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Delegates at the International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating (held in Berlin, Germany, on 8-9 November 2017) learned how: acoustic energy can be exploited to coat textiles; a technology for creating three-dimensional coatings can be used to exploit a consumer’s attraction to the touch and feel, in addition to any visual appeal, of a product; biotechnology is used to engineer polysaccharides as the basis of a range of high-performance biomaterials without the need for petrochemicals.

French company Fibroline has developed a process based on using electrical fields to drive dry powders into substrates. No heat is required and there is no rise in temperature during processing, which takes place at room temperature. Speaking at the International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jérôme Ville described the latest technology, its applications and the company’s vision for commercializing them.

Polyurethane, fluorocarbon and flame-retardant coatings have been integral parts of the textiles industry for many years, but all are based on the use of chemicals falling foul of modern legislation and standards with respect to human health and environmental impacts. Nick Butler reports how several speakers at the International Conference on Textile Coating and Laminating considered the viability of alternative technologies.

John McCurry interviewed Leib Oehmig, Glen Raven’s new Chief Executive Officer, and Harold Hill, the President of its Technical Fabrics division, to learn about a company determined to remain one of North America’s foremost manufacturers of specialist fabrics.

In the first months of 2018, plastics have continued to make plenty of unwanted headlines, with synthetic textiles entangled in an ongoing debate about sustainable manufacturing and single-use disposable products. Inevitably, this raises fears in the industry of wide-ranging legislation that will ban such products, fears that are already becoming reality in the UK, as Adrian Wilson reports.

The world is changing at a rapid pace, driven in major part by advancements in technology. The high-performance composites industry is no different and, as James Bakewell reports, at the 2018 edition of JEC World held in Paris, France, on 6–8 March, several key trends became apparent.

Experience in the highly demanding newspaper print industry has given Baldwin Technology its expertise in hydraulic spray technology. Now the company aims to introduce the technology to solve many of the problems faced by textile finishers.

Three US companies aiming to make smart fabric products a reality reveal to John McCurry the reasons that their sector has yet to exploit its full potential despite the continued interest shown by consumers and apparel manufacturers.

Mass customization, direct-to-consumer sales models, drastically reduced delivery times and the strong influence of social media on buying decisions are all contributing to the continued rise of digital textile printing, according to Adrian Wilson.

In their attempts to conquer space travel, today’s private companies backed by entrepreneurs have a rich legacy of development work from the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to draw on, writes Adrian Wilson