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Ten featured technologies of the month

Technologies has to adopt them as per the demand goes and sometimes breakthrough technologies itself create new demand or new market. Use of textiles is being increasing in almost all spheres of human life mainly due to the emergence new technologies in this sector. Ever changing world of technologies is offering exciting things every month. From those ten superior technologies are focused here for our readers who are fervent regardingtextile and apparel.

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Kornit Digital launched new Avalanche Hexa DTG printer

1Kornit Digital, the leader in direct-to-garment (DTG) and digital roll-to-roll textile printing solutions, launched the Avalanche Hexa direct-to-garment printer in Asia at the CITPE show, China. The new Avalanche Hexa six-colour system features Kornit Digital’s NeoPigmentTM process that can print direct to multiple fabric types. As the only system to add red and green to the traditional CMYK palette, it brings a 30% gamut increase with the inclusion of white ink.

The extended colour range of the Avalanche Hexa offers an opportunity to take creativity to an entirely new level and helps produce really outstanding prints. It is not only brilliant reds and greens; the Avalanche Hexa produces smooth and saturated colour all over the color range. Plus, the speed of the system is amazing. With its unique inclusion of red and green, plus regular CMYK and white, the Kornit Avalanche Hexa simplifies spot colour handling and colour matching, enabling users to reproduce branding and specific shades quickly and accurately. Corporate logos can now have their identities reproduced easily and precisely first time across all fabric types, reducing waste and saving on time and costs. An important addition to Kornit Digital’s growing versatile product portfolio, the Avalanche Hexa is designed for fast throughput and superb quality, supporting a fast return on investment for users. It incorporates 20 Dimatix Spectra Polaris print-heads, with 256 nozzles each, optimising production across the overall print area of 60 x 90cm (23.5 x 35 inches).

Solvay’s Emana® smart fiber obtains European patent protection

An international chemical group Solvay has obtained a European patent protecting the use of its innovative emana® smart fiber, from the European Patent Office (EPO). emana® is a Far Infrared (FIR) yarn, polyamide 6.6-based, when in contact to the skin, interacts to the body and improves blood micro-circulation. Several clinical tests show, emana® offers sportswear and cosmetic benefits, as skin elasticity improvement and helps reducing the signs of cellulite. The EPO granted the patent (EP2402387) after extensive examination, confirming emana®’s truly innovative technology that will benefit and add value to the textile market and its customers. The granting of the patent is a final confirmation of the innovative Far Infrared technology used in emana®. The patent protects their unique product against reproduction and use by competitors and followers. It also recognizes many years of research and investments that went into this project from its conception until its marketing.

X-Rite Pantone with new solutions for quality colour management and new mobile app

2X-Rite Inc., a world leader in colour management, measure and communications technologies has recently introduced new solutions for Quality Colour Management, for consistent and repeatable colour and a Mobile App for developers to include Colour Management. The new solutions for measurements and management of colour for the paper, packaging and converting industries were introduced at Paper Con in Nashville, Tennessee (USA), and in particular ERX50 series and Ci64UV spectrometers to the Spectra Light QC light booth were showcased. Also Colour iMatch system providing quick, accurate colour analysis and colour formulations for materials and Colour iQC quality control software that removes the guesswork from evaluating colours, which simplifies processes and increases efficiency while ensuring accurate colour control.

The eXact brings to the supply chain a precise, yet simple-to-use, flexible spectrophotometer that is fully compliant with ISO 13655-2009 measurement standards and Ink Key Control software allowing commercial printers to achieve faster make-ready and improve quality control through control of ink keys, as well as Color Cert X-Rite edition, a comprehensive, scalable solution that has applications for large converters or those printers that want to drive consistency across several sites, along with eXact Scan and Color Cert X-Rite Edition were showcased at INFOR®FLEX 2014 in Baltimore, Ohio (USA).

The world’s most advanced cut resistant fabric

3Cut-Tex® PRO is a ground breaking combination of highly technical fibres, weaved by special high density knitting machines, resulting in a truly outstanding cut and slash resistant fabric.

PPSS Group, a UK based company in Knaresborough, producing high performance body armor and supplies them to homeland security agencies and other at risk clients around the globe, claim Cut-Tex® PRO is the world’s best, which is reinforced by passing several of the most stringent European and international standards for cut, tear and abrasion resistance. Cut-Tex® PRO passed all tests with the highest levels possible for textiles, highlighting clearly its level of cut protection is exceptional. Additional test reports confirm the durability of this fabric is clearly outperforming other fabrics, such as Kevlar®. Cut-Tex® PRO is now being used by uniform manufacturers in several countries, ensuring the highest level of cut protection is offered to prison and law enforcement officers and other homeland security professionals. The UK based  PPSS Group is entirely dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of protective equipment – offering protection from firearms, edged weapons, hypodermic needles, blunt trauma and human bites.

New “Invisible” class of men’s undershirt

4An American start-up company, Collected Threads, Inc. in Costa Mesa, California, successfully raised funds to move forward with an expansion of their revolutionary men’s undershirt line. Dubbed the “jT”TM by designers at this innovative company, they believe the product will change the way men see – or not see – an essential base layer.

