From fiber to final product

September 14, 2020

Wearables become more commercially viable with conductive fiber technology.   By Marie O’Mahony Fibers that offer sensing with purpose have been given a more determined emphasis with the current pandemic. Like many smart materials and wearable technologies, there may be many exciting advances, but finding an application as equally forward looking can be challenging. Some recent …

Textiles and 3D technology

August 24, 2020

What it will take to make 3D printed textiles viable in the industry.  by Kony Chatterjee and Tushar K. Ghosh The advent of 3D printing (3DP) has drawn considerable interest from academia, industry and amateur hobbyists as a novel method of producing objects layer-by-layer (lbl) via a bottom-up manufacturing approach. This method of “additive” manufacturing (used …

3D printing comes into its own

August 10, 2020

New collaborations sparked by COVID-19 are set to support growth for the sector. by Seshadri Ramkumar The shortage of personnel protective equipment (PPE) has spearheaded creative efforts around the world, with researchers working to produce new PPE products in an effort to meet the needs fueled by the pandemic. 3D printing has also supported the …

A “pandemic” of plastic PPE

July 27, 2020

How COVID-19 is driving the development of a more sustainable kind of PPE. by Debra Cobb From community masks and health workers’ kits, to hospital gowns, drapes and wraps, disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) is playing a critical role in our battle against COVID-19 infections. But what about the mountain of disposable PPE, which is …

Textiles, sports and sustainability

July 13, 2020

Major brands have led initiatives to improve sustainability in the textile industry.  by Marie O’Mahony The sports industry has become one of the leading drivers of sustainability in textiles, after having got off to a slow start initially. Designers, such as Stella McCartney with her longstanding relationship with global sports brand adidas®, have played an …

The evolving business of PPE

June 22, 2020

As information on coronavirus becomes available, face covers and PPE specifications and standards should be developed in response.  by Seshadri Ramkumar On June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued a statewide order mandating face cover use in public places and areas where social distancing is not feasible. Although a brief description of “face covers” …

Wearing your medicine

June 8, 2020

The future of drug delivery via clothing is here. by Janet Preus Presentations at IFAI’S Smart Fabrics Conference in April reflected a range of topics in the growing field of smart fabrics. In a session titled, “Clothing: The Next Frontier for Drug Delivery,” Nufabrx founder and CEO Jordan Schindler explained that we could soon make …

The basics and the alternatives

May 25, 2020

A multidisciplinary approach to innovations in PPE could support needed development.  by Seshadri Ramkumar  Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) are important and even mandatory procurements under any circumstance. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for the development of a variety of items, including new materials to be used in medical, consumer and defense products. The …

Novel fabric structures

May 11, 2020

New materials and compositions for fabrics spur innovative products. by Marie O’Mahony Health and safety are proving to be key drivers for innovative new fabric structures. These can prompt new designs in existing products and devices, or even whole new products. This is possible with imagination, expertise and an openness to look for solutions outside …

Textile innovations move to the mainstream

April 27, 2020

Once confined to elite sports and fitness, high-tech apparel textiles are becoming the norm.  by Debra Cobb The popularity of sport and fitness brands has grown with innovation on the part of high-tech textile and technology companies. Now these functional textiles, once enjoyed only by elite athletes and uniformed personnel, are becoming the norm for …