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Smart Fabrics Summit convenes in late March

In the Industry | March 14, 2022 | By:

The Smart Fabrics Summit will be held at North Carolina State University (NC State) in Raleigh, N.C. The university’s Wilson College of Textiles is co-organizer of the event with the Industrial Fabrics Association International. 

This year’s Summit offers two days of educational sessions, product showcases and networking opportunities, March 28–29. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. on the 28th. Presentations begin at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. Adam Curry, Innovation Ecosystem Director, ASSIST Center, speaking about “Self-Powered Next Generation Wearables.” 

The research center conducts research in energy harvesting, low-power sensors, low-power electronics, electronic textiles, and engineered systems, integrating these core technologies into next-generation e-apparel, wearable patches and other wearable devices. Curry will discuss how the center works with multi-disciplinary students and faculty, businesses, entrepreneurs and supporting organizations. 

In the afternoon, Dr. David Hinks, Dean of the Wilson College of Textiles, will moderate a discussion on the “State of the Industry in 2022,” which will include Tanya Wade, Client Intake Administrator, Manufacturing Solutions Center; Dr. Mike Saltzberg, Global Business Director, DuPont Biomaterials; and Jennifer Knight, Deputy Ass’t. Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials, OTEXA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The panel will take a broad look at research and development, manufacturing and entrepreneurial ecosystems, comparing pre-COVID conditions and today’s advanced textiles markets. 

Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert, Hohenstein, will speak on “SmartTex: Biomedical Monitoring in Aerospace,” which address the challenges associated with long-term missions in space travel, as well as its implications for telemedicine and fitness on Earth. 

The “SmartTex” t-shirt as developed specifically for experiments in the International Space Station (ISS). It contains integrated and adaptable sensors that will monitor and transmit several detailed parameters using ballistocardiography (muscular contraction). SmartTex is part of the Wireless Compose-2 project, a collaboration between the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Hohenstein, DSI Aerospace, Bielefeld University and Hamburg University of Technology.

Later in the afternoon, Michelle Farrington, vice president of strategic growth, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), will speak on the topic, “Technologies for Advanced Textile Systems,” providing an update on new technologies in passive and active textiles supported through recent project calls.  

New start-up companies are supported by AFFOA in bringing new capabilities to market. Companies developing innovations such as 3D weaving, T-Shirts that change graphic design, soft robotics for rehab and CNTs for electrodes will be discussed.

Experts from Mississippi State University will address the topic “Application of smart textiles to the validation of wearable technology.” Charles Freeman, assoc. professor; Erin Parker, graduate student; Harish Chander, assoc. professor; and David Saucier, research engineer, will focus on the connections across market segments in order to build and validate a comprehensive smart textile solution. The multi-disciplinary MSU Athlete Engineering team are leading the way for validation of wearable technologies integrated into smart textiles and consumer products. 

Dr. George Sun, CEO & Founder, Nextiles Inc., will speak about “How Smart Textiles Can Service Consumer, Enterprise, and Government Applications Using Full Stack Technology.” Material science innovations, such as e-textiles and conductive threads have been around for decades; however, we have yet to see mass consumer adoption of these innovations. This can be attributed to a fragmented yet quickly growing market for wearable technologies. 

Nextiles’ approach is complementary to the vast IOT market by providing a non-intrusive, full stack hardware-software offering, on which both consumers and businesses can capitalize. 

As one of the leaders in soft-good electronics and data engineering, Nextiles has found a way to modularize a fundamental sensing platform that can be applied for consumer, business, and government solutions.

Monday’s schedule closes with a cocktail networking reception for all participants. 

On Tuesday breakfast will be served at the Wilson College of Textiles with an opportunity to meet the college’s faculty, staff and students, prepare for tours of the facilities and participate in hands-on workshops. Demos, poster presentations and other activities on topics relevant to e-textiles and e-textile research are being offered by Wilson College students. 

Following lunch, a keynote presentation will close the Summit. Jennifer Knight, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, will speak in conversation with Dr. Andre West, director, Zeis Textiles Extension, Wilson College of Textiles. They’ll discuss the economic outlook for the textiles industry and manufacturing, public policy including international trade, and other timely topics. 

For information or to register, visit

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