Rethinking robotics

June 11, 2018

Soft robotics and exoskeletons offer human-centric solutions. On March 19, 2018, the New York Times ran a headline that said, “Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam.” Although the science of robotics has made impressive strides, robots are having something of a crisis of identity. For more than a century science fiction …

The smart clothes future

May 21, 2018

LOOMIA’s technology launches in major menswear line this fall. While wrist-worn mini-computers are now commonplace, a New York, N.Y.-based company is investing in a different wearables future, where technology is woven directly into clothes. LOOMIA designs and manufactures soft, flexible circuitry that can heat, light, sense and track data, while integrating—seamlessly—into soft goods with its …

Understanding implantable textiles

How textile-based biomaterials and medical devices support human body repair. Textile-based biomaterials or biotextiles have the longest history in the field of biomaterials. In ancient China and Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C., natural fibers such as linen, silk, bark, horsehair and dried guts were used as suture materials for wound closure. The introduction of …

New directions in nonwovens

May 7, 2018

Commercializing innovations and sustainability issues highlighted at recent conference. The nonwovens sector has diversified from being a single-use product industry to an advanced fibrous materials industry. This shift has been underscored by the possible adoption of a new definition for nonwovens: engineered fibrous assembly, based on balloting at the International Organization for Standardization. Regardless of …

Addressing the issues in smart fabrics

IFAI’s Smart Fabrics Summit in Washington attracts a large audience of industry participants. In addition to the presentations, the Smart Fabrics Summit held in Washington D.C. on April 24 proved to be a great way to connect with people in all areas of the smart fabrics industry. The Summit was co-sponsored by the Industrial Fabrics …

U.S. Secretary of Commerce shares insights at Smart Fabric Summit

April 26, 2018

IFAI and the Dept. of Commerce sponsored the event April 24 in Washington, D.C. “I’m taking this up there with me,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told his interviewer, Amit Kapoor, as the two of them stepped on stage for the Secretary’s “fireside chat” at IFAI’s Smart Fabrics Summit April 24. Kapoor is chair …

Developing the xEMU for deep space exploration

April 23, 2018

NASA’s next generation spacesuit will require new textiles to meet extreme demands. Human space exploration is one of the most ambitious and exciting endeavors upon which mankind has ever embarked, and it has always been an integral part of the U.S. space program. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent our first astronaut, Alan …

Active and smart

April 9, 2018

A range of new materials and technologies are adding functionalities to textiles. Textiles are well established as passive materials offering comfort and protection, as well as design and fashion choices. With strong interest in promoting textile manufacturing and enhancing the utility and performance of textiles, efforts have been initiated by academia and government researchers to …

New technologies are redefining today’s textiles

March 26, 2018

From raw materials to manufacturing processes, the word “textile” takes on new meanings. Textile technology is undergoing a revolution, with innovative structures, raw materials and manufacturing platforms creating new fabrics that defy old-school definitions. Introductory textile science classes taught us that textiles were materials that could be woven, knit, crocheted, knotted or felted from yarns …

Textiles in hybrids

March 12, 2018

Manufacturers are finding new ways to enhance product performance with textiles. As the demands made on textiles have increased, the nature of what is defined as “textile” has greatly expanded, often including non-textiles or treating them in a textile manner. Hybrids that bring together different materials and processes can offer the benefit of conventional textiles …