IFAI Expo 2017: Report from New Orleans

November 1, 2017

Despite the hurricanes and wildfires of late summer, IFAI Expo 2017 attracted many new first-time attendees to New Orleans in late September. And exhibitors reported that attendees were more likely than previous years to purchase their products, services and equipment. Aside from exhibitor-attendee interaction, the show floor was a hive of lively “campfire” educational sessions …

Knowing what you need

January 1, 2017

Examining antimicrobial and omni-repellency performance. Textile testing was front and center at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference and on the IFAI Expo 2016 show floor in Charlotte, N.C. Testing to be assured that a product will perform as expected is an important step in the development of any application; in antimicrobial performance, it is becoming even …

IFAI Expo 2016: advanced textiles

December 1, 2016

Today’s textile testing is challenged with evaluating varied performance qualities for multiple environments. The Advanced Textiles Testing Track at IFAI Expo examined textile testing in light of a new wave of textile developments. Dr. Emiel Den Hartog, North Carolina State University (NCSU) Center for Research on Textile Protection & Comfort (TPACC), focused on a “multi-level” …

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IFAI Expo 2016: shade and weather protection

The special shade section on the show flow featured end products ranging from retractable awning systems, shade structures and canopies to motorized shade and weather solutions of all types. Programming and events included “Super Tuesday” seminars, tours of local shops and a keynote lunch, plus Wednesday evening’s opening reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. …

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IFAI Expo 2016: specialty fabrics programming

A variety of educational choices drove the Specialty Fabrics Program schedule Oct. 18-21 at the IFAI 2016 Expo. Attendees enjoyed dozens of presentations and “campfire” sessions featuring experts on topics as diverse as training the next generation of skilled workers, understanding functional fabric design and beating offshore manufacturers. The exhibit hall showcased the latest in fabrics, …

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IFAI Expo 2016: high points and highlights

Thousands of industry professionals joined the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) in the heart of the U.S. textile industry Oct. 18–21 to acquire a working education in the areas of specialty fabrics, shade and weather protection products and advanced textiles: seminars, exhibits, workshops, market roundtables and four days of concentrated networking. From business basics to …

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IFAI Expo 2016: industry leadership, IFAI style

At IFAI’s annual meeting, Kevin Yonce, MFC, IFM, CPP, past chairman of the IFAI Board of Directors and chairman of the 2016 Leadership Development Committee, announced this year’s election results.    • Dennis Bueker, Keyston Bros., has been elected to his second three-year term as director.  • Brian Rowinski, Rainier Industries LLC, has been elected …

Innovators find a variety of markets for color-changing materials

September 1, 2016

New research and applications are proving that color-changing smart textiles continue to offer viable technology and products in the smart fabrics marketplace. Most recently, researchers from the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new color-changing “smart thread,” Ebb, that turns fabric into a computerized display. According to information provided by the …

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Projects and prototypes

June 29, 2016

Industry breakthroughs are proving the viability of photovoltaic fabrics. The University of Wisconsin–Madison may not be the first research institution you would think of for solar textiles research, but a relatively new research team is changing that low profile substantially. Marianne Fairbanks, assistant professor in the School of Human Ecology, and Trisha Andrew, assistant professor …

Market realities

June 1, 2016

Smart fabrics technologies present unique opportunities—and challenges—to commercial product development. The growth of smart fabrics technologies and applications is no longer a curiosity; it’s the new reality of high-tech fabrics, and it’s gaining ground at an impressive pace. The size of the smart fabrics market, as presented at the Smart Fabrics Summit on April 11 …

Smart Fabrics Summit draws key industry participants

May 1, 2016

Government and industry players gathered in Washington, D.C., April 11 to discuss the “nascent smart fabrics market,” as described by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who moderated the final session at the one-day event. “This room is buzzing with energy,” said David Lauren, executive vice president of global marketing and communications for Ralph Lauren Corp., …

Smarter every day

April 1, 2016

The wearables market builds customer relationships with new products and high-tech expertise. The speedy acceptance of wearable technology by health and fitness enthusiasts has supported impressive growth in this market. This growth reflects today’s larger culture, in which people expect ready access to information. Consumers can even monitor and evaluate their health and fitness goals …

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Finishing fabric

March 1, 2016

Coating and laminating treatments enhance fabric performance in important —and multiple— ways. The fabric itself can be just the beginning. For the end product manufacturer to get the performance qualities necessary to meet today’s stringent regulations and to satisfy the end customer’s high expectations, it is likely that the fabric will be coated. In some …

