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, …

Developing NASA’s next-generation spacesuit

May 1, 2018

Human space exploration is one of the most ambitious and exciting endeavors upon which we’ve ever embarked, and it has always been an integral part of the U.S. space program. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent our first astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a suborbital flight in 1961, and eight years later landed a …

Academia and business forge new alliances

April 1, 2018

From small startups to global companies, academia and business forge alliances. Early in 2018, Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp. and North Carolina State University (NC State) announced a strategic, multi-year partnership to “support student development at NC State and advance apparel and textiles innovation within VF,” the company says. It will also bring $1 million to …

IPC committee seeks comments on e-textiles industry standard

March 1, 2018

In July 2017, IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) hosted the first web meeting of the IPC E-Textiles Materials Subcommittee. Formed by volunteers from the e-textiles community, the group had approached IPC with interest in developing industry standards for e-textiles. IPC was chosen because it is a developer of consensus-based international industry standards for electronics. It …

New substrates for smart fabrics

January 1, 2018

Manufacturers of smart fabrics are looking for new, novel textile substrates. A key takeaway from the Smart Fabrics Program and E-Textiles Workshop at the 2017 IFAI Expo was the symbiotic relationship between smart technologies and the development of suitable textile substrates to facilitate the desired function. While the fashion apparel business has become increasingly commodity-driven, …

Training and education for the high-tech textile industry

December 1, 2017

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitive Index (GMCI) report, the United States looks set to overtake China as the world’s most competitive manufacturing nation within five years. The textile industry is a significant part of that repositioning in its moves to bring manufacturing back to North America. It is not enough, however, to bring …

A new NAFTA?

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised to improve U.S. trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since taking office and subsequently threatening to withdraw the United States from NAFTA unless the terms were renegotiated, Mexico and Canada have been cajoled to revisit the deal. The first round of tripartite talks commenced …