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Innovations in fibres, textiles, apparel and machinery, November-December 2008
published in Issue 138, November-December 2008
Innovations allow companies to differentiate their products and become more competitive. Recent developments in fibres and yarns include a novel biodegradable linear polylactic acid fibre from Toray which offers excellent textile performance. Textronics has produced an ingenious composite fibre which overcomes the difficulty in providing electrical functionality on fibres that have a curved surface.
In fabrics, a water-repellent swimwear material which “never gets wet” has been developed by coating polyester with a plastron layer of silicone nanofilaments. MMI-IPCO’s unitary thermal fabrics provide variable insulation over different areas of the body, and contain phase change or biomimetic materials.
Cass and Crew have developed a seamless upper-body garment which enhances a woman’s upper body shape but avoids bulges, while Karen E Jones has invented a garment which lifts and shapes the lower body. The company myShape has patented a system which enables the fit of a garment to be tailored remotely to suit an individual customer, Frank D Bryant has a hood which rotates with the wearer’s head, and Nike has patented a method for concealing unsightly drawstrings.
Kimberly-Clark has addressed the problem of inadequate dye exhaustion when applying direct dyes to cellulose fibres by using a polyvinylamine together with an anionic polymer to provide a chemical bridge between the dye and the fibre. The technique also improves the fibre’s wet strength. A sophisticated printing technique has been developed by Anthony M Vassell to enable multiple images to be printed on the back or front of garments worn by sports supporters. Kris T Ziakas has devised an off-beat method for distressing garments using gunfire.
Other textile treatments include an acrylic from Nano-Tex which renders synthetic fibres hydrophilic, giving much greater comfort during wear. A number of treatments for carpets and medical wear have been developed, including one from Milliken which reduces odours and a novel fluorochemical dirt-repellent additive from 3M. Milliken has also used fluorochemicals in a new stain-release technique.
Tubular Textile Machinery has a mechanised cost-saving concept for controlling the quantity of chemicals used in textile treatments. Trützschler has invented a device for quantifying debris particles during fibre manufacture, and Ardmel Automation has an ultrasonic or laser seaming apparatus for joining fabric panels in waterproof garments without using sewing thread. A Taiwanese device helps in removing coloured fibre debris from circular knitting machines when yarn colours are changed.
Table of Contents
Innovations in Fibres, Textiles, Apparel and Machinery
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