Trade deals and hurricanes

September 11, 2017

It’s hard not to talk about hurricanes as I write this. Irma is churning its way up the length of Florida, Jose is hot on its heels and Texas residents are a long ways from recovering their lives after Harvey’s devastation. I’m also thinking of all the textile products that help protect people and property …

Virtually amazing

August 7, 2017

When I assigned an article on multi-functionality in protective textiles, little did I know that we’d be talking about virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) gaming technologies. But we are. It’s the sort of article that I am more likely to place under our “Out There” tab. That’s where the really novel, sometimes quirky, …

What’s that smell?

July 10, 2017

There have been antimicrobial and antibacterial treatments available for textiles for some time now, and they’re effective against a variety of serious pathogens. It’s understandable that the textile industry has focused on tackling dangerous infections rather than … well, stinky clothes. One might expect that a treatment that can kill microbes that cause illness and …

What can’t nonwovens do?

June 12, 2017

When I started working as a writer and editor in the specialty fabrics industry, “nonwoven” meant an engineered textile that was used in a disposable end product: diapers and wet wipes – that sort of thing. Disposable nonwovens were (and are) a huge market. (How many parents use cloth diapers these days?) One of the …

On a larger scale

May 9, 2017

Keeping a person warm, cooled and therefore safe in extreme environmental conditions is no small matter. I speak from personal experience, as I have a lake cabin in northern Minnesota. The temperature has been known to hit -40°F. Don’t even think about the wind chill index at that temperature. Of course, I don’t think about …

What to do when

April 7, 2017

Patent law – in fact, understanding the broader topic of intellectual property protection – is complicated and virtually impossible to cover in a single article. But we can point you in a direction and get you started on the right path in a single article, which is exactly what patent lawyer David Crowe has done …

‘Smart’ has caché

March 10, 2017

I admit it. I was drawn to advanced textiles because of “e-textiles.” That was the only kind of smart textile yet developed, at least that I knew about. I’ve since learned that there are many kinds of advanced textiles with “whiz-bang” appeal. In fact, just about every day I hear of a new technology, fiber or …

As natural as breathing

February 10, 2017

All moving things generate kinetic energy. Ok, that’s obvious. … The human body itself is a reliable source of energy. Not the first thing that jumps to mind. … The most consistent energy source in our body is … breathing. Let that settle for a minute, and then read our feature, “Textile integration of piezoelectric …

The “magic” of carbon fiber

January 6, 2017

I read up on carbon fiber basics to write this, even though I’ve been covering carbon fiber, its uses and products, for several years. I still don’t quite understand why it’s so strong and lightweight, but I suppose that’s a little like asking why the sky is blue. There is an explanation, but I probably …