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Top ten prominent technologies for this month

The discovery of the greener technology, increasingly sophisticated machineries and the development of different fibres that faithfully reproduce fabric functions are just a few examples of technical advances that are spurring on many areas of textile & apparel industry. This section of Bangladesh Textile Today investigates everything from material development to its application. From those ingenious technologies the ten most significant technologies of the month is being focused in this section. For any feedback or comments: farhan@textiletoday.com.bd

Nasturfasern Launches World’s First Responsible Angora Fiber

0Nasturfasern, a German leader in sourcing natural fibers, recently debuted the world’s first responsible angora fiber, called Caregora. The fiber is said to be just as soft as cashmere, lightweight and delicate. The company informs that new Caregora fibre equals the best noble qualities for its incredible warmth, and when blended with other fashion fibres, its angora halo is unmistakable. It is exceptionally functional and versatile, suitable for a wide range of attractive, high quality-textile and apparel applications, they mentioned in a recent release. Finer than cashmere, it is exquisitely soft, lightweight and delicate, and possesses the great heat retention and moisture-wicking properties of any natural fibre.

The developer of the fiber also informed that, NATURFASERN’s production partners will be supported by promotional materials about Caregora, such as labels, fact sheets and show cards especially produced to make sure that its responsible quality is clearly perceived and guaranteed. Various brands have already chosen Caregora such as Medima GmbH, the world’s leading angora underwear producer.

Fabric based sensors to prevent drivers falling asleep at the wheel

02Car seats with integrally knitted sensors, which warn drivers when they start to fall asleep at the wheel, are being developed as part of a study by researchers at Nottingham Trent University. Professor Tilak Dias and William Hurley of the university’s Advanced Textile Research Group, are working with UK headquartered electronic sensors developer Plessey on a feasibility study to investigate how to integrate an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor system directly into the fabric of car seats in an effort to save lives.

With driver fatigue a contributory factor in one in five motorway accidents, the aim of the study is to embed a fabric based sensor system within the seat which can detect the heart signals that indicate a driver is losing alertness. The data would be used to send a warning to the driver to pull over. Should the warning be ignored, the vehicle could then engage systems such as active cruise control or lane departure technology to prevent accidents. The information could also be sent over a wireless network to a control centre to take further action. The requirement now is to improve the consistency and reliability of the data so that it can be used for the intended purpose.  This requires a novel approach to the design of the electrodes, and Nottingham Trent University’s knitted conductive textile technology offers the potential to produce robust electrodes that can be easily incorporated into automotive seats.

Technical Absorbents launches K-Sorb fabric

03UK based Technical Absorbents (TAL) are ready to launch their K-Sorb fabric at the Emergency Services Show. K-Sorb contains the company’s patented Super Absorbent Fibre (SAF) and is said to provide unparalleled levels of absorption and retention of sweat, which in turn affords the wearer a cool, dry feeling. Creating a washable super absorbent fabric was never going to be easy, and so gaining this understanding of the markets requirements was always going to be an integral part of the development process.

The composite structure of the K-Sorb material allows sweat to rapidly be absorbed from the body, providing a dry, comfortable feeling for the user. The sweat is locked away within the highly absorbent core, reducing wet back and the wet, clammy feeling. In addition, a water proof outer layer reduces the risk of wet back onto outer garments, keeping the rest of the user’s clothes dry and fresh, the company reports. The fabric is designed to absorb up to 10 times its own weight of sweat during use, the equivalent of 4.5l of sweat for a standard size jacket (1.5 square meters of fabric). K-Sorb fabric is designed to work under extreme conditions, where normal evaporation is limited or prevented – such as under heavy protective wear or within a sealed environment.

