Biopolymers: a green alternative to plastic textiles

December 1st, 2019

Bio-based materials are an increasingly desirable (and versatile) base for textiles in a variety of markets. by Debra Cobb Within global manufacturing’s quest to become more sustainable, biopolymers are becoming an increasingly important area of development. Polymers are the chains of monomers, or building blocks, that make up many materials, including textile fibers. Biopolymers—created from […]

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E-textiles in health monitoring

July 1st, 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, […]

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Growing interest in using natural “smart” fibers

January 1st, 2019

Since the industrial revolution, textiles have transitioned from natural fibers of cotton, wool, silk and linen to textiles created from petroleum products and reconstituted wood pulp. Today’s synthetic fibers are stronger, cheaper to manufacture, and have proven easily adaptable to a wide range of technical, performance and smart textiles, to the benefit of modern life. […]

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Redefining textiles

June 1st, 2018

New materials and manufacturing processes give the word “textile” new meaning. Textile technology is undergoing a revolution, with innovative structures, raw materials and manufacturing platforms creating new fabrics that defy old-school definitions. Introductory textile science classes teach that textiles are materials that can be woven, knit, crocheted, knotted or felted from yarns spun from cellulose, […]

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New substrates for smart fabrics

January 1st, 2018

Manufacturers of smart fabrics are looking for new, novel textile substrates. A key takeaway from the Smart Fabrics Program and E-Textiles Workshop at the 2017 IFAI Expo was the symbiotic relationship between smart technologies and the development of suitable textile substrates to facilitate the desired function. While the fashion apparel business has become increasingly commodity-driven, […]

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Making connections in smart textiles

September 29th, 2017

When E.M. Forster wrote the words “only connect” in his Victorian novel Howards End, he was linking poetry and prose. But the phrase was given new meaning at IFAI Expo’s Advanced Textiles Conference Smart Fabrics Track on Tuesday by presenters who encouraged better connectivity between the textile and electronics industries. One company working to bridge […]

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Ooblecks and smart textiles

September 27th, 2017

What is an “oobleck”—and what does it have to do with smart textiles? According to children’s author Dr. Seuss, an oobleck is a mysterious sticky substance which threatened the kingdom in his 1949 book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. But as smart textile engineer, Connie Huffa of Fabdesigns told her audience at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference […]

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

July 1st, 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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