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Consumer Guide | Top Ten Textile Innovations of the Year

FabricLink's Top 10 Innovations for 2010

This annual award recognizes new textile based product technologies in the area of specialty fabrics and the development of significant improvements in design, construction or performance of existing products. The selection is made by the FabricLink Network, based on a review of new products currently in the marketplace within the specialty areas of technical sports textiles, industrial, medical, safety/protective and home furnishings. Innovation drives the specialty fabric market, and the FabricLink Network congratulates the products, designers, manufacturers and suppliers who are leading the way.
AeroFlate™

AeroFlate™ is BondCote's latest development for use as an inflatable boat fabric. The proprietary process and thermoplastic coating system on a high strength substrate provides strength, durability, and UV resistance to ensure the highest degree of quality even in the roughest waters. The fabric is made from yarns of high tenacity polyester. The base fabric uses a highly engineered PVC wet coating, applied in multiple processes to an extremely dense woven fabric construction. The high tenacity polyester yarns and dense weave provide a dimensionally stable product.

The highly engineered PVC formulation provides long lasting color and fabric protection from both UV-A and UV-B, and mildew / fungi. The PVC is formulated to provide increased durability by increasing abrasion, oil, and seawater resistance. This formulation provides ease of fabrication through high frequency and hot air welding with increased peel and shear-strength, and also allows for easy cleaning using mild soap and water. Collectively, all the elements provide for increased tensile strength and puncture resistance. The specialized fabric provides air permeability up to 172 kPa and hydrostatic resistance of 5792 kPa.

Not one specific element of the construction is unique to the other elements. The combination of all has crafted a highly engineered quality product that sets it apart from other available fabrics. The fabric is weldable, which eliminates hazardous glue systems. It is also economically priced without any reduction in quality or utilization, and it does not yellow due to UV-A or UV-B exposure.

Sliver Lining Mattress CoverAeroFlate™ inflateable boat fabric

 


A*Star Research

Silk Cocoons Produce Inherent Color through Luminescent Dye Additives is the research finding of A*Star Research, Singapore. The study has showed that the addition of fluorescent dyes into silkworm feed, creates a simpler, 'greener' way to introduce color and luminescence into silk fibers. By adding fluorescent dyes to silkworm feed, they were able to produce luminescent silk fibers in a palette of colors including pink, green and orange.

The resulting color change in the silk fibers was created when a group of synthetic dyes known as rhodamines were introduced into the mulberry powder used for feeding silkworms. The silkworms' uptake of rhodamine appeared to be extremely fast, since changes in body color were observed approximately one hour after ingesting the 'rhodamine' feed. Lowering the concentration of rhodamine led to less intensely colored cocoons, while increasing the concentration did not result in a significant increase in color intensity.

The study found that silk fibers produced by silkworms that have ingested rhodamine appear dark pink, light yellow and light pink under sunlight and emit an orange, green and pink glow under ultraviolet radiation. In comparison, silk fibers produced by normal silkworms appear white under sunlight and emit a blue glow under ultraviolet radiation. Examination under scanning electron microscopy showed that the core filament of the silk fiber, known as the fibroin, absorbed most of the rhodamine dyes. Aside from the color, the researchers found little differences between the colored silk and normal silk.

Colored Silk

 

CORDURA® Naturalle™

CORDURA® Naturalle™ fabric is a new addition to INVISTA's CORDURA® brand portfolio. Widely known for its long-lasting durability, this new CORDURA® fabric technology is available in 'full dull' nylon yarn constructions that look and feel more like natural fiber based fabrics, yet still incorporate the exceptional abrasion, tensile, and tear strengths the brand has made popular. The CORDURA® Naturalle™ fabric collection is ideally suited for a wide array of end-uses, including performance active wear, technical outerwear and shell weight fabrics, and ready-to-wear apparel. The new fabric line is a key component of the CORDURA® brand 'Apparel Collection' that debuted at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in August, 2011.

The CORDURA® brand Apparel Collection includes a variety of nylon/cotton blends, performance knits, traditional wovens and ultra-lights, as well as the new CORDURA® Naturalle™ fabric assortment that provides a matte appearance similar to the look of cotton. CORDURA® Naturalle™ fabrics give a stylish durability without sacrificing functionality and performance. The CORDURA® Apparel Fabric Collection also features a wide selection of lightweight plain, rip-stop and dobby weaves, as well as circular, flat or warp knits. The collection also showcases two and three layer laminated fabrics, double weaves, and stretch wovens and knits, combined with INVISTA's LYCRA® fiber, all of which are available with or without specialty performance finishes.

