Military matters

October 23rd, 2017

Understanding the opportunities in dealing with the U.S. Department of Defense. Military sessions at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference sought to help attendees make sense of DoD budgets and priorities. One presenter, however, altered his title to read “Making some sense of the DoD budget,” underscoring how complicated it can be. Ron Houle, president of Pivot […]

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IFAI’s first Hackathon yields novel e-textiles products

October 9th, 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 […]

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Smart and getting smarter

October 9th, 2017

This year’s IFAI Expo had to have been the largest ever Advanced Textiles Conference and show floor in terms of participants. That’s just my own anecdotal evidence, at this point, but I’ve been to the AT events every year, and I’m betting that Expo statistics will back me up. There was special emphasis this year […]

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Trade deals and hurricanes

September 11th, 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 […]

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Virtually amazing

August 7th, 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, […]

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What’s that smell?

July 10th, 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 […]

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What can’t nonwovens do?

June 12th, 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 […]

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On a larger scale

May 9th, 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 […]

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What to do when

April 7th, 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 […]

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‘Smart’ has caché

March 10th, 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 […]

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