Training and education for the high-tech textile industry

December 1, 2017

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitive Index (GMCI) report, the United States looks set to overtake China as the world’s most competitive manufacturing nation within five years. The textile industry is a significant part of that repositioning in its moves to bring manufacturing back to North America. It is not enough, however, to bring …

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Industry 4.0: the new manufacturing

November 1, 2017

Automation in the textile industry has brought with it an increasing need for better communication within the manufacturing plant, as well as between manufacturers at different stages of the supply chain. Dialogue between people is one thing, but getting machines to speak to one another is a whole new challenge—a digital Tower of Babel that …

Eco-friendly antimicrobials and sustainable solutions

October 1, 2017

Antimicrobial properties are fast becoming a required treatment in textiles for applications that range from hospital drapes and linen to contract and domestic textiles as well as clothing. While offering protection from germs is a positive factor, there has been some disquiet concerning the environmental impact of antimicrobial treatments. In response, fiber and fabric manufacturers …

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Smart building systems with textiles

September 1, 2017

The Canadian Printable, Flexible, Wearable Electronics Symposium (CPES2017) was held on the outskirts of Toronto in May this year. Buildings, and smart buildings in particular, were a hot topic both in presentations and in the poster exhibition that accompanied the three-day event. Ronald Zimmer, president and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) set …

Nonwoven advances in performance and sustainability

August 1, 2017

The global market for nonwovens is expected to grow from a 2015 level of $2.9 billion to $8 billion by 2022, according to Stratistics Market Research Consulting, specialists in global cross-sector market research. Existing market sectors such as health, hygiene and automotive applications are expanding, and others are being added, with much of the growth …

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Wearable technology for safety in the mining industry

June 1, 2017

In the mining industry, safety challenges demand the latest developments in wearable technology. The Chilean mining disaster of 2010 saw 33 workers trapped 2,300 feet underground for 69 days. Their ordeal made headlines across the world, and amidst the jubilation of their survival there was a stark reminder that mining remains one of the most …

Better together

May 1, 2017

Collaborative efforts support growth in the smart textiles industry. The more high tech an industry is, the greater the range of expertise it may need. Advanced textiles, particularly smart materials, are a prime example of this. Textiles often undergo a variety of processes requiring specialized skills and equipment, so collaboration is essential to the industry. …

Special (fabric) effects

February 1, 2017

Ubisoft and OCAD University students worked together to advance the technology of the motion capture suit. Ubisoft, a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, is behind some of the world’s most recognizable game brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Watch Dogs, and more recently has launched Ubisoft Motion …

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Soft sensors

December 1, 2016

Flexible data collectors that can be worn on (and eventually, in) the body have great promise for patient-focused health care, but there are privacy concerns. The market for smart sensors is expected to grow from $18.58 billion in 2015 to more than $57 billion by 2022, according to a report published this summer by MarketsandMarkets …

Military complexities

November 1, 2016

Smart materials mean lighter and more comfortable gear—and more flexible procurement policies. The nature of military warfare has undergone a seismic change over the past twenty years. Theaters of engagement are now more diverse and complex, demanding more of military personnel than ever before. The traditional procurement policy of buying in bulk to ensure standardization …

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The testing issue

April 1, 2016

As the textile industry continues to wrestle with questions that impact testing, certification and standardization of the processes, the testing market grows. The market for textile testing, inspection and certification is expected to reach more than $7 billion by 2020, according to a report published by MarketsandMarkets. There has been much debate on the need …

Vital signs

October 1, 2015

The medical textiles market is growing, serving both health and wellness. The majority of research and development in smart materials comes from transport. Health and well-being have great need of responsive technologies, so why should medical textiles be one of the smallest sectors of the market? The time and money involved in bringing a product …

Student innovation

August 1, 2015

When industry and academia collide, design and technology become natural partners. Both researchers and students had a strong presence at the Techtextil show in Frankfurt, Germany, May 4–7. The work exhibited was in varying stages of development, but as a whole forms an important barometer of the next generation of industry innovators. Exhibitions such as …

Wearables dispute

June 1, 2015

“Smart Shirt” patent infringement claim names well-known brands. In January 2015, Sarvint Technologies Inc., Atlanta, Ga., filed complaints for patent infringement in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against a number of leading brands, including Adidas North America, Ralph Lauren Corp., Textronics Inc. and Victoria’s Secret. Sarvint may not be a well-known …

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The value of collaboration

March 1, 2015

Turning today’s students into tomorrow’s engaged and educated industry professionals. While textile students are the future designers and manufacturers for the textile industry, students in areas such as architecture and product and graphic design are our future textile specifiers. Multi-disciplinary design has become a buzzword in education, but unless students are convinced this can help …