Comfortable, versatile—and smart

December 1, 2015

Interest, investment and applications in wearables show robust growth. With wearable technology continuing to thrive, IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in October offered attendees a variety of opportunities to learn about the current and projected market, new product offerings and breakthrough technologies. IFAI’s market research manager Jeff Rasmussen reports that the worldwide smart …

What stretchable electronic inks could do for smart fabrics

October 8, 2015

In a presentation Oct. 6 at IFAI’’s Advanced Textiles Conference in Anaheim, Calif., DuPont’s Dr. Michael Burrows posed the question: “Where’s the smart clothing? Where did it go?” His point was that e-textiles couldn’t progress more rapidly without stretchable electronics. “We believe this has been the missing element,” he said. DuPont has developed a new …

Smart fabric markets show steady growth

October 7, 2015

IFAI’s market research manager Jeff Rasmussen says that the worldwide smart fabrics market is growing at an annual rate of about 8 percent from about $984 million in 2011 to a projected $1.9 million in 2015. Rasmussen’s presentation on “Current Developments in the Smart and Interactive Fabrics Market” spoke Wednesday morning at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles …

Impressive growth predicted for flexible, wearable electronics

October 6, 2015

Dr. Guillaume Chansin told attendees at IFAI Advanced Textiles Conference in Anaheim, Calif., today that almost half of the wearable technology market is in North America and over half of that market is in the health and fitness segment. Dr. Chansin, a researcher with the British market research and consulting firm, IDTechEx, also said that …

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Thriving on innovation

October 1, 2015

Success in medical and biomedical textiles markets requires established expertise and a long-term commitment. If you want to talk about today’s medical textiles markets, it’s necessary to go beyond the end product—and even the finished textile—and look at what goes into making that textile. And as much as highly engineered materials are now well established, …

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Real solutions

December 1, 2014

Medical and biomedical textile breakthroughs were presented at IFAI Advanced Textiles Expo. It might be a process that starts at the fiber level or one that uses a material in a new way, but there is no question that textiles are playing an important role in the treatment of many types of medical conditions. New …

“Smelling” danger

April 1, 2014

E-nose sensors could make textile substrates into wearable warning systems. When we think “wearable technology” we may think of photovoltaic materials powering small electronic devices, or sensors relating vital signs to health care providers. About a year ago, U.K.-based Peratech announced its involvement in a new project, dubbed “Nose in clothes.” The nature of the …

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Smart—and comfortable—clothes

February 1, 2014

Wearable technology requires pairing reliable functionality with a comfortable garment. What if a person’s heart rate, respiration and body mechanics could be monitored during various activities without being observed in person or via video feeds? What if that data could be collected and evaluated remotely? Dr. Tom Martin, co-director of the Electronic Textiles Lab at …

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Creating the future of textiles: make it from milk

December 1, 2013

Qmilch IP GmbH makes a silky smooth, all-natural fabric from milk that’s highly desirable for high fashion, but well suited for more industrial applications, too. A lot of milk in the world is simply thrown away as unsuitable—for food, that is. German-based company Qmilch IP GmbH has found a use for discarded milk: fabric. In …

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Banners help showcase the story of space travel

September 1, 2008

The project. Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon. The companies. Hunt Design Associates, Pasadena, Calif., worked with Tom Fricker and Peter Radestsky, California-based exhibit designers, who created the concept and content. The printing was done by Gregory, Inc., Buhler, Kan. Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson, Kan., was the exhibit producer. The task. The …

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KD Kanopy finds success with silk screen printing

KD Kanopy started as a tent manufacturer in 1984, but it didn’t take long to recognize the market for graphics on tents. By 1989 the Westminster, Colorado company was silk screening on tents, and by 2001 it was getting “a lot of requests for full digital graphics,” says president John Matthews. KD Kanopy still does …

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Molecular manipulation to change the textile industry

July 1, 2008

Would you like to have shirts that don’t get dirty? What if the milk that spilled in your minivan never smelled? Wouldn’t it be convenient if the seats in your boat couldn’t mildew? And imagine the value of a surgical mask that actually kills germs, rather than simply preventing them from being inhaled. As futuristic …

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Textile designers rethink digital printing

May 1, 2008

From trompe l’oeil to edgy to personalized, digitally printed fabric is beginning to catch the imagination of more textile designers—even those who previously viewed the method as inferior. “Ugh, the computer does it, it’s digital.” That’s the reaction that Raylene Marasco, ower of Dye-Namix, New York, N.Y., came to expect from clients and designers. But …

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Movable graphic towers create a dramatic outdoor environment

The project. To construct a traveling road show for Time Warner Cable recreating a much larger installation in the Time Warner headquarters in New York City. The original “Home to the Future” used digitally printed fabric scrim to enclose a two-story “house” constructed in the building’s seven-story atrium. The company. Designed by ESI Design for …