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 …

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 …