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 …

The value and limitations of medical device master files

November 1, 2019

by Elaine Duncan Medical device master files, known as MAFs, have value for textile contract manufacturers and the medical device developer in many ways, but there are some practical limitations. Most medical device manufacturers that incorporate a medical textile into their products will seek a knowledgeable textile contractor who can address the quality system needs …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …