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Petroleum prices impact specialty fabrics industry

December 1, 2008

Fabric makers depend doubly on oil, for fuel and for raw materials. By Marc Hequet How are you managing in this slalom economy? Staying flexible? Not signing long-term, fixed-price contracts? Scouring your shop for efficiencies? Sourcing globally? Those are top industry pros’ suggestions—that, and holding on for dear life as you zigzag your way through …

DNA technology to foil fabric counterfeiters

By mixing high-quality natural fibers with lower quality synthetics, textile fabricators can make it tough to be certain that wool, cashmere and silk are the real deal. Applied DNA Sciences Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y., offers a proprietary SigNature™ DNA that can be used to authenticate textiles at all points of the supply chain. In collaboration …

Partnership for ovarian cancer awareness

Bedding products made with phase-change materials by Outlast® Technologies, Boulder, Colo., can help mitigate the hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause. So when Outlast found an opportunity to team with the 2008–2009 “Menopause: The Musical” Out Loud Tour™ to raise funds for and awareness about ovarian cancer, it was a natural fit for …

Museum exhibits safety gear for animals

Bill Burns, director of Safety Gear for Small Animals, is using a branch known as the Museum of Safety Gear for Small Animals to spread a message of animal rescue, relocation and rehabilitation. The itinerant museum consists of 19 scale-model pieces, including a trio of tents for bio-hazard, radiation and triage, a mosquito net, safety …

Stylish radiotherapy treatment gown series

Rebecca Earley’s radiotherapy treatment gown series was originally commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Centre for the Treatment of Cancer in Birmingham, U.K. Each of the 100 gowns was designed using her heat photogram technique of printing plants directly onto fabric. The imagery used shows homeopathic plants used in the care of cancer patients. Earley, currently …

Jackets and coats utilize advanced fabrics

Grade Zero Espace, Florence, Italy, is the research and development department of Cove Nove, with the mission to develop new materials and technologies to improve quality of life, work and the environment. The Hinoki LS jacket and coat endeavor to redefine natural fibers using ‘Hinoki,’ a genus of conifers native to eastern Asia, whose processed …

Collaboration creates custom camouflage

London’s Maharishi Hardy Blechman Ltd. began by producing hemp and other natural fiber clothing, and soon turned to adapting and customizing camouflage, then creating its own versions. Collaboration with artists and designers, including the graffiti artist Futura, are a vital element in the creative process. Gorscuba uses a 3M Scotchlite™ reflective print often customized with …

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Innovative material applications in automotive industry

Sheila Clark, a research fellow at the Royal College of Art’s School of Fashion and Textiles and Vehicle Design in London, England, explores a variety of innovative materials for applications in the automotive industry, predominantly as upholstery. Her materials are imbued with health-giving properties that add to driver/passenger comfort and safety. The blue seat combines …

Stylish wallpaper prints use strong Mylar foil

When Florence Broadhurst established her hand-printed wallpaper company in Sydney in 1959, it was one-of-a-kind in its output of vigorously modern designs intended to radically change design attitudes in her native Australia. Signature Prints has re-released a number of her styles, featuring a range of bold and dynamic designs, including this iconic Japanese Floral, which …

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Wallpaper designs incorporate LED lights

Meystyle, London, U.K., is incorporating LED lights into its wallpaper designs, giving a low light level that adds an aesthetic quality but also provides a spatial marker at night when all other lights are off. The digital prints have a futuristic design but often take the dramatic scale of interior prints from the 1970s; the …