A fort for the record books

January 1, 2020

Remember as a kid the fun of building a fort with your friends? The folks at Time4Sleep, a U.K.-based bed and bedroom furniture retailer, channeled those good memories when they decided to build a record-breaking fort made out of blankets. The Time4Sleep team chose Millennium Square in Leeds, U.K., for the location of the project. …

Smart seat covers for planes

How can you have a better experience flying economy? The answer may lie in smart textiles and their ability to respond to individual needs. That’s the idea behind Move, a digitally knitted seat cover that puts the airplane passenger in control. The cover “reads” your body and enables you to make various adjustments including seat …

Crafting social change

A unique project in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya empowers communities by employing local women to create bags, jewelry and shoes. Ubuntu Life started as a center for children with disabilities. Once the children received the care they needed, the mothers started looking for employment opportunities.  In 2011, Ubuntu opened a small shop with nine …

Wheat straw gets a wearable makeover

Wheat straw, long regarded as agricultural waste, is getting a makeover as a unique textile. The first knitted T-shirt, jacket and skirt were introduced in October 2019 at the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The pieces featured the woven material on organic cotton warp. The prototype textile is highly sustainable due to its …

A community space, upcycled

What do you see in used scrap material? Designers Ann Ha and Behrang Behin saw a work of art. Their Behin Ha Design Studio LLC was commissioned to create a temporary shade structure by the Pomerene Center for the Arts in Coshocton, Ohio.  The setting was artPark, created by the Pomerene Center at the site …

Want a smart fabric? Print it.

December 1, 2019

What if you could create a smart fabric in just minutes—one that can store energy? Scientists at RMIT University in Australia have developed the technology to make this possible. They’ve developed a laser-printing process to rapidly fabricate textiles that are embedded with energy storage devices. The textiles could be used for a variety of health …

Training canines with vibrating vests

Haptics is the technology of touch. It’s all about understanding how to use the senses of touch and motion to convey meaning, direction or a command. A research team at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is using haptic technology to train our four-legged friends to respond to nonverbal cues. The technology is particularly suited …

Sun-powered, citizen-funded LightSail 2 in orbit

Scientists at The Planetary Society have demonstrated the power of solar energy with a spacecraft that orbits the earth fueled solely by sunlight. The LightSail 2 was developed for a CubeSat, a small, standardized satellite about the size of a loaf of bread that hitches a ride to space with larger payloads. It features four …

A stylish pergola, aglow

Cool and contemporary, a new retractable pergola system showcases a sleek, linear style by integrating lighting as a key element. Gennius Vega, designed by the Italian shading components and systems maker KE Outdoor Design, features LED lights inserted along the pergola’s guides and posts, outlining the structure’s form. LED lights are also placed on the …

Award-winning design, Polartec style

Polartec, the company that revolutionized cold weather wear in 1981 with the introduction of Polartec® synthetic fleece, is committed to encouraging innovation in fabric technology. The annual Polartec Apex Awards honor the brands and designers that excel at turning Polartec fabrics into unique products. Winners receive the hand-made cast bronze Malden statue, an industry award …