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 …

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 …

Sustainability and value: Biomaterials and biomimetics become green alternatives

June 1, 2020

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 …

How U.S. trade actions affect the textile industry

May 1, 2020

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 …

Sustainable synthetics

April 1, 2020

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 …

New standard makes protective apparel safer

March 1, 2020

by Glenna B. Musante Improving safety apparel for workers operating in hazardous situations is a constant focus of the textile industry, but it is a task not always easily accomplished. Hazardous materials professionals can be exposed to any number of chemical, biological and flammable materials in the same environment, according to The Institute of Hazardous …

Sustainable practices in today’s textile industry

February 1, 2020

 by Marie O’Mahony The story of sustainability in the textile industry has grown and changed, particularly in the last decade. The concept of “circularity” is now driving sustainability across the materials sector. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and …

Making decisions in an uncertain trade environment

January 1, 2020

By Marie O’Mahony Editor’s note: The issue of U.S. trade is unusually dynamic and evolving today. The majority of this article represents information available when the speakers presented at IFAI Expo in October 2019.  With current international trade in a persistent state of flux, it’s tempting for the advanced textiles industry to stand by and …

New test methods are needed for medical textiles

December 1, 2019

by Matthew Hardwick, ph.D. The spread of infection is a concern for all of us, but nowhere is it more concerning than in health care. The spread of infection both to and from medical environments is an ever-present problem in hospitals and clinics around the world. Numerous resources are being dedicated to fight the war …