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, …

Define “natural”

October 8, 2018

The ability of the industry to engineer fabrics for specific purposes has been growing, and has been well documented on this site, I might add. In fact, fabrics can be engineered to do just about anything the end application needs. However, there are tradeoffs, and some of them involve sustainability concerns.That’s where bio-based fibers enter …

HEROES and collaborators

September 24, 2018

Behind every effective PPE are materials designed for specific and critical purposes. When we think of personal protective equipment (PPE), we may first visualize the end applications: a firefighters turnout gear or a soldier’s helmet, perhaps. How these products are constructed is important, but the materials that go into them are equally crucial in making …

How can a textile be protective?

September 10, 2018

For the uninitiated, the idea that fabric can be “protective” may seem like an oxymoron. We know, however, that protective textiles of many kinds play crucial roles in a range of applications. But that’s hardly news to you. What may be news is the growth of the safety and protective textiles market: strong, steady and …

What textiles could become

August 20, 2018

Three industry leaders talk about innovation in the textile industry and how early adopters impact the development of new technologies and products. IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & TextilesTM” that exists to support those who innovate by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director …

The right word

As a writer it’s irksome to run out of words to say what you want to say. I don’t run out of words, generally, but sometimes I can’t find just the right word to say exactly what I mean. In the English language, you would think that would never happen, but I use a handful …

Ubiquitous, for good reason

July 9, 2018

I’m going to guess that you use some kind of textile composite every single day—maybe many times a day. (Here’s a hint: if you’re caring for a baby or small child, it’s even more likely.) We are dependent upon textiles being a part of the material makeup of flexible composites (obviously) and rigid composites (not …

Sharing the future with robotics

June 11, 2018

“Robot.” What comes to mind? An R2-D2-type character? Something encased in metal that traverses the terrain in a clearly non-human way? Maybe you picture a sci-fi movie depicting an AI character so smart that it overthrows the human characters in a dramatic coup. Time to rethink that picture in your head and replace it with a …