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21st Century Innovations in Technical Textiles (PDF version)

The field of textiles is considered a ‘sunset industry’ in the greater scheme of things – consigned to the industrial revolution in developed countries and left to the places where wages are still cheap.

19th May 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Manchester

Sports/​Outdoor, Protective, Medical/Hygiene, Transport/​Aerospace, Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable, Interiors, Construction, Civil Engineering, Industrial, Packaging, Agriculture

21st Century Innovations in Technical TextilesThe tip of an iceberg...

The field of textiles is considered a ‘sunset industry’ in the greater scheme of things – consigned to the industrial revolution in developed countries and left to the places where wages are still cheap.

But this certainly belies the many exciting developments that have arisen in the 21st Century so far.

This new publication from Innovation in Textiles aims to guide you through just a few of the areas in which considerable innovation is underway – from basic polymer and fibre science breakthroughs to the processing technologies which will have a momentous role in shaping the future.

Smart fibres

A significant amount of textile research and development, for example, is being carried out today under extremely powerful microscopic equipment, as a consequence of the exciting and far-reaching possibilities of nanotechnology.

Then there is the biopolymer revolution underway in the plastics industry which is also poised to have a tremendous impact on the fibres and fabrics of the very near future, as will be explained.

Smart fabrics

Technical fabrics will be central too, to the global push to replace steel and gain fuel efficiency in the car industry, following the success of fibre-based composites in the latest Airbus and Boeing planes.

3D printing, or ‘additive manufacturing’ is another new science which has attracted considerable media attention recently, suggesting a radical approach to making just about everything – and without waste too.

Ten years ago, however, it was being predicted that by now, everyone would own at least one ‘talking t-shirt’, given the rapid advances in the integration of electronics and textiles.

The fact that this hasn’t happened may have dampened the media’s appetite for smart fabrics somewhat, but as will be seen, this story is far from finished.

Away from the headline-grabbing stories, many advances have simply contributed to making clothing more comfortable, as well as functional, or to improving industrial, agricultural or construction processes.

While only representing the tip of a considerable iceberg in respect of the vibrant world of technical textiles, we hope you find our guide informative and useful – there’s much more to discover at .

Organisations mentioned

Organisations mentioned in this publication include:

Rice University; Teijin Aramid; Nanyang University; Arsenal Medical; Cella Energy; Research Triangle Institute; Toray Industries; Natureworks; TissueGen; Rhodia Solvay; Teijin; Lenzing; Nanocarbons LLC; Kelheim Fibres; Phillips; Levi Strauss; Clothing+; Adidas; Under Armour; Nottingham Trent University; CuteCircuit; Peratech; London College of Fashion; Ohmatex; Hasenkam; University of Illinois; MC10; Aspen Aerogels; Cabot Corporation; Nike; P2i; Toyota; Alexium; TenCate; D’Apollonia; Bayer MaterialScience; Clariant Textile Chemicals (Archroma); Schoeller Textil; Huntsman; Schoeller Technology; Materialise; Tamicare; TU Vienna; Boeing; Airbus; CELC; BMW; SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers; Mitsubishi; Artengo; Notox; Norafin.

Buy this publication

You can buy this publication in PDF Format by following the instructions below.

This publication is also available in print format.

Publisher: Innovation in Textiles

36 pages, published in May 2013

Report price: £25.00.

This report is supplied in PDF format via email and can be purchased by credit card or via PayPal. Alternatively readers can email their order and we will invoice accordingly and send their report by email upon receipt of payment.

To buy this report, please select the button below or email [email protected].

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