Ubiquitous, for good reason

July 9, 2018

I’m going to guess that you use some kind of textile composite every single day—maybe many times a day. (Here’s a hint: if you’re caring for a baby or small child, it’s even more likely.) We are dependent upon textiles being a part of the material makeup of flexible composites (obviously) and rigid composites (not …

Sharing the future with robotics

June 11, 2018

“Robot.” What comes to mind? An R2-D2-type character? Something encased in metal that traverses the terrain in a clearly non-human way? Maybe you picture a sci-fi movie depicting an AI character so smart that it overthrows the human characters in a dramatic coup. Time to rethink that picture in your head and replace it with a …

Measuring success

May 7, 2018

The Smart Fabrics Summit April 24 in Washington, D.C., was a highly successful event in my opinion, and I’m not just saying that because IFAI was one of the sponsors. I came home grateful that I had had the opportunity to be there. Of course, my ultimate agenda—information I can turn into news—is different from …

How textiles get smarter

April 9, 2018

Advanced Textiles Source was launched to provide information about the most sophisticated textiles in the industry, and, specifically, new developments and trends in materials, technologies and end products. Increasingly, I find myself talking about smart fabrics as research in this segment is expanding at an impressive rate, and breakthroughs are announced with some regularity. Part of …

What is a textile?

March 12, 2018

Easy answers: woven, knit or felted materials, generally composed of yarn or fibers. Hmm. Nonwovens, then? Same deal, only not knitted or woven. Sometimes. Felted, then? How about films? Plastics, generally? Shall I go on? Regardless of your take on this question, I would challenge you to find two dictionary definitions of the word “textile” …

NASA wants you!

February 12, 2018

About a week ago, SpaceX successfully launched its first Falcon Heavy booster. The private aerospace company may now claim ownership of the most powerful rocket, launched from the same site in Florida that was used for NASA’s Apollo missions. As much as it was a successful flight, the rocket’s second stage sent the rocket’s payload …

Collaboration is where it’s at

January 8, 2018

We’re going to start this year out with a one-question test: Name five institutions of higher learning/research institutions that have industry partners. You have 20 seconds. Go. Done? Maybe some of you named more than five. Maybe as many as 10. With a longer time limit, you might have been able to fill a page …

Eco news increases

December 11, 2017

This month we’re talking specifically about issues of sustainability. In fact, we talk about this all the time, posting stories most often under our “Eco Note” tab. When I was putting together our newsletter, I was struck by the fact that I could easily post all “Eco Note” stories this time—relevant, timely and varied, but …

Getting down to business

November 20, 2017

A good portion of this website is filled with product information, including materials, end products and the companies who make them. Sometimes, however, we should talk business, because if we don’t, all these great products may not survive in the marketplace—or even have the opportunity to try. A company needs to research the market to …

Smart and getting smarter

October 9, 2017

This year’s IFAI Expo had to have been the largest ever Advanced Textiles Conference and show floor in terms of participants. That’s just my own anecdotal evidence, at this point, but I’ve been to the AT events every year, and I’m betting that Expo statistics will back me up. There was special emphasis this year …