Doing business with China

January 10, 2022

by Janet Preus I’ve learned a lot about the textile industry during my time at IFAI. I feel especially good about becoming conversant, at least, in the advanced textiles arena. There are other issues of importance to the textile industry, however, where I am fundamentally lost.  Such as international trade. I can ask intelligent questions …

Hot and cold

December 13, 2021

by Janet Preus The level of thermal management possible in textiles today is, quite literally, out of this world. The requirements of NASA and other enterprises venturing beyond earth have driven development of extraordinary materials that tolerate the extreme environment in Space.  But for most of us, it’s a little hard to wrap our heads …

Way outside the box

November 8, 2021

by Janet Preus “My mind is blown,” said one attendee. I’m sure others might have said the same thing, but as she is already a force in the advanced textiles industry, just her saying it blew my mind, too. It followed a presentation that may have been the most novel I’ve seen at Expo since …

Using what’s available

October 11, 2021

By Janet Preus Scientists know that the body generates a lot of energy, and if that energy could be harvested efficiently, a person could conceivably provide the energy needed to power devices he or she is carrying. For workers in the field, warfighters, athletes, people with medical conditions and others, this kind of technology could …

Catching up with nature

September 27, 2021

by Janet Preus A relatively new success story in the world of advanced textiles is that of phase change materials. They’ve even earned their own acronym – PCMs, which, in fact covers quite a range of materials designed to provide specific functionalities by responding to various environmental conditions. At the heart of PCMs are the …

Breakthroughs don’t happen overnight

August 9, 2021

by Janet Preus I have often thought that I would have liked being a foreign correspondent for a news service. That would be in my younger days. In fact, I would have volunteered to cover stories in areas of conflict, which is the only scenario where I can see myself wearing body armor, but you …

The new Space race

July 12, 2021

by Janet Preus The U.S. has been seriously engaged in space exploration since 1958 with the founding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA as we all know it. That act of Congress followed the 1957 launching of the satellite Sputnik by the Soviet Union.  And the space race was on.  I stood …

Essentially hidden

June 14, 2021

by Janet Preus Several years ago, IFAI Expo co-located with the composites show, JEC. The IFAI board chair took me around the JEC show floor, introduced me to some of the company representatives there and explained a bit more about why these two shows were a fit.  “All composites have textiles in them,” he said, …

Take care—of your hands

May 10, 2021

by Janet Preus An elderly woman I knew long ago once worked at a place she just called “Hands.” I know the workers didn’t make much money, but I think they were mostly elderly, female and enjoyed the socializing as much as anything. It was all “hand work,” and I’ve thought now and then about …

Acronyms and quotation marks

April 12, 2021

by Janet Preus Not that many years ago, the phrase “flexible hybrid electronics” didn’t exist. One can say this about a variety of textile-related phrases. Some might argue that FHEs, as they’re abbreviated, are not really a textile product at all, and technically they may be right in many cases. But FHEs are, in fact, …