FabricLink Network's Top 10 Textile Innovations for 2018-19 showcase new applications for fibers/yarns, technical fabrics, and material developments, as well as two innovative, sustainable production processes. These advancements target a variety of markets including outdoor, high-end apparel, footwear, safety & protective, and home furnishings.
The FLN Top 10 Innovations recognize technical achievements and originality that improves or advances the finished product applications and performance. 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.
We hope that these technical textile groundbreaking developments will inspire the creation of future achievements in the global textile marketplace.
Celliant® Fabrics Responsive Woven Textiles in Contract Interiors
While Celliant® fiber is not new, the technology's FDA determination as a medical device and health and wellness product has led to some exciting applications. New upholstery fabrics from Designtex and Stinson Studio feature Celliant's patented infrared fiber technology to promote local circulation, providing more energy with less fatigue, while sitting. Celliant is a responsive technology utilizing a proprietary blend of thermo-reactive minerals. When a person sits on a chair covered with Celliant, the minerals in the fabric absorb the heat generated by the body. These minerals then convert that heat into infrared light emitted back into the body, temporarily increasing local blood flow in the tissue improving performance and recovery. Hologenix, LLC, the maker of Celliant, is committed to creating, discovering and marketing products that enhance people's lives by using the body's own energy. For more information about Celliant upholstery fabrics, please contact either Designtex or Stinson Studio.
Corsair's FEAM (Fiber Energy Absorbing Material) technology
Corsair's FEAM (Fiber Energy Absorbing Material) technology, is a 100% textile, radically improved impact energy material with hundreds of applications. Unlike currently used foams, FEAM is flexible, breathable and comfortable. Its impact attenuation and fit can be customized. It will complement or replace currently used foams and could be made into more effective fire-resistant protective padding. FEAM can be used in sport and military helmets, sports protection padding, and military armor vests. It was invented by UMass Dartmouth, who discovered an innovative way to use the flocking production process. FEAM's flock fibers provide a space with mostly air that increases comfort and breathability. FEAM fibers can effectively mitigate harmful rotational forces. FEAM can utilize woven fabrics, stretch fabrics, nonwovens, foams, and plastics in a sheets or rolls format. When applied to fabrics it can be sewn, laminated, welded, or assembled into a finished good.
DriTan™, the sustainable step towards water free leather manufacturing
DriTan™ technology, developed by Dutch based ECCO Leather, uses the moisture present in the hides as a key step in their tanning process. With history dating back 10.000 years, the leather tanning process was considered impossible to achieve without the use of large amounts of water. However, ECCO Leather's DriTan technology breaks the paradigm and is set to change the leather industry. DriTan™ saves 20 liters of water per hide equal to 25 million liters of water saved annually — enough water to keep 9.000 people hydrated for one year. The technology also minimizes the discharge of waste water and the use of chemicals. DriTan™ leather is indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead-time. ECCO Leather is saving 600 tons of sludge per year, translating into 40 truckloads deposited in landfills per year.
Mylo™, Rooted in Nature
Developed by Bolt Threads, Mylo™ is a sustainable leather grown from mycelium, which has its root structure in mushrooms. In nature, mycelium grows underground in soil, forming networks of threads that help recycle organic matter on the forest floor, while providing nutrients to plants and trees. The threads interweave and self-assemble themselves into a 3D matrix that can spread for miles. Bolt Threads Mylo material looks like hand-crafted leather and shares leather's warm touch and suppleness. Mylo is created by combining mycelium cells with a substrate of corn stalks and nutrients. Within about 10 days the cells grow into the substrate, which can be cut into almost any size. Mylo can be produced in days, without the need for animal hides or the toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic leathers.
Nomex® Comfort is a fabric innovation that directly addresses the need for proven fire resistant protection with a comfortable, breathable technology. For over 50 years, garments made with Nomex® fibers have been advancing the performance of protective FR PPE. When it comes to serious hazards in the oil & gas, petrochemical, and general manufacturing industries, wearing the right FR PPE could be the difference between life and death in a workplace fire. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) develops and publishes codes/standards for FR PPE intended to prevent injury and death due to fire and electrical hazards. While the Nomex® Comfort material is the lightest weight Flame-Resistant Personal Protective Equipment (FR PPE) fabric, it continues to meet NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E standards, and provides enhanced inherent heat and flame protection.
Nullarbor Fibre™, is a sustainable alternative for plant-based fibers, like viscose, that can have significant environmental impacts. Developed by Australian-based Nanollose Ltd, an R&D company that specializes in creating plant-free cellulose technologies, the Nullarbor Fibre™ is a tree-free rayon fiber, sourced from organic liquid waste. The company has created a sweater as proof that Nullarbor can be used within the current industrial protocol, since the fiber was spun into yarn, made into fabric and manufactured into the garment using existing industrial equipment. The 18-day process to make Nullarbor requires less land, water, and energy compared to today's other fibre production processes. During the biomaterial technology process, the natural microbe-fermenting liquid food waste is converted into cellulose, which is then transformed into Nullarbor, a cotton-like fiber material. Currently, the company is developing a supply chain within the Indonesian coconut industry with aims to significantly scale up the new fiber production by mid-2019.
