The 13th edition of Techtextil North America (TTNA), held May 3-5 at Atlanta’s World Congress Center, achieved positive results by most accounts. This year’s show housed 351 exhibitors and drew more than 7,000 attendees. Many exhibitors were pleased with the event’s traffic while others reported their objective was to let the world know they are open for business. As it did two years ago, TTNA shared an exhibit hall with Texprocess Americas and the JEC Composites show.
Sportswear that can measure heart rate and other performance metrics, and jackets that can control a smartphone are at the cutting edge of the burgeoning wearables sector. With a focus on technology, design and function, this trend is placing new demands on fabric makers developing e-textiles and other smart garments.
But the growing field of high-tech textiles does not solely involve integrating electronics into yarns and fabrics to produce trendy apparel; technical textiles are offering solutions in a wide range of end-uses using innovative yarns, fabric constructions and finishes.
By Martin McCoustra and Robert Mather, Heriot-Watt University and Power Textiles Ltd.
Gas plasma treatment technology will be a game changer for processing textiles, and in particular technical textiles. The treatments adapt their surface properties without affecting any of their bulk properties. The plasma technique provides a clean, dry approach that consumes far less energy than do traditional wet treatments, the level of effluent is greatly reduced and, crucially, equipment on an industrial scale is commercially available1.
While the technical textiles industry has matured in many respects, the sector continues to grow, spurred on by a myriad of macro-drivers, such as growing populations in developing countries, maturing populations in developed economies.