Trade: Bring in the experts

February 24th, 2020

by Janet Preus I would not qualify as an expert in textile technology, but for topics discussed in our features, I can generally come up with a correlation that makes sense and provides some illumination from a journalist’s perspective. Then there’s international trade. I’m going to have to go way back in my history and […]

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained

September 9th, 2019

by Janet Preus The medical textiles market is expected to reach $23.3 billion by 2025, according to a release May 29, 2019 from Non-implantable goods, the report says, takes the largest share, which is not at all surprising for obvious reasons. What’s a bit surprising is the growth in medical devices, including those that […]

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The real magic in innovation

June 10th, 2019

by Janet Preus Plenty of intriguing ideas may never be researched and developed, much less commercialized, due to a lack of funding or other necessary support. Some of those we should mourn, but others maybe weren’t all that great after all and are better left abandoned. If an innovation can’t be scaled up, if it’s […]

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Soft robotics pair with textile technologies

May 20th, 2019

New shape memory capabilities have application in several markets. The Wearable Technology Laboratory at the University of Minnesota has been doing research recently in the use of integrated active materials, particularly shape memory materials, used in soft robotics. Photo: UMN Wearable Technology Lab. At last week's Smart Fabrics Virtual Summit, sponsored by IFAI, Brad Holschuh, […]

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Skin patches: the advantages of the ultimate wearable

July 11th, 2018

Electronic skin patches could well be described as the ultimate wearable electronic devices. They deploy electronic components, including sensors and actuators with appropriate processing, energy storage and communication, directly onto the body, typically attached using an adhesive. Therefore, along with smart apparel and perhaps implantable devices, they serve as one of the most direct means […]

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Priorities change

September 9th, 2016

I am writing this while visiting at an army installation; I’ve visited others, as well. I didn’t grow up around the military, so it’s all a little new to me, and it’s impressive. I don’t get to see the inner workings of the Army, but I’ve met quite a few soldiers and I’ve learned a […]

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Do you think you know narrow fabrics?

July 10th, 2015

It’s not hard to picture a “narrow fabric.” After all, the name describes it. Well, that’s true to a point. Although ribbons, ropes, straps, slings, elastics and webbing are all narrow, for those who make high performance products for particularly demanding markets, that’s just the beginning. (See “Narrow fabrics’ widening markets.”) It is a part […]

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Standards are not written in stone

May 11th, 2015

Nobody’s going to argue the importance of having standards for fire resistant and fire retardant textiles, but the issue of standards is anything but simple. Who decides? Who does the testing? Which fabrics for which uses must meet which standards? In fact the new California State Fire Marshall standards run many hundreds of pages. No […]

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When is a fabric a fabric?

February 10th, 2015

This month, our featured material is not about a specific market area, per se, but rather about the challenge of commercializing new technology in any segment of the industry. There’s enough to talk about here to fill a shelf of encyclopedias (remember those?), so the challenge was to manage the topic, given the expanse of […]

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The sum of its parts

January 12th, 2015

There are layers and layers (so to speak) to the flexible composites story. We’re going to start with architectural applications in this issue and move on to additional applications throughout this month. Bruce Wright offers up-to-date information on this topic in his article, “Flexible composites = Innovative structures.” Advances in composite textiles have been important […]

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