and Pfizer. He will direct the global brand strategy, positioning and activation …

Scientists test “artificial muscle”

August 12, 2019

A group of researchers from China and the U.S. have enabled a foil paper doll to do sit-ups, by adding a crystalline organic material to a polymer to make it more flexible. The polymer covalent organic framework, or polyCOF, was used by the scientists to build their version of an artificial muscle. To make conventional COFs, the scientists …

Touch-sensitive robotic e-skin developed

Robots and prosthetic devices may soon have a sense of touch equivalent to, or better than, the human skin with the Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin (ACES), an artificial nervous system developed by a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Sciencedaily.com reports that the new material has high responsiveness and robustness to …

AATCC offers textile testing workshop

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) will present the Introduction to Textile Testing Workshop Sept. 25–26, 2019, at the organization’s headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The workshop is designed for people who are responsible for product evaluation, specifications and quality control for apparel and textile materials. According to information from the …

Energy for smart materials and systems

New developments address power and its integration into the production process—for whatever applications can be imagined. by Marie O’Mahony The means chosen in energy provision for smart textiles is largely dictated by the application, or, more precisely, the needs and behavior of the user. This is a meaningful development, taking it from the typical questions …

Conductive origami creates novel light switch

Industrial designer Yael Akirav has explored a new way of turning on light fixtures by using 3D printing of conductive filament directly on a textile, which is then folded using origami techniques. When the printed material conducts electricity, the origami-like intersecting folds of the fabric turn on the light by contracting and stretching the structure. The rigid printing onto …