Company explains, Undershirts were not designed with today’s fashion in mind. More men are moving to casual, open collar styles at work and on the town. Visible crew and v-neck undershirts distract from a man’s look and the tank top provides no sweat protection where it matters most. jT undershirts, a complete offering guaranteed to hide under two or more open buttons. The jT line (six styles) achieves this with slightly lower and wider necklines optimised to disappear in the shirt collar. Flatter collar trim hides lines better through the shirt and enhanced sleeve lengths stay under short sleeve button-ups or polos. Collected Thread is planning a significant marketing rollout of the jT this spring with an Undershirt Violation Tour. The company assures a comical approach to citing men for their visible undershirt “violations”, but they are keeping details close to the belt.

Optimised clothing for wheelchair athletes

5In recent years, as part of research project, scientists at the Hohenstein Institute have generated huge amounts of data from which they have been able to derive practical ways of optimising sportswear for wheelchair users. Building on the data and comparative data from people who are able to walk, the team led by project manager Anke Klepser has produced guidelines for designing and processing long and short sleeved shirts, winter jackets and trousers.

The results of their research include studies of body measurements and proportions, movement processes and the posture of wheelchair users engaging in specific sports. Now clothing manufacturers will be able to make use of these studies when developing their products, scientists report. With the help of the 3D scanner technology that is available today, it was possible for the first time to measure the complete body and create a virtual twin (avatar). With its help, even after the end of the project certain posture specific body measurements, such as of the back, legs or arms, can still be calculated.

In the majority of wheelchair athletes, the upper body and arms are very muscular and this must be taken into consideration in the design of shirts and jackets. To ensure a good fit offering a great deal of freedom of movement, the garments therefore have to have specially adapted seam lines. The scientists also had to consider the specific requirements of disabled athletes in relation to the wicking of body sweat, also known as the moisture management of the clothing, because, due to their position, their back or the back of the thigh is in close contact with the hand bike or wheel chair, sweat can build up very quickly.

3D printing for medical applications: an alternative to conventional casts

6Jana Bukolovska reports on a new medical development produced using 3D printing technology which may offer an alternative to traditional textiles based products.

3D printing technology is emerging at such a fast pace that people are now asking the question – what can’t you make with 3D printing rather than what can you make with 3D printing. The technology is being used to produce anything ranging from body parts to catwalk fashion.

The 3D-printed Cortex exoskeletal cast for fractured bones is said to provide a highly technical and trauma-zone-localised support system that is light, shower friendly, hygienic and, unlike  plaster or fibreglass casts, can also be recycled. It is Lightweight and washable. An orthopaedic cast, or a surgical cast, is a shell, encasing a limb to stabilise and hold anatomical structures in place until it’s healed. Frequently made from plaster or fiberglass, it can cause the patient discomfort, such as itching and developing an unpleasant smell.

New vapour permeability testing methods for breathable fabrics

7Versaperm, a leading manufacturer of testing equipment, has introduced two ranges of textile permeability testers for measuring the weather and water-proof breathability (vapour permeability) of new and improved textiles.

The company’s development is a response to a rising demand for new methods of testing, following the continual drive for new styles and ever higher-performance materials in the fashion and sports markets. Versaperm has introduced two types of instrument. One is gravimetric, to meet the demands of the ISO standard, and the other one is a faster instrumental technique, which is said to produce results in as little as a few hours for some fabrics.

Weatherproof fabrics are typically plain weaves with yarns coated with a durable, water repellent finish.  Many also have a microporous or monolithic film, coating or bicomponent combination.  Today, these materials are produced in massive quantities worldwide and this is the market which Versaperm is targeting.

Monforts to launch new modular interchangeable coating system

8German A. Montforts Textilmaschinen GmbH & KG is to unveil a new modular, patented interchangeable, coating system under the name of Montex-Allround for Technical Textiles at upcoming ITMA Asia + CITME in Shanghai, China. The new coating system ensures ease of adapting to the coating method required. The new patented concept provides the solution to integrate a wide variety of coating, printing and other innovative application techniques. The position of the coating head, for example, directly within the fabric in-feed of the stenter forms the shortest distance between the in-feed and the coating head, thus essential for high quality coating processes.

The Montex-Allround also features individual modules for knife and slot dye coating, as well as modules suitable for flexo, gravure and rotary screen printing. Integration of special modules, such as powder scattering and spraying is also possible. The modules are carried, cleaned and moved with a specially designed trolley which provides easy access to the side of the stenter in feed with minimum downtime.

Lycra bio-derived spandex introduced

9Invista, one of the largest integrated producers of polymers and fibres, and owner of the Lycra brand, has introduced the only commercial offering of a bio-derived spandex available globally and for use in a wide variety of apparel fabrics and garments.  Around 70% by weight of the new Lycra bio-derived spandex fibre comes from a renewable source made from dextrose derived from corn.

According to the company, the use of a renewable feedstock in the making of this new Lycra bio-derived fibre results in a lower CO2 emissions footprint than spandex produced using traditional raw materials. With the new Lycra brand offering, Invista is providing retailers and manufacturers of stretch fabrics a spandex fibre option that can impact the overall lifecycle analysis of the fabric and garment.

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