The Top 10 Textile Innovations for 2016-17 include new fibre and fabric developments; novel insulation improvements, Smart Fabric technologies; and a botanical based molecular tagging solution using plant DNA to protect intellectual properties. The FabricLink Network’s Top 10 Innovations recognize technical achievements and originality that improves or advances the finished product applications and performance. The accomplishments and innovative applications developed by this year’s Top 10 Innovations award winners highlight the advancement of textile products occurring worldwide. To be eligible for the award, the textile product technology or production process improvement must have been developed in the previous year, and be commercially available during the current year.
CertainT™ Platform, developed by Applied DNA Sciences, authenticates Synthetic products throughout the supply chain. The CertainT™ Platform provides users of the SigNature® T system for manmade fibres and synthetics, such as recycled PET, with a single streamlined platform to tag, test and trace their products from source to shop. Consistent with the need to tag products at their source, the CertainT™ Platform participants will be able to offer an efficient and trusted traceability system for their entire supply chains, assuring the quality, performance and integrity of their products. Knowing where a product comes from and also where it is going is important to both retailers and consumers, and can be used as evidence in courts around the world. Applied DNA Sciences’ patented and proprietary textile tagging and testing systems which underpin the CertainT™ Platform provide supply chain certainty that protect products, brands, and intellectual property from fraud, counterfeiting, theft and diversion.
comfortemp® fiberball padding
padding is a new dimension in thermal insulation, developed by Freudenberg Performance Materials. Made from interconnected fiberballs, it is a quality thermal insulation that is as light and soft as down, which has always been the first choice for thermal insulation. The comfortemp® fiberball padding material consists of many small fiberballs, between which are many small air pockets that together provide high thermal insulation. The comfortemp® fiberball padding material has a uniform structure that ensures there are no cold spots in the padding, and maintains its construction even after washing. When processing loose fiberballs or down, baffling or chamber pockets need to be stitched for holding the filling material in place. With comfortemp® fiberball padding material, baffle chambers are not required or only very little. Italian lifestyle brand, Napapijri, will launch its “Superlight Parka” for Fall/Winter 2017, utilizing its proprietary THERMO-FIBRE® technology powered by comfortemp® fiberball padding.
Electro-Yarn, the “world’s first” conductive thread
Electro-Yarn: Introduced by Marubeni America Corporation as the “world’s first” conductive thread, Electro-Yarn is a polyester multifilament, multi-walled carbon nanotube. Each individual filament in the multifilament yarn has been thoroughly coated with carbon nanotubes. The robust network of circuits allow for the maintenance of high conductivity even through extreme expansions and contractions of the yarn. Electro-Yarn exhibits little change in electrical resistance, without compromising yarn durability. Because Electro-Yarn is lighter weight and has a larger surface area compared to metallic wires, the electrical resistance of Electro-Yarn is maintained throughout the entire length of the yarn, and the surface heating is exponentially faster than that provided by metal wires. While end-use application development is still in the early stages, Electro-Yarn can potentially be used in the following applications: Electrically functional outerwear (heating and signal); electrical shoe heaters; as a signal/power line for body sensors; and for built-in wiring in tents.
World’s first jean made from regenerated post-consumer cotton waste
Evrnu and Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) have created the world’s first jean made from regenerated postconsumer cotton waste. Using a new patent-pending recycling technology, discarded consumer waste is converted into renewable fibre. The first prototype made into the iconic Levi’s® 511® jeans represents a future where textile waste is reduced and cotton garments are regenerated to create a more sustainable world. (Each year in the U.S., 13.1 mn tonne of textile waste is created. Of this, 11 mn tonne ends up in landfills.) Until the development of this process, there hasn’t been a viable solution that effectively transforms old clothes into new garments, without compromising quality and strength. The Levi’s® jean prototype, developed by Evernu and LS&Co., was created from five discarded cotton T-shirts. Both companies envisions the creation of a circular economy that extends the life of cotton and eliminates waste by breathing new life into used clothing.
Maestley™ a new high-grade natural leather substitute
Maestley™, developed by Teijin Cordley Limited, the Teijin Group’s man-made leather business, is a new high-grade natural leather substitute. Maestley™ has equivalent texture/richness to natural leather. Teijin Cordley developed Maestley™ through innovative developments in fibre selection, non-woven structures, based material density, and lamination methods. The company will expand its series of Maestley™ products by adopting natural leather processing procedures in collaboration with Japanese tanners. Prices for high-grade natural leathers are rapidly increasing along with rising demand, while supplies in developed countries are decreasing. Teijin Cordley will expand the Maestley™ line by leveraging the company’s advanced man-made leather production technologies for high-end shoes and bags to improve comfort and durability, as well as breathability and moisture permeability. Teijin will also launch a new series of products with Japanese tanners that look and feel like natural leather, deploying the same production processes as those used for natural leather.
