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 …

Understanding IP law

February 11, 2019

Advice for innovators from innovators. Editor’s note: I asked select entrepreneurs that I’ve met to answer questions about intellectual property (IP) law and their experiences with it. They are at various stages in their careers or the course of a new enterprise, so they come from different perspectives because of their experiences and level of …

Fire danger!

January 21, 2019

NC State rises to the challenge of developing the next generation wildland fire shelter. The Textile Protection and Comfort Center at North Carolina State University (NC State) has recently completed a project to develop advanced fire blocking materials for wildland fire shelters. Roger Barker, director of the center discussed the three-year-long project at IFAI’s Expo …

Complete comfort

January 9, 2019

A systems approach is needed to meet all the requirements of high-performance garments. Comfort for the human body needs to be comprehensive. This complicates the technologies that are available to reach the ultimate goal of providing physiological, environmental and psychological comfort. A definition that fits technologically well to clothing is a “feeling of relief.” In …

Sustainability successes in textiles

December 17, 2018

Both large picture and incremental changes can have a positive impact. Two major challenges facing the advanced textile industry in its pursuit of sustainability are first, meeting consumer expectations and secondly, meeting global industry standards. This second challenge one might expect to be more straightforward, but for the fact that new information about environmental impacts …

Sustainability in the industry: where do we go next?

December 10, 2018

Textiles are part of a larger, more comprehensive sustainability picture. Sustainability may be understood as a way to judiciously consume resources while leaving, or even enhancing, the availability of resources for future generations. The term “sustainability” has developed a powerful vibe that impacts our society in general and the business community, specifically. Environmental contamination stresses …