Advancing sustainability in textiles

March 1, 2019

Textiles are part of a larger drive to protect and preserve resources for the future. Sustainability may be understood as a way to judiciously consume resources while leaving or even enhancing the availability of resources for future generations. The term “sustainability” has developed a powerful vibe that affects our society in general and the business …

Advances in smart medical textiles

February 1, 2019

A series of novel developments in medical textiles see smart textiles coupled with smart design to deliver benefits to both patients and medical professionals. With the medical textile market predicted to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.23 percent during the period 2018–2022, the industry is positioning itself to meet this demand. …

Growing interest in using natural “smart” fibers

January 1, 2019

Since the industrial revolution, textiles have transitioned from natural fibers of cotton, wool, silk and linen to textiles created from petroleum products and reconstituted wood pulp. Today’s synthetic fibers are stronger, cheaper to manufacture, and have proven easily adaptable to a wide range of technical, performance and smart textiles, to the benefit of modern life. …

New smart fabrics and protective gear innovations keep first responders safer

December 1, 2018

First responders—from firefighters to law enforcement to emergency medical services technicians—need to be ready to handle any situation they encounter, and they need the appropriate gear to respond quickly to emergencies. Responders draw on their experience to make sound decisions in the chaos of a crime or accident scene, or in the heat of a …

Early adopters affect product development

November 1, 2018

IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & Textiles™” that exists to support those who innovate in the smart textile industry by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director Ben Cooper says, “About 30–40 percent of the [textile] industry has a warm-to-hot interest in innovation—new processes, …

Incorporating new materials into composites

October 1, 2018

In material science, strength alone is often found to have its limitations; a combination of hard and soft, rigid and flexible is an area of increasing interest for a wide range of applications from construction, to sports equipment, to protective apparel. Composites bring together two or more materials to provide one that has novel features, …

Textile-based robots

September 1, 2018

A Harvard collaboration develops soft, wearable robotics for hands. Soft, wearable robotics is an emerging field that looks at methods of enabling functional, powered support to assist human movements using lightweight, low-profile and flexible materials such as textiles. A diverse team of researchers in the Harvard Biodesign Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired …

Textile-based bio materials mend bodies

July 30, 2018

Textile-based biomaterials, or biotextiles, have the longest history in the field of biomaterials. In ancient China and Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C., natural fibers such as linen, silk, bark, horsehair and dried guts were used as suture materials for wound closure. The introduction of steel wire and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon …

New technologies make textiles interactive and smarter

July 1, 2018

Textiles are well established as passive materials offering comfort and protection, as well as design and fashion choices. With strong interest in promoting textile manufacturing and enhancing the utility and performance of textiles, academia and government researchers have initiated efforts to enable them to be active as well. Textiles that can provide functional performance properties, …

Redefining textiles

June 1, 2018

New materials and manufacturing processes give the word “textile” new meaning. Textile technology is undergoing a revolution, with innovative structures, raw materials and manufacturing platforms creating new fabrics that defy old-school definitions. Introductory textile science classes teach that textiles are materials that can be woven, knit, crocheted, knotted or felted from yarns spun from cellulose, …