Hyosung introduces new elastane to reduce water usage

04Hyosung, a leading elastane producer, has launched a new eco friendly elastane, ‘creora easy scour’, designed to reduce water usage and improve mill quality. The new product is also said to enhance the colour appearance of fabric. They developed this technology using proprietary finish to meet the needs of mills who are using finer gauge knitting and finer yarns for more delicate fabrics. This new creora easy scour elastane has environmental and quality benefits as the reduced residual oil on fabric surface after scouring will allow mills to dye and finish more effectively, the company reports. There is a lively and playful spirit to this trend achieved through the touch of the fabrics with new MIPAN super microdenier 30/68 nylon in colour and prints with ‘creora Color+’ for deeper darker colours. Technically advanced, shaping fabrics make the most of creora eco soft in creating lighter high compression fabrics that deliver a smoothing, shaping and uplifting look but are actually comfortable to wear 24/7, the company reports.

Hypetex first coloured carbon fibre

After seven years of research and development, a leading team of engineers from the UK based research and innovation company GPF One, an official merchandiser of Formula 1, has created a Hypetex coloured carbon fibre composite. A new product is said to be light, bright, bold and strong, making it an ideal material for use in a number of industries from motoring and motor sport to cycling and design.

05The carbon fibre industry is still growing at an incredibly fast rate, with annual production of the material up to 44,000 tonnes a year, the manufacturer reports. This is expected to treble over the next six years as carbon fibre becomes easier to manufacture and distribute. The company believes the introduction of Hypetex to the market will create new possibilities for the production of carbon fibre.

Baptist Health first to adopt Vestex fluid resistant uniforms

06As part of efforts to reduce hospital-acquired infections, Baptist Health is planning to adopt specialised fluid repellent garments produced by Vestagen Technical Textiles for both staff and patients. Vestagen Technical Textiles develops and markets advanced performance textile products and technologies. The company developed Vestex, the first in a new class of technology based, active barrier protective fabrics combining antimicrobial, liquid repellent and breathability properties. Vestex uniforms and scrubs for healthcare applications are designed to protect workers and their patients from dangerous contaminants. They are clinically proven to prevent or reduce the acquisition and retention of contaminants on clothing and are comfortable, durable and affordable.

According to the company, a research on the Vestex uniforms published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology showed a nearly complete reduction in the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA, when compared to non-protective uniforms.

Brands featuring ecorepel finish to exhibit

07When it’s cold and wet outside, reliable protection is of precious value and in this respect Schoeller, a leading producer of functional fabrics, is putting the spotlight on its ecorepel ecological and durable water repellent finish as the company believes there is a rising demand for PFC-free water repellent finishes.

The new MI shorts and Vintage Cargo Pants are made of Cordura wool (55% merino wool and 45% Cordura). They both feature ecorepel for ecological protection from water and mud. Peak Performance presents the new fashionable Black Light Lite Softshell pants and shorts. The pants are slim cut and are said to enable full freedom of movement and breathability, made of soft-shell fabric with ecorepel. Ecorepel textile technology is free from fluorocarbons (PFCs) and biodegradable according to OECD 302 B (80 to 100%). It is based on long paraffin chains that wrap themselves spiral-like around individual fibres, filaments or yarns in a very fine film. This reduces surface tension so that water droplets and even mud simply run off, Schoeller claims. As the technology is wash permanent and highly abrasion resistant, it represents the combination of function and sustainability.

Cone Denim Announces VaraBlue™ – The Evolution of Color

08Cone Denim, a global leader in denim innovation, has announced VaraBlue™ color denims. Developed under the direction of Cone’s R&D incubator, Cone® 3D, VaraBlue fabrics are engineered to achieve unlimited color options using a unique garment dyeing procedure that simulates the look of traditional denim. VaraBlue denims are produced out of Cone Denim’s historic White Oak plant in North Carolina.

Using a specially developed yarn-treatment process, the warp yarns are pre-treated so that the dyes used in the garment dye process adhere to the warp yarns only, leaving the untreated filling yarns natural and thus creating denim with yarn dye and ring dye effects. VaraBlue color denims can be laundered in similar ways that indigo denims are processed including stonewashing, hand-sanding, enzyme washing, and lasering. Another advantage is VaraBlue’s sustainable dye process that lowers energy consumption, requires less water, and reduces waste from the process, providing both eco-benefits and overall cost savings. VaraBlue fabrics are targeted for both men’s and women’s jeans and are offered in three fabric styles that include SGene® stretch, rigid non-stretch, and comfort stretch.

