IFAI’s first Hackathon yields novel e-textiles products

October 9, 2017

IFAI launched its first “Hackathon” at Expo 2017, challenging registrants to create a new, e-textiles product in just two days—which was actually just twelve hours of work time, as one participant pointed out. Teams of innovators conceptualized and built a functioning prototype for their product using only those materials and tools available to them in …

A long and winding road

The progress of smart fabrics discussed at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference. Smart fabrics, generally defined as textiles that sense and react to various individual stimuli to provide desired effects or benefits, are now entering their third decade. Early smart fabrics relied on specially engineered fibers or finishes, while the digital revolution and the Internet of …

STEM, women and the advanced textile industry

by Marie O’Mahony With the U.S. set to overtake China as the most competitive manufacturing nation within five years, according to a new study by Deloitte Global and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the advanced and smart textile industry has to ensure that it has the skills needed to meet this increasingly high-tech industry. To …

A path forward

September 25, 2017

Today’s trade issues can impact your business in the future.   Editor’s note:  I asked an expert, Nate Bolin, an attorney with the Washington D.C. law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, to answer my questions about trade issues, our featured topic in Advanced Textiles Source this month. Mr. Bolin advises clients on …

A new NAFTA?

September 11, 2017

How trade deals currently in discussion could impact the textile industry As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to improve U.S. trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since taking office and after threatening to withdraw the United States from NAFTA unless its terms were renegotiated, President Trump has cajoled Mexico and …

Fabrics go multifunctional

August 21, 2017

The development of sophisticated functional fabrics has been a phased process. Textiles have evolved from being just commodity materials to providing an array of benefits, including additional comfort and protection, improved hygiene, and supporting healthcare. The innate nature of fibers can provide certain special characteristics—cotton adds breathability and a smooth hand, and wool offers thermal …

Extraordinary workwear

August 7, 2017

VR and AR industries offer high-tech solutions for demanding work environments There was a time when “workwear” meant basically suits and coveralls, but the sector is now recognised as covering a broad field that stretches from spacesuits to medical workers. Providing protection, comfort and identification are standard, but it is challenging for the textile industry …

Antimicrobial use in today’s textile industry

July 24, 2017

Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. Increased use of woven and nonwoven textiles, as well as growing awareness of microbes and their associated healthcare concerns, has been driving demand for antimicrobial use in textile applications. The inclusion of antimicrobials has especially been emphasized in performance and medical textiles where biological burdens …

Sustainable solutions in antimicrobials

With environmental concerns about traditional treatments, the industry works to offer more eco-friendly options. Antimicrobial properties are fast becoming an expected treatment in textiles for applications that range from hospital drapes and linen, to contract and domestic textiles, as well as clothing. While offering protection from germs is a positive, there has been some disquiet …

Rethinking odor control

July 10, 2017

New antimicrobial technologies focus on treatments for ‘permastink.’ It’s everywhere, and it’s not attractive. Permastink—the unpleasant smell that won’t wash out of textile products—has become a topic of conversation for consumers and brands alike. Polyester and other synthetic fibers are the materials of choice for the active performance and athleisure styles consumers now wear throughout …