It’s what you don’t see

February 8, 2021

by Janet Preus When you slam a car door (which you’re not supposed to do, but we all do it now and then), you may notice how loud the door slam is, or is not. If it’s quiet, it’s because there are high quality acoustic textile materials carefully placed to absorb the sound and keep …

New Year’s magic

January 11, 2021

by Janet Preus There were four of us sitting by a bonfire in front of our cabin late on New Year’s Day. It was miraculously warm for early January in Minnesota. On another recent New Year’s, we entertained ourselves by running outside and throwing a cup of boiling water in the air for the fun …

Yes, you have to wear your mittens

December 7, 2020

I grew up in a part of Minnesota that can have snow on the ground from late October into May. Temperatures have been known to hit minus-30° F. Or colder. When we played outside, we got a lot of exercise just moving at all in our snowsuits, scarves, hats, puffy mittens and snow boots. Playing outside …

Unprecedented

November 9, 2020

by Janet Preus We’ve heard that word a lot in the last few months. Unprecedented. More than I would like to, in fact, and now we can add IFAI’s Expo 2020 to the “unprecedented” category. For one thing, it’s continuing over two weeks, so I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of ok with …

DIY comes to e-textiles

October 12, 2020

by Janet Preus I’ve written about e-textiles numerous times over the past few years. There’s a reason for that. At first it was my own fascination with a technology which could transform a host of textile products. (I may still have my heated socks that required wires running up my leg, attached to two “D” …

Changing the subject

August 10, 2020

by Janet Preus Do you find that every conversation either starts or ends with one of two subjects: the pandemic or politics? Or both? It’s understandable that those of us in the textile industry would be preoccupied with addressing the needs of a world crisis, created by this insidious virus called COVID-19. Textiles have had, …

Getting greener all the time

July 13, 2020

By Janet Preus Sustainability is a broad topic, even when it’s narrowed down to industrial textiles. It includes everything from assuring the health and safety of workers, to recycling fabric waste, to sourcing from “green” suppliers and more. The importance of sustainability in the industry is not waning—even during the pandemic, but the focus seems …

What I can do

June 22, 2020

by Janet Preus We are far enough into this pandemic to realize it’s not going to be over soon. The need for face coverings for the general population, never mind the continuing shortage of PPE for health care workers and first responders, is growing, not shrinking. We are also learning more about how the coronavirus …

Beyond masks

May 11, 2020

by Janet Preus Did you ever imagine that you would wear a mask every single time you stepped out of your house or apartment? Every single time you might interact with people other than the ones at your supper table or on your living room sofa? I still don’t own a reusable mask. My children …

Uncertainty

April 13, 2020

by Janet Preus If there is one thing that we all have in common today, it must be this: uncertainty. We can figure out how to recover from a terrorist attack, economic crises and international conflicts. But a pandemic like COVID-19 is unlike any foe we’ve ever faced. We’ve learned a lot in the weeks …