Ideally suited for inner layer, next-to-skin garments, such as t-shirts and baselayers, and for outer layer shells such as jackets, trousers, and jeans, the CORDURA® Apparel Fabric Collection offers customers a vast array of performance driven, versatile and trend-conscious styling options that include the built-in durability of CORDURA® fabric, which seamlessly transfers these products from day into night and from the trail to the dinner table.

Cordura Naturalle

 


Fasten-Air™

Fasten-Air™, developed by Darlington Fabrics, a division of the Moore Company of Westerly, RI, is a group of warp knit stretch fabrics that provide excellent hook attachment using Velcro® brand hook tape. The unbroken loop (UBL) fabric offers 7 various styles with different levels of stretch, weight and compression. While it uses the familiar hook and loop closure, the fabric is unique because of its stretch-comfort and function. The warp knitted fastening fabric system is available in both napped and un-napped loops, and in a non-run, non-fraying construction. The warp knit loop fabric is strong, yet soft and offers a variety of widths and weights for the best fit in any application. The products are comprised of 9% to 20% spandex with nylon at weights of 6.5 oz./sq. yd. to 9.8 oz./sq. yd. In addition, the hand is soft and subtle, which adds to the overall appearance. Major end-use applications for the products include medical, athletic, and industrial. Darlington's Fasten-Air™ fabric collection is available in custom colors, and there is also sample yardage available in various colors for product testing. All are machine washable. In addition, Darlington's Fasten- Air™ can incorpoate Odorexx™, which provides long lasting anti-odor freshness, and Naturexx™, which wicks moisture away from the body to maintain a cool, comfortable feel.

 

Close up of Fasten-air



Glenoit Fabrics Corporation

Glenoit Fabrics Corporation, Tarboro, NC, made our Top Innovations of 2011 list, not because of a specific new trademarked product, but rather because of the innovative ways it is using traditional sliver knitting machines. The company has creatively taken advantage of its sliver knit jacquard capabilities in a unique way to add newness to traditional pile/faux fur fabrics. The jacquard capabilities of the machines allows product developers and designers the ability to strategically place different slivers, either for color, look, function, or a combination of these qualities into the finished fabric produced by the machines. For example, one set of sliver might be blended for optimum wicking capability, while another set might might be used to create a lofty spacer effect, and still another to communicate a logo or pattern.

The newest generation of this ergonomic engineering created by the company uses the sliver machines to create faux furs in the backing yarn construction for inside liners of garments. Glenoit can create function, stretch, durability, or even flame retardant performance through the specific selection of the backing yarn.

Final innovative capabilities can also be added to the sliver knit fabrics through Glenoit's array of foam coating or finishing processes. Glenoit's extensive in-house finishing capabilities can add a further level of uniqueness, which can range from the recognized Berber or Sherpa finishes to shearing, napping, or needle-punching techniques. Glenoit can apply its technology to create unique and proprietary products for a wide range of applications in a variety of industries.

 


Keramatrix™

Keramatrix™, developed by Keraplast Technologies, LLC, San Antonio, TX, is the first medical product to be honored as a Top Innovations winner. Keramatrix™ is a dressing material designed for hard-to-heal, fluid-oozing wounds. As the wound heals, the Keramatrix biological material actively participates in the healing process by being absorbed into the wound area. Since the Keramatrix does not need to be removed, the wound is not disrupted at the time of a dressing change.

The Keramatrix™ material is a non-woven fabric made entirely of keratin protein fibers, which are wool fibers that have been carefully unwound to utilize the fibrous proteins that make up the wool fiber. These protein fibers are then reconstructed into a matrix of fibrous protein, which becomes the Keramatrix™. This proprietary protein matrix system delivers Replicine™ Functional Keratin® directly to the wound, which specifically activates a certain type of skin cell that promotes better growth, and closes a wound faster. During the process, the Replicine™ Functional Keratin® protein molecules naturally align themselves into the fibrous Keramatrix™ construction, which optimizes the fibrous proteins' ability to align themselves into a useful non-woven matrix of fibers. In many cases, this leads to the closing of a difficult wound that has been stalled and is not healing. The Replicine™ Functional Keratin®, delivered by the Keramatrix material, actively promotes good cell growth, which accelerates the process of skin regrowth over a wound, and excels the essential final step in wound healing.

Replicine™ Functional Keratin® advanced wound care technology is a new paradigm in wound healing that is becoming the treatment of choice for wound care professionals caring for venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, burns and specialist skin disorders. Keraplast Technologies has signed a partnership agreement with Marathon Medical, Commerce City, CO, as the exclusive distributor of Keramatrix™ and other Keraplast products in the U.S.

 

 

Keramatrix material

Karaplast

Kermel® Denim

Kermel® Denim fabric utilizes a new version of the Kermel® fiber, developed for flame and heat resistant protective clothing. KERMEL, a European leader in the manufacturing of meta-aramid fibers, has been offering Kermel® blends for the past 40 years. The company has a high expertise in blending different fibers together to get the benefits of each fiber without the drawbacks of it. The innovative jeanswear fabric is a twill 3/1 construction made of a100% Kermel blend. The fiber combines non-flammability, comfort and durability with a new design for industrial protective clothing.