Swiftwick Introduces Medical Class II Compression To Athletes With New RECOVERY+ Sock

Swiftwick, a leading U.S. producer of athletic compression socks, will now offer Medical Class II compression socks for athletes. The company is proud to debut the RECOVERY+. The Medical Class II RECOVERY+ socks can be used to reduce swelling, prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), assist in post-race recovery and are ideal for overnight wear.

The RECOVERY+ sock offers athletes 360 degree graduated compression that will benefit wearers after workouts, provide comfort and improve circulation and blood flow. Manufactured at 375-needle count, the socks combat leg discomfort, tired and achy legs and help prevent edema. The new sock does not cramp toes, and it is ideal for overnight recovery. The Swiftwick RECOVERY+ sock remains comfortable over long periods of time and consistently provides support and speeds up the recovery process while reducing swelling, aching and discomfort athletes can feel after a race.

The RECOVERY+ features antimicrobial, moisture-wicking material that helps keep feet dry and blister-free. The RECOVERY+ socks are the first in the industry to have the compression value in terms of milligrams of mercury pressure knitted directly into the sock, showing athletes how much compression they will be getting from the socks.

Artificial “womb” – textile therapy for premature babies

Scientists at the Hohenstein Institute are working with Beluga-Tauchsport GmbH and M. Zellner GmbH to develop an “artificial uterus” providing sensory therapy for premature babies. Hohenstein informs that about 50,000 babies are born prematurely in Germany every year. Some of them need intensive medical care in incubators for weeks or even months. However, it has been known for some time that these premature babies miss the spatial confinement and prenatal sensory stimuli of the womb (uterus). This lack can have significant consequences for these babies later on: many of the children go on to suffer from sensory or motor deficiencies as they develop, which have to be treated. Now, a textile “artificial uterus” is to be produced that is intended to recreate the environment and sensory stimulation of a mother’s womb in the incubator. To simulate the same sensations, scientists at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim are working on a research project (ZIM project KF2136730KJ3) to develop an “artificial uterus” that will provide sensory stimulation for premature babies.

The specifications for a medical product of this kind are demanding. Firstly, the material properties of the textile, such as its feel, elasticity and resistance, must simulate conditions in the womb as realistically as possible. The best combination of fibre and fabric structure must be chosen. The artificial uterus will also incorporate a mechanical textile actuator to provide the sensory and motor stimuli and sensation of equilibrium that will promote the development of the infant’s brain. These earliest perceptions affect the whole of a person’s subsequent life and are enormously important for the sensory-motor development of children born prematurely. From the medical point of view, these sensory impressions from the uterus should be provided to the baby immediately after its premature birth. Children born too early often find it hard to judge spatial distance, control their muscle tension or perform complex sequences of movements. The researchers are even going a step further in their project and incorporating the mother’s heartbeat into the artificial uterus. It is well-known that the mother’s voice and heartbeat have a soothing effect on the newborn child and also stimulate its development. There are currently no medical products available on the market that allow sensory integration therapy in baby incubators. The artificial uterus is therefore the first textile “therapist” of its kind, because until now incubators have only provided a constant temperature, the necessary humidity and a controlled oxygen supply.

With this “smart textile”, the researchers from the Hohenstein department of Hygiene, Environment & Medicine are for the first time taking a new approach to treatments to prevent problems with the sensory-motor development of premature babies. To put the product concept into practice, the researchers, led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Höfer, are working with partners from industry, Beluga-Tauchsport GmbH (Scheeßel) and M. Zellner GmbH (Michelau in Upper Franconia). It is expected that the project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Industry, will result in the first prototype of an artificial uterus with motor and acoustic textile actuators being produced as early as next year, ready to be tested in practice by neonatal doctors specialising in the treatment of premature babies.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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