Bringing innovative textiles to market

June 24, 2019

Partnerships all along the supply chain lend critical support in achieving goals.  by Marie O’Mahony Rita McGrath, associate professor at Columbia Business School, advises that “change is not the dangerous thing, stability is.” In this second of two articles on innovation, the focus is on factors that can influence the way that innovative textiles come to market. …

When innovation succeeds

June 10, 2019

Collaborative, long-term efforts produce successful new products and applications. by Marie O’Mahony Harvard professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), Clayton M. Christensen, identified two forms of innovation: sustaining and disruptive. The former he classifies as that which improves product performance, while the latter introduces a very different value proposition to what was previously …

Soft robotics pair with textile technologies

May 20, 2019

New shape memory capabilities have application in several markets. At last week’s Smart Fabrics Virtual Summit, sponsored by IFAI, Brad Holschuh, Ph.D., assistant professor of wearable technology and apparel design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN), gave a presentation titled, “Soft-Robotic Textiles Using Integrated Active Materials.” In his talk, he …

Growth meets change in protective textiles

Innovating and commercializing to participate in future opportunities. by Seshadri Ramkumar The textiles sector has been reshaping itself due to the increasing cost of raw materials, sustainability issues, labor costs and regulatory issues. These, in a way, have been a boon to the traditional textiles sector, prompting more diverse products and value-added products with industry …

Almost invisible

May 6, 2019

Protecting the military today requires sophisticated, multifaceted camouflage solutions.  by Marie O’Mahony New fabric developments in camouflage, as well as innovative design approaches, are taking textiles to another level of protection for military applications. In recent years, a great deal of discussion has been given to digital camouflage and its perceived success or failure. While …

Wearables with freedom

April 22, 2019

Movement and health monitoring enters the next generation. Editor’s note: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) have had a series of breakthroughs in technologies that will improve health and wellness monitoring in smart garments. This article is a compilation of reports on this topic that were released by the university in recent …

E-textiles in health monitoring

April 8, 2019

The potential, progress and challenges for next generation smart garments. Among the many benefits promised by the smart fabric revolution has been the “consumerization of health care.” Wearables are enabling the remote monitoring of a wide range of chronic medical conditions, from diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF) to symptoms of disease, …

Hidden textiles

March 25, 2019

Infrastructure and construction textiles grow in importance and focus on more sustainable alternatives. Infrastructure textiles are an important, but often overlooked, category within advanced textiles, but these functional fibrous structures are gaining importance. The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) reports that construction textiles are a growth area. In its 2018 State of the Industry …

Smart architecture

March 11, 2019

New forms offer promising small-scale, smart fabric applications. The intense focus on IoT as the panacea for smart buildings may be premature, and instead it could be time to pay more attention to smaller, more achievable steps that will ultimately feed into the greater complexity. For advanced textiles, it affords an opportunity for innovation and …

Communicating with your attorney

February 25, 2019

Tips for working effectively with your intellectual property counsel. Preparation for meeting with counsel and healthy communication can help maximize an inventor’s intellectual property protections. For example, when seeking patent protection, inventors should always think carefully about the “big picture” benefit offered by their invention and communicate that benefit to their patent attorney. This ensures …