Kermel® Denim is strong, very durable and extremely pleasant to wear. It provides better protection than other products available on the market, thanks to the protective properties of the Kermel® fiber. Kermel® Denim is permanently non-flammable and protects against arc fires, with no subsequent flame-retardant treatment required. The new fabric has been developed specifically for industrial workers involved in high-risk environments, such as the petrochemical industries, electrical and gas utilities. The wearability of the garment is like wearing a typical cotton jean, but it provides extreme flammability protection along with strong durability. Kermel® Denim meets the requirements of ASTM-1506, CGSB 155.20, NFPA 70E Class 2, IEC 61482-1-2, IEC 61482-1-1 and ISO 11612.

 

OFFRAY FR-FLEX™

OFFRAY Specialty Narrow Fabrics (OSNF) and FULFLEX® have teamed up to develop a new collection of FR elastics offered in blends of Kevlar®, Nomex®, PBI®, and other fibers in a variety of widths and thickness. The new OFFRAY FR-FLEX™ line has applications in any market requiring an elastic product. This would include industrial, electrical, military, safety and fire protection. The characteristics of this innovative elastic webbing include flame-resistant no melt/no drip performance, and most importantly, increased design opportunities; including base layer applications. Allowing for thinner flatter designs, OFFRAY FR-FLEX opens up the ability to use stretch products providing better fit and performance. The increased FR protection surpasses the NFPA 1971 vertical flame standard allowing for stretch product applications that were impossible in the past.

OFFRAY Specialty Narrow Fabrics is a privately-owned manufacturer of technical, high performance webbings and tapes with expanded fabrication services for customers worldwide in both commercial and Military applications. The company is proud to be the leading narrow fabrics supplier of woven products made in the USA. FULFLEX® is the world's leading manufacturer of thin-gauge calendared and extruded elastic products.

 


Schoeller Textil AG's USP (Ultra Soft Protection)

Schoeller Textil AG's USP (Ultra Soft Protection) opens the competition in the fabric discipline for "technical lightweights" with a previously undreamed of comfortable lightness, coupled with wind proofing and rain resistance qualities. The new USP technology captures the ultimate spirit for the most modern fabrics. Compared with materials featuring comparable functions, the USP fabrics are ultra-light, offer protection from rain, are windproof and retain their natural breathability. Some styles of USP are available in a down-proof version, opening new possibilities in the still growing down garment trend. In addition, the protective layer barely increases the fabric weight and the material with USP has a very pleasant next-to-skin feel.

The new USP collection has a variety of fabrics that are suitable for a wide range of functional applications. The total weight of a trendy functional rain jacket made of a fabric with the new USP technology (which passes the AATCC-Rainwear Test) can weigh as little as 80 grams. Function cannot be lighter than with the ultra-light, transparent schoeller®-spirit polyamide fabric in the vibrant pastel shades of the rainbow. The elastic schoeller ®-shape fabric also provides a light, protective cover in shades of blue, tan and pink.

Two further airily light fabrics include the elastic schoeller®-spirit jacket-weights with USP and the USP polyamide fabric in matt looks. All fabrics finished with USP technology can be worn next to the skin without a lining, saving both on weight and packing volume.

USP (Ultra Soft Protection)

Tencate Mirafi® H2i

Tencate Mirafi® H2i, developed by TenCate Geosynthetics Americas, Pendergrass, GA, provides a significant improvement in stabilizing structures. Mirafi® H2Ri's multi-layer woven construction incorporates a patent pending fiber technology to produce a high tensile modulus, and a patented multi-channel wicking fiber technology that alternates in a pattern, which synergizes these characteristics into a single material. The unique aspect of the wicking fiber is that no head is needed to move the water, unlike other drainage geosynthetics. Mirafi® H2Ri also significantly minimizes the costs of highway repairs, especially in locations where there are moisture management concerns. Since damage from water is a major cause of highway repairs, the use of Mirafi® H2Ri can minimize or alleviate these problems.

TenCate Mirafi® H2Ri integrates high strengths at low strains, high permittivity, separation and high interaction for particle retention, which are all needed for roadway stabilization.

In addition, TenCate Mirafi® H2Ri incorporates the patented wicking fiber for water movement. Therefore, the benefit of Mirafi® H2Ri is created by its ability to reinforce the subgrade while including a hygroscopic, hydrophilic fiber that will wick water from the soil and move it horizontally under the roadway. This combination has been proven to be an ideal solution for heaving soils.

Tencate's Mirafi H2i


 

 

 
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