Redesigned steam suits for the U.S. Navy

July 1, 2017

One of the dangers of life on a submarine is the potential for one of the pressurized steam lines aboard to rupture. In such a situation, steam would leak at extremely high temperatures, potentially resulting in severe injury or death. While it is highly unlikely for this to occur, safeguards must be in place in …

Planning for the circular economy

Economics is an older science than ecology, created (if not perfected) during times when there were no scarcities of natural resources (and no wild-eyed college freshmen running around flashing their “Earth Day 1970” buttons at each other). In ecological science, there really is no concept of unlimited resources. Economics is necessarily focused on short time …

Mike Peterson reshapes company culture at SugarHouse Awning

Mike Peterson restructures an awning company’s culture by asking hard questions, collaborating on the answers, and fearlessly changing the rules. Our old philosophy was to focus on profitability and the end result—and in order to get there we did our best to take care of our customers, and our employees came last,” says Mike Peterson, …

Digital knitting machine

Nothing to wear? What if you could just push a button and print out a sweater? While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, technology is revolutionizing the fashion industry in exciting ways—including the development of a 3-D printer for knitting. Called Kniterate, the printer automatically turns digital designs into knitted garments. The computer-controlled …

A hammock/tent for sleeping in the air

Designed for one person—up to 250 pounds—REI’s Quarter Dome Air Hammock is a minimalist alternative to a tent. Lightweight and easy to set up and take down, it’s made of 15-denier ripstop nylon to provide tear-resistant protection. Settling into a fabric sling is great for relaxing or napping, but it doesn’t offer the support needed …

Designing with natural decor brings tented events to life

According to the color gurus at Pantone®, Greenery—the Pantone Color of the Year 2017—emblematizes our intrinsic desire to restore, revitalize and reconnect. Pantone calls the naturally neutral shade “symbolic of new beginnings”—a description appropriate to the thousands of weddings and other social events that occur under tents every year. “Green is a happy color,” says …

Japanese-inspired fabrics

The Azuma textile collection, from KnollTextiles, is inspired by the balance and harmony found in Japanese design philosophy and culture. The four upholstery fabrics in the collection, Kabuki, Sashiko, Zen Wave and Kaya, celebrate bold graphic forms and simple, subtle beauty. The fabric designs include striking geometric elements, vivid colors, subtle embroidered patterns, wave motifs …

Understand your customers’ personalities for better sales

Elemental keys to staying in sync and making the sale. The first thing you need to know is that your customers are different—from each other, and from you. You may feel that you already know that, but I can tell you that many business owners and professionals have lamented to me that the client they …

Coats Epic Metallic thread

Coats Epic Metallic thread is a specially developed metallised sewing thread consisting of a metallised yarn twisted together with a durable polyester core spun thread. The thread is especially suitable for decorative stitching on denim wear, apparel and leather goods that have not been treated with tannins. The metallic elements are available in gold, silver …

Soggy-free foam

The Bellbloc fabric liner system improves the performance of fabrics in upholstery applications by protecting foam inserts from the elements, extending the useful life of foam cushions. Developed specifically for the outdoor, hospitality, contract, long-term care and residential markets, the innovative liner is engineered to resist moisture, mold and mildew while reducing foam compression in …

Compact sewing table

The Merrow® Helmsman Table is designed to be easy to assemble, lightweight and durable. The narrowest table on the market, it features an adjustable-height frame seated atop locking wheels. Ergonomically friendly and highly transportable, it can be adjusted for any location or environment and can be used with an air, clutch or servo motor. The …

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Closing the loop: long-term sustainability strategies for textile manufacturers

Textile manufacturers are deploying sustainability strategies and forming partnerships to green up products and processes, helping manufacturers meet the requirements of even the most eco-concerned customers—and getting a good start on the circular economy of the future. For most manufacturers, eco-friendly, sustainable products are becoming a competitive necessity. And as concern over environmental issues has …

Professional printing

Next-generation SureColor S-series 64-inch S40670, S60670 and S80670 high-performance, roll-to-roll eco-solvent printers are the first large-format signage printers powered by Epson’s PrecisionCore printhead technology, for printing of photographic quality images for the signage, vehicle graphics and fine art reproduction markets. The new line incorporates the fourth-generation Epson Ultrachrome GS3 solvent ink, designed to reduce ink …

Woven metal fabric for space travel

Maybe it’s the Game of Thrones effect, because these days, metal fabrics are super hip. And just like the practical purpose they served in medieval times, a new woven metal fabric being developed by NASA can be put to use in a number of ways. Raul Polit Casillas, a systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion …

The graphic edge

Fisher Textiles, a supplier of fabrics for digital printing, has introduced DD 4444 Domination®, a new fabric for frontlit Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) applications that is specially treated for UV-curable, direct and transfer sublimation printing. DD 4444 Domination is very stable with a gorgeous sheen that can also be used for banners, exhibit graphics, photographic …

Recycling and repurposing used fabrics and scraps

About five years ago, Scott Massey, president of Awning Cleaning Industries/APCO Products (and a member of IFAI’s board of directors), decided to expand his business reach in an earth-friendly way. His company has always had an environmental bent, since well-maintained fabrics stay out of landfills longer. Still, even these fabrics eventually need replacing, resulting in …

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

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 …

Durable, flexible fiber-reinforced hydrogel

Scientists at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, have combined hydrogels containing high levels of water with glass fiber fabric to create a flexible, reinforced material that is five times tougher than carbon steel. The researchers developed the durable, tensile material utilizing the same method used to produce reinforced plastics. They combined polyampholyte (PA) gels, a …

Layers of safety: textile innovations offer protection when disaster strikes

June 29, 2017

A suit of plate armor weighing up to 100 pounds. A 10-foot-thick stone fortress wall. A thin piece of highly engineered fabric. Whether the danger is a force of nature or a manufactured threat, all three provide protection. But much has changed since medieval days of storming the castle and the logic that “the heavier …

Thermal control technology in textiles expands to a wide variety of industries

Recent advances in thermal control for apparel have grabbed the headlines in this type of textile technology, but there are highly sophisticated materials and technologies that are less obvious, but at least as impressive, especially in building interiors and exteriors and other energy-saving applications in everyday life. Depending on the desired outcome, an approach to …

Sustainable housing for eco-friendly living

Living sustainably often means challenging the status quo to develop new, more eco-friendly alternatives. That’s the case with Breathe—MINI Living, a unique housing prototype introduced at Milan Salone del Mobile 2017. Designed by New York-based architects SO-IL for MINI Living, Breathe—MINI Living challenges people to think about how much space they need, how the space …