In this industry, and I guess one could say in most industries, there is never enough time in the day to consume and absorb all that there is to learn about new technologies, processes and developments. Fortunately for textiles and fabrics there is the North Carolina State University program designed for industry professionals. Last month’s program, dedicated to technical fabrics, explored not only the entire process of fabric manufacturing, but also the product development of new technical materials. In addition to exploring the linear production flow from fiber/yarn to knitting/weaving to dyeing/finishing, we also learned about the real world practical applications of the growing number of industries and niche markets in which technical fabrics are finding a need and a home.
As noted above, the “process” is a linear evolution: fibers, either natural (cotton, wool for example) or synthetic (nylon/polyester for further example) are treated in such a way that their ultimate evolution into yarn (through the application of heat and orientation) affects the material in which they are ultimately made. To get “there” the yarn must be knit or woven into particular designs or structures, and ultimately dyed or finished. Or, in the case of non-wovens, bonded together to form an entirely different product.
Our company, Jason Mills LLC, is using dyeing and finishing methods to delve into the nano textile world of phase change (cooling affects to the touch), the finish combination world of water repellency paired with fire resistance and UV resistance, the knit combination world of mixing inherent anti-microbial yarn with micro deniers along with moisture management finishes to create a product that is soft, moves moisture and contain anti-microbial properties that will never wash out. These products – that we knit, dye & finish in the USA – are viewable on our website (www.jasonmills.com). If you visit, please check out 601 PCM, 413 and 280 LP.
The larger point here is that the methods and process’ that we use are continually being enhanced and developed to produce materials and textiles for medical products, outdoor recreation and general industrial end users (to name a few). Its an exciting time to be in the textile industry. We are greatly appreciative that there are schools such as NC State University to invest time and intelligence into the growing US market. We look forward to being part of that growth.