Omni-Heat™ 3D Thermal Reflective fabric technology
Omni-Heat™ 3D Thermal Reflective fabric technology, developed by Columbia Sportswear, amps up both heat-reflection and heat-retention, creating an entirely new warm experience. Based on Columbia's patented Omni-Heat Reflective insulation technology, the new innovation pairs a breathable fabric with the reflective heat-retaining foil component of a space blanket to provide warmth. The Omni-Heat 3D's vertically-oriented fibers do three things: First, they provide an air-pocket between the fabric and whatever it is against. In base layers, the fibers add additional insulating capacity next-to-skin. Second, the fibers lift the reflecting component by a small degree, minimizing heat loss via conduction and maximizing the heat-retaining properties of the fabric. Third, the fiber pods create a pathway through which moisture can move away from the body, enhancing the comfort and wearability of clothing and footwear.
Recycrom™ is turning waste into colors
Building on its "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" mission, Officina+39 developed Recycrom™, a patented, sustainable range of synthetic colored dyestuff powders made from 100% recycled textile cotton waste and textile scraps from used clothing and manufacturing waste. The dyes utilize eco-sustainable inputs without using chemical dyes and harming the environment. Through the innovative Recycrom™ dyeing process, textile waste is pulverized and upcycled into powder-like dyes that can be reused as pigment dyes, and then reapplied to cotton, wool, linen, and other natural fibers and blends. Various dyeing methods can be used to apply Recycrom to the various fabrics, including exhaustion dyeing, dipping, spraying, and screen printing, and coating. When dyed using Recycrom colors, the fabrics have a washed-out and natural look that complements today's current fashion trends. Brands can collaborate with the inventors at Officina+39 to make Recycrom custom dyes using a manufacturers' own scraps/textile waste.
Teijin Frontier's New Linen-like Polyester Fiber
Teijin Frontier's New Linen-like Polyester Fiber offers a fresh, natural appearance for extra-comfortable outer clothing, jackets, bottoms and blouses. Utilizing a special production technique, the linen-like fiber captures the natural resilience, luster, and the unique uneven feeling of linen in an easy-care functional fabric. The new slub yarn features the natural look of linen's thin-and-thick appearance. The yarn's alternately appearing thick parts measure around 100 mm in length. The difference between the thickest and thinnest parts of the fiber is about 1.5 times in diameter. The new fiber maintains its linen-like appearance, even when circular knitting is used. While natural linen is prone to wrinkling and bleaching, fabric made from Teijin's polyester fiber is wrinkle-resistant and retains its color. The new fiber is stretchable, washable, comfortable, easily tailorable, and does not stick to skin. Teijin Frontier will commercially launch the product in the 2019 spring/summer season.
Vector Textiles Pro-Tex
Vector Textiles Pro-Tex is a textile-based personal protection solution for people who live or work in areas where mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus exist. Originally developed by researchers at NC State, the prototype fabrics provide effective, comfortable mosquito-bite protection without using chemicals or insecticides. The fabrics are effective for indoor/outdoor wear in hot, humid climates. Since the Zika virus protection was a major public concern, the team established Vector Textiles Inc., Raleigh, N.C., to design, develop and commercialize the fabrics and the Pro-Tex Maternity brand. Initially, the line consists of innerwear serving as undergarments/base-layers, leggings, and fitted tops. Subsequent collections will include maternity outerwear. The clothing will target pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 49 in Latin America and the southern United States, which represents approximately 170 million potential consumers.
DRAPER BODY THERAPY® SLEEP LINERS
This Body Therapy® Sleep Liner offers therapeutic benefits while you sleep. The Sleep Liner allows you to use your already comfortable mattress, while helping to relieve soreness/tension throughout the body. The Draper Body Therapy Sleep Liner contains 85 % Celliant® (Polyester)/15% Recycled PET (Polyester). Celliant® is the world's most technologically advanced fiber, containing a proprietary blend of minerals extruded into a polyester fiber. Learn more about this technology. Shop for this technology>
Dr. Cool’s Reversible Chill Wristbands, sold as a pair, will keep your pulse points cool, dry and comfortable. They are made using Coolcore's patented cooling fabrics, which are sweat activated to provide three distinct functions: wicking, moisture circulation and regulated evaporation. Unlike other cooling accessories, Dr. Cool's wristbands are chemical free, so the cooling benefit will never wash out. Colors: Black, Fuscia, Monaco Blue, Red, Striped Fuscia, and Watercolor. Learn more about this technology. Shop for this technology.