Circuitex® advanced material infused with Sewfree®
Noble Biomaterials, Inc., a global leader in conductive solutions for smart textiles, collaborated with Bemis Associates to develop a conductive advanced material that is infused with Sewfree® technology, and allows for simple and durable integration of electronics into apparel. This fully-bonded, conductive material is engineered with Noble’s Circuitex® technology and provides for the detection, transmission and protection of electronic signals in a soft/flexible format. Its unique construction provides designers complete freedom to design smart garments with integrated stretch and durability using Bemis Sewfree® bonding. Circuitex® is made by permanently bonding pure silver, nature’s most conductive element, to the surface of a textile fibre or fabric. The bond creates a continuous layer of silver, yet retains the flexibility, comfort and durability of the textile material. Products using Circuitex® can provide myriad data streams (ECG, EMG, strain, pressure mapping), as well as allowing for active power delivery (lighting, electro-muscle stimulation, basic power).
innovative safety glove development from ReSafe/ATIKS Mark VIII
ReSafe/ATIKS Mark VIII is the Chilean company behind an innovative safety glove development. The problem with typical safety gloves is they have a rigid backing to protect the tops of the fingers and the hand that provides no allowance for dexterity and functionality. The Mark VIII safety gloves protect the fingers from injury and can withstand a direct hit from a hammer on each finger, a slice from a saw, and sparks from a circular saw. The ATIKS Mark VIII gloves are fully flexible, giving workers impressive dexterity considering the level of durability and protection by utilizing a shatterproof thermoplastic material in the liner, allowing the wearer to maintain fingertip sensitivity and motor skills. The fingertip protection protects from impacts and even cuts and punctures. While equipment blades can cut through leather, the thermoplastic fingertip liner prevents the blade from reaching the fingers.
Schoeller develops new innovative fabric: Local Wool Schoeller®-WB-400
Schoeller has developed a new innovative fabric that is a unique cozy, soft, and layered insulating fleece fabric for outerwear. The laminate utilizes schoeller®- WB-400 soft-shell fabric with a local Swiss wool interior layer. The natural high-tech layered fabric provides a completely new insulated soft-shell look, which is an exciting alternative to conventional down for outerwear. The groundbreaking laminate utilizes the light insulation wool fleece in a special layered construction. The washable wool comes from sustainable sources in Europe and is mulesing-free. The schoeller®-WB-400 fabric is available with or without a membrane, and the shape-retaining yet elastic wool fleece can be sandwiched between an elastic polyamide exterior and a pleasantly soft innerlining. The breathable schoeller®-WB-400 soft-shell fabric is available in earthy shades or sophisticated black, and is suitable for conventional sewing. Designers have the option to baffle, quilt or leave the fabric solid without the wool insulation migrating.
Spinnova develops a new “wood fibre yarn” technology
Spinnova, a spin-off from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, has developed a new “wood fibre yarn” technology that turns wood fibres directly into yarn, without the use of complex chemical processes. The yarn manufacturing method consumes 99 per cent less water and 80 per cent less energy than cotton. Based on the technology, the amount of wood used annually in Finland would be enough to replace the world’s entire cotton production. This unique technology could revolutionize both the textile and forest industry. No harmful chemicals or energy or water-consuming steps are required, compared to the viscose process, which is used to create rayon fibre. The method resulted from an idea to combine the web-weaving method of spiders with paper manufacturing. The most suitable raw material used in this technology comes from spruce and pine trees. In 2017-2018 the production will be up-scaled into industrial scale by investing to first industrial production line.
Auxetic fabric Xtegra™ from Advanced Fabric Technologies
Xtegra™ is an auxetic fabric, made from yarn and developed by Advanced Fabric Technologies (AFT). Xtegra™ yarn has two components: 1) An elastomeric core fibre, and 2) A wrapped fibre with a smaller diameter than the core. This wrapping creates an auxetic effect that increases the tensile strength of the yarn. As the yarn is pulled, the wrap tends to straighten, which causes an increase in the effective diameter of the composite yarn. When the Xtegra™ auxetic fabrics are stretched, unlike most fabrics that get thinner and weaker, AFT’s Xtegra™ fabrics get thicker and stronger. AFT’s Xtegra™ auxetic fabrics have many benefits in commercial applications. When combined with specialized materials, Xtegra™ auxetic fabrics provide high strength and lightweight applications for military and public safety blast protection. Xtegra™ fabrics are also compatible with nanotechnology, which provide “Smart Fabrics” with a range of medical applications, including monitoring, status reporting, and autonomous triage.