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Fachada Foro Chiapas has a tensile fabric façade that invites spectators

April 1, 2018

An iconic new performance space in southern Mexico demonstrates the ability of tensile fabrics to make a cultural statement—and thrill an audience. The power of suggestion is one of an architect’s most eloquent tools. With a meaningful combination of shape and material, a design can meet physical expectations as well as create the suggestion of …

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Investments in technical fabrics for the Russian military

February 1, 2018

The Russian government will allocate $300 million for the development of new types of specialty fabrics and technical textiles The Russian government plans to allocate US $300 million for the design of new types of specialty fabrics and technical textiles for the needs of the Russian army during the period of 2017–2018, according to recent …

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Industry 4.0: the new manufacturing

November 1, 2017

Automation in the textile industry has brought with it an increasing need for better communication within the manufacturing plant, as well as between manufacturers at different stages of the supply chain. Dialogue between people is one thing, but getting machines to speak to one another is a whole new challenge—a digital Tower of Babel that …

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Folded fabric roof for a French art gallery and winery

October 1, 2017

What could be more agreeable than a glass of French wine while viewing French art in the landscape of southern France, a landscape made famous by the 19th-century Impressionist/proto-Cubist painter Paul Cézanne? This conflux of ideal conditions melds perfectly in the recently completed Château La Coste Art Gallery, a new venue for viewing artworks while …

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Smart building systems with textiles

September 1, 2017

The Canadian Printable, Flexible, Wearable Electronics Symposium (CPES2017) was held on the outskirts of Toronto in May this year. Buildings, and smart buildings in particular, were a hot topic both in presentations and in the poster exhibition that accompanied the three-day event. Ronald Zimmer, president and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) set …

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Hybrid technology: a new approach to design and production

August 1, 2017

When technology and textiles intersect, it’s not surprising that the nomenclature often has us scratching our heads. Just what do we call this stuff? Smart textiles? E-textiles? Something else? Are they all the same? If that’s not enough of a conundrum, we’ve got something else to add to the lexicon: “hybrid technology.” The term was …

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Wearable electronics technology developers, textile designers and fashion brands join forces to make smarter clothing

July 1, 2017

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a slow but sure evolution of wearable electronics, including smart textiles, designed primarily to monitor body functions and communicate with the Internet of Things. But a great many of them were not especially wearable, and some never made it out of the lab. The tide, however, seems to be …

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Wearable technology for safety in the mining industry

June 1, 2017

In the mining industry, safety challenges demand the latest developments in wearable technology. The Chilean mining disaster of 2010 saw 33 workers trapped 2,300 feet underground for 69 days. Their ordeal made headlines across the world, and amidst the jubilation of their survival there was a stark reminder that mining remains one of the most …

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Property protection

May 1, 2017

How small firms can learn to recognize and head off product piracy. Most American businesspeople understand that the theft of intellectual property is a big problem—one that costs U.S. firms $300 billion a year. For decades, I have counseled my small and mid-size clients that this is a problem that should concern them … but …

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New technology from Japan

March 1, 2017

On the future of Japanese high-performance and high-function fibers. IFAI Japan, in collaboration with IFAI, conducted a Japan Technical Seminar at IFAI Expo 2016 in Charlotte, N.C., to introduce new technologies and ideas. The Japan Chemical Fibers Association (JCFA), which consists of members of world-leading chemical fiber manufacturers (including Teijin Ltd., Toray Industries, Kuraray, Co. …