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 …

What water bears and textiles could have in common one day

March 9, 2020

by Janet Preus I’ve noticed an interesting trend in fiber materials. While there have been amazing new fibers, yarns and fabrics created and manufactured, there has also been renewed interest in natural materials that have been around for a very long time. Not sure anybody knows exactly when cotton balls first became swaths of fabric, …

Trade: Bring in the experts

February 24, 2020

by Janet Preus I would not qualify as an expert in textile technology, but for topics discussed in our features, I can generally come up with a correlation that makes sense and provides some illumination from a journalist’s perspective. Then there’s international trade. I’m going to have to go way back in my history and …

The things people come up with!

January 13, 2020

by Janet Preus That sustainability is a powerful driver for new innovations in textiles is not altogether surprising for those of us who have been observing the industry for several years. What always surprises me, though, is the innovations themselves. The ways researchers and business innovators accomplish new sustainability advances—the research itself, the prototypes, the …

Really good gets even better

December 16, 2019

by Janet Preus First of all, if you’re not just a little bit amazed that a textile (a textile!) can protect from fire, hazardous chemicals, high heat and other dangers, you are either so immersed in the protective products industry that it’s routine for you, or you’ve never had the opportunity to take note of …

Upping the ante

November 11, 2019

by Janet Preus The trend toward multi-functional capabilities in textiles is pretty well established now. Not all fabrics have to do all things, but the more advanced a textile is, the more likely it is to require more than one functionality. Just to be clear about the terminology. I’m using “functionality” in a broad sense; …