Remember electric socks?

April 8, 2019

I bought myself a pair of “electric socks” decades ago. Living in an outdoors-oriented family in Northern Minnesota, this was a supremely practical purchase. There were wires woven inside the toes and wires outside of the socks that ran all the way up my legs to a battery pack (two D-cells) affixed to my belt. …

It’s not just your shirt that’s smart

March 11, 2019

Wearables and personal gear have dominated the smart textiles news—including in this publication. Smart shirts, shoes, backpacks and purses deliver health and fitness monitoring, safety features, and a means to access our smart phones when we need to leave them stashed in a pocket or handbag. But the technology is capable of applications in other …

Beyond patents

February 25, 2019

Advice for innovators from an experienced entrepreneur Editors note: Claire King, president of Pawtucket, R.I.-based Propel LLC, was interviewed to be part of a feature with other entrepreneurs. In the course of our conversation, she brought up a number of important related points that I felt merited inclusion in a feature on IP law. Her …

Serendipity happens

February 11, 2019

Sometimes when an article possibility doesn’t materialize, it presents a moment of serendipity. I needed someone who could speak from experience and answer questions about intellectual property (IP) law, the importance of patents and related subjects. If you’re like me, you’d think first of patent lawyers, who (I’ve since learned) are not just highly specialized …

Understanding IP law

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 …

Read the hangtags

January 9, 2019

My job is impacting my personal life in a somewhat unusual way: I chronically read hangtags on textile products. Clothing, housewares and especially outdoor gear get a close look. Are these flannel lounge pants 100 percent cotton? They better be. … Just how water resistant is this water-resistant jacket? … This shirt is UV resistant, …

Today’s tree huggers

December 10, 2018

There was a time when terms such as “ecology,” “sustainability,” “environmentalist” and “eco-friendly” belonged to a group (perceived to be small) of “tree-huggers” with ideas that many thought were radical, unnecessary or even just silly. However, I don’t think this was ever a small group. There were millions, at the time, who wouldn’t have used …

E-textiles: where we are

November 12, 2018

With breakthrough technologies and standards under development, it’s been a turning point year for e-textiles. IFAI’s Expo 2018 in Dallas in October offered a good variety of topics in its presentations and a range of products across advanced textiles markets. Medical and health, protective and safety, smart fabrics, solar textiles and military applications were among …

What I think about Expo this year – and every year

Every Expo is different. But I’ve attended nine of them now, and every year I see something new, meet someone I didn’t know previously, get a better understanding of new technology and products, make crucial connections for future articles in Advanced Textiles Source—and have a good time. I get to know my writers as people, …