Looking back, looking ahead: Textile industry trends

April 1st, 2024

The German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) use a continuous coating line and thermoplastic processing methods to coat cellulose-based nonwoven fabrics with lignin compounds. Image: DITF A political, economic, social, technology (PEST) analysis on the smart and advanced textile industry for 2023 would likely show that “P” dominated, as politics has affected all […]

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ATA’s Emerging Technologies Conference focuses on the future

January 1st, 2024

Representatives from the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) showed a newly developed material for smart products in its booth on the show floor at Advanced Textiles Expo in Orlando. AFFOA describes the material as a “flexible, roll-to-roll, inkjet manufacturable, RF metamaterial for wearables.” Image: Janet Preus The Emerging Technologies Conference, part of Advanced Textiles […]

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Getting new products manufactured and into the marketplace

August 1st, 2023

Air Force Research Laboratory scientists have discovered a unique stretchable conductor that uses a polymerized liquid metal network. Photo: Second Bay Studios This year’s Smart Fabric Summit was again organized by the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) and the Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University (NC State) in Raleigh, N.C., and took place in […]

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Smart fabric helps the body heal itself

June 1st, 2023

Socks developed by Supreme Corp. are worn by Indian Special Forces soldiers to alleviate pain in their feet and leg muscles. The soldiers at times carry a 65-pound backpack at an elevation of 19,000 feet. Photo: Supreme Corp. The health and wellness market has been among the first to embrace advances in smart yarns and […]

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A look back at 2022 Smart Fabrics Summit

June 1st, 2022

NC State’s Zeis Textiles Extension director Dr. Andre West says the ability to grow cotton in colors, such as brown, could eliminate the need for polluting dye processes in cotton textiles. Photo: NC State Zeis Textiles Extension IFAI’s Smart Fabric Summit returned to an in-person event with a new location at North Carolina State University […]

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Highlights of the 2020 Smart Fabrics Summit

July 1st, 2020

The industry meets virtually to discuss innovations,cybersecurity and collaboration.  by Janet Preus The Smart Fabrics Summit, presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce in collaboration with Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), was held virtually this year. Its speakers covered a range of topics, with special emphasis on cybersecurity and collaborative partnerships.  From innovation to commercial […]

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Soft robotics and shape memory alloys

August 1st, 2019

Shape memory alloys are a fit with textile technologies. by Janet Preus What makes a material robotic? According to Brad Holschuh, Ph.D., assistant professor of wearable technology and apparel design in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota (UMN), the simplest explanation is that it’s a synthetic product with mechanical actuation that can […]

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Advice for understanding IP law

April 23rd, 2019

Advice for innovators from innovators. by Janet Preus Editor’s note: Select entrepreneurs were asked to answer questions about intellectual property (IP) law and their experiences with it. Those interviewed are at various stages in their careers. Questions asked: What do you wish you had known early on when you were first dealing with IP law/patent […]

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Early adopters affect product development

November 1st, 2018

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, […]

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A market overview of developments, successes and standards for electronic fabrics

August 1st, 2018

Smart fabrics are still so new to the textile world, relatively speaking, that it’s necessary to start with a working definition. That’s what the first presenter, IFAI’s market research director Jeffrey Rasmussen, did at IFAI’s Smart Fabrics Summit in Washington, D.C. In his overview of the smart fabrics market, Rasmussen said that smart fabrics are […]

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