Highlights of the 2020 Smart Fabrics Summit

July 1, 2020

The industry meets virtually to discuss innovations,cybersecurity and collaboration.  by Janet Preus The Smart Fabrics Summit, presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce in collaboration with Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), was held virtually this year. Its speakers covered a range of topics, with special emphasis on cybersecurity and collaborative partnerships.  From innovation to commercial …

Woven Inspiration recovers the gilded age

Woven Inspiration owner Christine Becker welcomes the challenge of preservation—of history and her craft. by Holly Eamon Christine Becker was destined for a life immersed in design. Born in Verona, Italy, she spent her childhood captivated by the city’s medieval architecture before moving as a teen to the artist-inhabited neighborhood of Greenwich Village, N.Y. Influence …

Breakthroughs in advanced textiles: robotic glove, energy harvesting, solar-powered structures, camouflaging wearable, decomposing t-shirt

Robotic glove for hand paralysis San Francisco, Calif.-based technology start-up Neofect has developed a robotic glove to help patients suffering from paralysis. The product prototype, Neomano, is a smart glove designed for patient rehabilitation of the hand following a stroke, spinal cord injury or other condition that limits a patient’s ability to use his or …

Protective fabric mesh surrounds a landmark tower

June 1, 2020

A fabric-clad tower in southern Germany brings technicians, elevator experts and the public together in one spectacular vertical setting. By Bruce N. Wright, FAIA Paris’s Eiffel Tower, London’s Big Ben, China’s Three Pagodas, Iraq’s spiral minaret: Over time, all became more than just their function—they became iconic symbols of their location.  Likewise, ThyssenKrupp’s fabric-wrapped Rottweil …

Sustainability and value: Biomaterials and biomimetics become green alternatives

by Glenna B. Musante Textile and outdoor gear communities are looking for ways to limit the use of petroleum products. To achieve this goal, apparel and gear brands, as well as ingredient manufacturers within the textile industry supply chain, are beginning to replace or augment plastics and polyester with biomaterials. Textile companies are also turning …

Nonwoven fabrics on the frontline of infection containment

May 1, 2020

By Jeff Moravec It’s easy to misunderstand viral respiratory diseases, whether the current pandemic outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or past events such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002−2003. When they fade from the news, people often assume it’s because a cure was found. In fact, what happens is that human-to-human disease transmission …

How U.S. trade actions affect the textile industry

by Lawrence A. Ward and Dave Townsend The textile trade has long been complicated, requiring careful attention to the source and production methods throughout the supply chain to determine whether imports were allowed under quotas or what tariff rate applied to the imports. Although the Trump administration has a fundamentally different policy toward international trade …

Call for Papers: World Congress on Textile Coating, Nov. 19-20

April 2, 2020

The organizers of the successful and long-running conference series Textile Coating and Laminating (TCL) have announced its expansion and refocus as the World Congress on Textile Coating (WCTC20). The event will debut in Berlin on November 19-20, 2020. The venue hotel is the Novotel Berlin Am Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany, which has excellent conference facilities. Tegel …

Disaster shelter design competition tests engineering students

April 1, 2020

John Brown University’s disaster shelter contest challenges students to develop and demonstrate solutions for emergency scenarios. By Holly Eamon Global economic losses from natural disasters topped $232 billion last year, rounding out a decade that cost the world nearly $3 trillion, according to the 2019 Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight Annual Report published by global …

Sustainable synthetics

Sustainability issues leap to the forefront in creating new synthetic fibers. by Ericka Ford, Ph.D. Philosopher scientist Robert Hooke’s 17th-century belief that plants eaten by the silkworm could spin into a silk alternative was an oversimplification of the biological processes that ultimately allowed the food-satiated silkworm to spin silk. Nevertheless, the timely invention of the …