Soft and flexible fabric generates electricity

November 1, 2018

What if your favorite shirt could also power your digital watch? Researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have created a woven fabric that generates electricity when stretched or exposed to pressure. Working in cooperation with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and the research institute Swerea IVF, researchers Anja Lund and Christian Müller …

Early adopters affect product development

IoClothes describes itself as “A Community Fusing Tech & Textiles™” that exists to support those who innovate in the smart textile industry by providing information and helping them to establish the right connections to move forward. Managing director Ben Cooper says, “About 30–40 percent of the [textile] industry has a warm-to-hot interest in innovation—new processes, …

Light-filtering awnings enhance a view

It’s all about the view when your apartment is located in the town of Teramo on the slopes of Italy’s Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in the Apennines range. Panoramic ceiling-to-floor windows installed in each room take advantage of the landscape. There’s only one problem: All that spectacular scenery and light also comes with the …

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

Whether it’s a result of a booming economy, tighter immigration laws or an educational system gone astray, finding qualified job applicants has become increasingly more difficult for those in the specialty fabrics industry. How can small businesses compete for badly needed, qualified workers? Thanks to our unique tax laws, every business can afford to offer …

A commitment to growth: Don Alhanati uses automation and lean manufacturing to ensure market diversity and growth for CustomFab USA

One of the keys to our success is our investment in advanced automated equipment,” says Don Alhanati, founder and president of CustomFab USA in Garden Grove, Calif. “That, and the fact that we have a creative staff. We are always looking at ways to do things smarter.” Alhanati had worked 12 years at a manufacturing …

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A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

Mousetrap to market

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” ~Charles Darwin We’ve reached my annual time-travel episode, at least in terms of my message to you this issue, which will be written before IFAI Expo but read after the show. Sometimes …

Tropical greenhouse housed under ETFE dome

Imagine entering a tropical utopia where the weather is always a perfect 82 degrees and a beautiful setting of flowers, lush greenery, ponds, waterfalls, butterflies, birds and other creatures awaits. This environment isn’t just a dream. Plans are in development to build the world’s largest tropical greenhouse under a single dome in the Pas-de-Calais area …

Ultra-sustainable electric car uses biological materials

The mantra, “reduce, reuse, recycle” has been taken to a new level by students at Netherlands Eindhoven University of Technology. They developed an ultra-sustainable electric car that gets a remarkable 744 miles to the gallon. The students considered the environmental impact of every aspect of the automobile, including production, consumption and recycling, in order to …

Seeing is believing: make sure your website and social media strategies are smart, engaging, informative, and visually appealing

Perhaps your company relies on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity and steers clear of social media. Maybe your marketing efforts emphasize trade shows and real-world connections, quite successfully, rather than online communications. But you did just update your website … five years ago. Things have changed. Now your customers all have a phone in their hands, …