Energy for smart materials and systems

August 12, 2019

New developments address power and its integration into the production process—for whatever applications can be imagined. by Marie O’Mahony The means chosen in energy provision for smart textiles is largely dictated by the application, or, more precisely, the needs and behavior of the user. This is a meaningful development, taking it from the typical questions …

Global standards for e-textiles

July 29, 2019

The European market is influencing open international standards development through IPC. by Chris Jorgensen In spring 2017, companies representing the global e-textiles community formed the IPC D-70 E-Textiles Committee to develop IPC international standards for their industry. As word spread about the committee and its activities, the committee roster grew to more than 150 organizations …

Protecting our protectors

July 15, 2019

Slash resistant clothing can reduce the risk of knife injuries and laceration.  by Robert Kaiser People throughout history have sought and found the means to protect themselves with specially designed and constructed garments. From furs and chainmail, to leather, metals or fabric, a range of materials has been used creatively to protect against injury or …

Progress in e-textile standards

Organizers push for industry participation in the ongoing process. By Janet Preus Work is well underway, progress has been reported, and new initiatives have been launched. At IFAI’s Smart Fabrics Virtual Summit this spring, presenters Chris Jorgensen, IPC, and Stephanie Rodgers, Apex Mills, provided a comprehensive update on the development of international standards for e-textiles. …

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 …