Trade deals and hurricanes

September 11, 2017

It’s hard not to talk about hurricanes as I write this. Irma is churning its way up the length of Florida, Jose is hot on its heels and Texas residents are a long ways from recovering their lives after Harvey’s devastation. I’m also thinking of all the textile products that help protect people and property …

Virtually amazing

August 7, 2017

When I assigned an article on multi-functionality in protective textiles, little did I know that we’d be talking about virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) gaming technologies. But we are. It’s the sort of article that I am more likely to place under our “Out There” tab. That’s where the really novel, sometimes quirky, …

What’s that smell?

July 10, 2017

There have been antimicrobial and antibacterial treatments available for textiles for some time now, and they’re effective against a variety of serious pathogens. It’s understandable that the textile industry has focused on tackling dangerous infections rather than … well, stinky clothes. One might expect that a treatment that can kill microbes that cause illness and …

What can’t nonwovens do?

June 12, 2017

When I started working as a writer and editor in the specialty fabrics industry, “nonwoven” meant an engineered textile that was used in a disposable end product: diapers and wet wipes – that sort of thing. Disposable nonwovens were (and are) a huge market. (How many parents use cloth diapers these days?) One of the …

On a larger scale

May 9, 2017

Keeping a person warm, cooled and therefore safe in extreme environmental conditions is no small matter. I speak from personal experience, as I have a lake cabin in northern Minnesota. The temperature has been known to hit -40°F. Don’t even think about the wind chill index at that temperature. Of course, I don’t think about …

What to do when

April 7, 2017

Patent law – in fact, understanding the broader topic of intellectual property protection – is complicated and virtually impossible to cover in a single article. But we can point you in a direction and get you started on the right path in a single article, which is exactly what patent lawyer David Crowe has done …

‘Smart’ has caché

March 10, 2017

I admit it. I was drawn to advanced textiles because of “e-textiles.” That was the only kind of smart textile yet developed, at least that I knew about. I’ve since learned that there are many kinds of advanced textiles with “whiz-bang” appeal. In fact, just about every day I hear of a new technology, fiber or …

As natural as breathing

February 10, 2017

All moving things generate kinetic energy. Ok, that’s obvious. … The human body itself is a reliable source of energy. Not the first thing that jumps to mind. … The most consistent energy source in our body is … breathing. Let that settle for a minute, and then read our feature, “Textile integration of piezoelectric …

The “magic” of carbon fiber

January 6, 2017

I read up on carbon fiber basics to write this, even though I’ve been covering carbon fiber, its uses and products, for several years. I still don’t quite understand why it’s so strong and lightweight, but I suppose that’s a little like asking why the sky is blue. There is an explanation, but I probably …

Making medical miracles

December 9, 2016

When you think about it, it’s so logical. Of course the textiles industry would be a critical participant in responding to the needs of modern medicine. High performance textiles are everywhere in this environment, from the scrubs and lab coats worn by every health care provider to privacy curtains and disposable drapes in hospitals and …