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Professional opinions on protective product trends

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What I have seen in the past eight to 10 years is that there’s a high need for adding more functionality with textiles. The intent is for fabrics to perform more and more instead of just being used for covering. … I see this field continuing to grow, with high-performance textiles becoming more mainstream and new functions being added.

Qaizar Hassonjee,
adidas Wearable Sports Electronics

I think people will continue to want our webbing to be light, to be even more flexible but still be durable, cleanable and waterproof, or at least water-resistant.

Scott Hanna, BioPlastics Co.

What we are looking at primarily is more intelligence built into fabrics. We will continue to focus on the health care side. And with what’s happening with the spread of bacteria, we also will be looking at more commercial, office environments.

Mark Alan, InPro Corp.

I think in areas where we use high-performance textiles, the trend is going to be, for example, higher levels of cut resistance while imparting more dexterity.

David Matela, Kimberly-Clark Professional

I think that being green is the big thing, but I also think that products will have to bring more benefits for every party involved. … When you develop a product, you should think about everyone that will be involved in the life cycle: manufacturers, end users and [those] who will recycle it.

Samuel Jacques, Victor Group Inc.

Major drivers in today’s protective apparel markets are tied to lighter-weight garments and higher-dexterity gloves. Productivity and safety are critical in today’s industrial environment, and providing workers with 21st century protective gear is paramount to their success.

Matt Smith, Waubridge Specialty Fabrics LLC

Janice Kleinschmidt is a freelance writer based in Palm Springs, Calif.

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