Fashion and function

February 7, 2014

When Mercedes-Benz runs a commercial featuring a special suit that lights up to reflect the emotions of the driver, in real time, during his driving experience, we may think “silly” or “spectacular.” But the fact is, the technology that powers the suit is not substantially different from the technology that could power a warfighter’s gear …

Powered, not wired

January 11, 2014

The expectations for e-textiles and wearable technology are broad and significant. The research is yielding more promising—and practical—innovations at a fairly regular clip. We are not talking wires here. (My hunting socks with wires across the toes that run to a C-cell battery pack come to mind. Sitting in a deer stand was fine. Walking …

Button up your overcoat. And leave it buttoned.

December 10, 2013

When I was a kid and we’d go to our Northern Minnesota cabin in the winter, my mom would bundle us up in woolen snow pants and jackets that she pulled out of mothballed storage trunks. We smelled mighty powerful for a bit, but a few snow angels or tumbles off the toboggan took care …

The new paradigm

November 12, 2013

The discussion of good for business versus good for the environment is shifting slowly—but surely. Perhaps a better question today is, if it’s not sustainable, can it be commercialized? Does anyone spend time and money on researching new technologies that are counter to today’s environmental guidelines or mandates? Does anyone launch a new product into …

What’s the holdup?

October 8, 2013

Try Googling “photovoltaic fabrics” sometime. The first page will yield articles from 2010. Solar collector technology (the kind you might see on the roof of a house) I’ve been told has not changed substantially since I bought a house with an active solar heating system in 1979.

Copper coins and moldy bread

September 10, 2013

The use of what we now call antimicrobials has been around for centuries, although our understanding and ability to make use of the technology is dramatically more sophisticated than the ancient Greek’s (and other cultures’) method of applying moldy bread to a wound. The gods, rather than disease-killing chemicals, were likely credited with this treatment’s …

Same technologies, new markets

August 13, 2013

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? You already have this fantastic technology that’s been tested, prototyped and the first product launched. There’s quite a lot you can do with that one product, if that’s what it is: once it’s on the market somewhere, there’s the potential to find new markets elsewhere. But at some point, you …

From the editor

July 1, 2013

Welcome to Advanced Textiles Source, published by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Our goal is to be the source for relevant, engaging and timely content in an attractive and easily consumable format. There is a place to fill in the advanced textiles world between tightly focused and highly technological information, and general consumer news …