Committing to e-textile standards

October 1, 2019

The European market influences open international standards for e-textiles.  by Chris Jorgensen In the spring of 2017, companies representing the global e-textiles community formed the IPC D-70 E-Textiles Committee to develop IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries®) international standards for their industry. As word spread about the committee and its activities, the committee roster grew to …

Selling the energy efficiency benefits of fabric

Efforts to better market the energy-saving properties of shade products can help consumers and builders make more informed decisions—and move the industry forward. By Holly Eamon It’s easy for people to agree on the need to better regulate temperatures and air quality—and save money—when heating and cooling homes, offices and everything in between.  To the …

Partnerships make a difference in bringing textiles to market

September 1, 2019

Partnerships along the supply chain support new products and applications.  by Marie O’Mahony British entrepreneur Richard Branson once said, “There are no quick wins in business; it takes years to become an overnight success.” This is certainly true for the development of innovative new textiles. Business owners who succeed in their efforts know that establishing …

Protecting professionals with slash-resistant clothing

Slash-resistant clothing can reduce the risk of knife injuries and lacerations, keeping frontline professionals safer.  By Robert Kaiser Throughout history, people have protected themselves with specially designed and constructed garments. From furs and chain mail to leather, metals and high-tech fabric, human beings have creatively employed a range of materials to protect against injury and …

Soft robotics and shape memory alloys

August 1, 2019

Shape memory alloys are a fit with textile technologies. by Janet Preus What makes a material robotic? According to Brad Holschuh, Ph.D., assistant professor of wearable technology and apparel design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN), the simplest explanation is that it’s a synthetic product with mechanical actuation that can …

Channeling nature through fabric at Allianz Field

Dramatic Allianz Field soccer stadium in Minnesota takes its cues from Lake Superior and aurora borealis. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Soccer is an internationally loved sport for many reasons, but one draw has to be the fluid physicality of the athletes. The new Allianz Field soccer stadium in St. Paul, Minn., reflects this dynamic …

E-textiles in health monitoring

July 1, 2019

Progress, potential and challenges for next-generation applications.  by Debra Cobb Among the many benefits promised by the smart fabric revolution has been the “consumerization of health care.” Wearables are enabling the remote monitoring of a wide range of chronic medical conditions, from diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF) to symptoms of disease, …

Creativity CUBED

Electra’s inventive flat-top temporary fabric structure helps it keep pace with Dubai’s fast-evolving event industry. By Holly Eamon In a world where customers increasingly expect their demands to be met instantaneously, companies that don’t prioritize active listening—or engagement—risk being left behind. Based in the competitive market of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), event and exhibition …

Sustainable infrastructure and construction textiles

June 1, 2019

Infrastructure and construction textiles succeed with a focus on sustainable alternatives. By Seshadri Ramkumar and Marie O’Mahony  Today’s advanced textiles offer new forms for use in infrastructure projects and in building design and construction. These “hidden” textiles may be found in small-scale applications such as home furnishings as well as in huge projects such as …

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Worth the weight: an invention designed to help one child transformed into a company primed to help everyone

By Holly Eamon Whether they’re being touted by a celebrity, promoted by major retailers or recommended by a friend, weighted blankets are the latest must-have household item. But as their transformative capabilities are increasingly introduced to and embraced by medical patients and professionals, their relevance is poised to long outlive similar fads—thanks to the determination …