Advanced Textiles Conference

Innovative suppliers highlight partnerships throughout the supply chain plus education, demonstrations, and workshops.

November 1 – 3

All Access Registration Required to Attend Advanced Textiles Conference

The Advanced Textiles (AT) Conference starts on Monday, Nov. 1 with an afternoon dedicated to advanced textiles education, including a welcome lunch with plenary session at 11:30 am, followed by a networking reception after the education for the day concludes at 5 pm. The AT Conference continues with morning advanced textiles sessions at Expo on Nov. 2-3.


Additional Advanced Textiles Conference Education: Exclusively On-Demand

Ladan Eskandarian, R&D Lead, Fibers, Yarns, and Functional Material, Myant Inc.

Why are e-textiles struggling to become commercialized? How can we develop durable, flexible, breathable, and lightweight e-textiles? During this session, we will review the recent technological advancements in the area of e-textiles and provide an updated evaluation of the status of the research, development, and commercialization in this field. Attendees will leave with the knowledge of being able to:

  1. evaluate the current state of the art in e-textiles
  2. identify challenges and limitations in e-textiles production and user adoption
  3. demonstrate building blocks of fully functional e-textiles
  4. define a roadmap for scaled-up manufacturing of e-textiles and their future applications

Log in with your IFAI Expo credentials to watch on-demand exclusively at:

Jessica Gluck, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State

As biotechnology advances, we are seeing more innovative approaches in medicine. Textiles in the form of fibrous scaffolds can be used for tissue engineering, which is the recapitulation of native tissues in the lab. These fibrous scaffolds augment and support specific cellular function depending on tissue of interest. In particular, we explore how to develop fibrous scaffolds that best mimic the unique properties of native tissue and how we can manipulate those scaffolds to develop tissue-engineered constructs with specific functions. The Gluck Tissue Engineering Laboratory uses a stem cell model for cardiovascular and corneal tissue engineering and we will discuss our recent progress.

Log in with your IFAI Expo credentials to watch on-demand exclusively at:

Carsten Linti, Senior Scientist, Deputy Head of the Technology Center Biomedical Engineering, German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF)

Smart textiles are creating a more active role for textiles in patient care with medical applications ranging from knitted textiles with adaptive compressions, to e-textiles with sensory and actuator properties.

This presentation provides an overview of the DITF contribution to research and development projects in this field. Current work includes the European ULIMPIA, a joint project focused on the integration of textile and foil-based sensors into a multilayer wound patch.  Key to work in the medical sector is the institute’s Biomedical Engineering technology centre, that is certified according to EN ISO 13485 for the development of medical devices.

Log in with your IFAI Expo credentials to watch on-demand exclusively at:

Alejandro Maupomé, Project Leader, CTT Group
Vincent Deregnaucourt, Project Leader, CTT Group
Justine Decaens, R&D Manager, CTT Group
Nora Boudjedaïdmi, Project Leader, Method Development, CTT Group

Since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, face masks have become essential for everyone: medical teams, frontline workers, and the rest of the population. The shortage of medical grade masks has led to a diversity of solutions ranging from cloth masks to industrial cartridge masks. These masks are used in a plurality of environment, some high-risks such as hospitals, nursing homes and some with lower exposure risk such as grocery stores, offices or public transportation for instance. Therefore, the level of protection required can vary greatly.

Consequently, several standardised tests methods exist to evaluate the performance of face masks. The test protocols and the criteria of performance differs according to the type of masks. The slight variation of each protocols complexifies the understanding of the protection levels.

This presentation will focus on comparing test methods for measuring the PFE (Particle Filtration Efficiency) of masks and respirators.

Contrary to other performance parameters for masks and respirators, such as flammability or resistance to blood penetration for instance, PFE is the most universally tested parameter for all types of masks and respirators. PFE has thus become the single most important parameter to measure and report to assess the degree of protection offered by masks and respirators, for both medical and non-medical applications, just as breathability is the most important parameter to evaluate the degree of comfort of respiratory protection devices.

This presentation will compare PFE methods such as ASTM F2299, ASTM F3502, NIOSH 42 CFR 84, BNQ 1922-900, in order to help understanding the principles and pass/fail criteria behind each of these tests.

Log in with your IFAI Expo credentials to watch on-demand exclusively at:

Monday, November 1


Michael Woody, CEO, Trans-Tex LLC
Christian Cowan, COO, University of Rhode Island Research Foundation & Exec. Director, 401 Tech Bridge
Mary Johnson, Manager, 401 Tech Bridge
Clare King, President, Propel LLC

This panel session will focus on how Rhode Island textile manufacturers collaborated with the state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), government agencies, and the University of Rhode Island to create the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN).  RITIN’s goal is to close the skills gap faced by textile manufacturers, foster collaboration, and create business opportunities for its members.

RITIN was instrumental in the development of the 401 Tech Bridge, an advanced materials and technology center that also involves the US Navy and the Composites Alliance of Rhode Island.   401 Tech Bridge is now pursuing National Science Foundation funding for research into wearable healthcare devices, and building a collision space to foster research and development for the advanced manufacturing of textiles and composites.

Ben Mead, Managing Director, Hohenstein Institute America

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. This means going beyond restricted substance lists to include hazard assessments and proactive re-formulations. It requires systematically harmonizing and updating standards to stay ahead of industry and legal changes. Where do you start?  We’ll discuss how industry collaborations are helping companies move beyond risk management to hazard elimination.

Learning objectives:

  • What green chemistry is and how it can be implemented
  • A systematic approach to greener chemistry combining existing certifications
  • The importance of industry collaborations for a healthier supply chain


2 - 2:50 pm

Dr. Jesse S. Jur, Professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University & Director of Ecosystem Technology, AFFOA

Printing of electronic materials is considered a promising pathway for the development of high throughput flexible electronics.  Of particular interest is the use of inkjet printing, which allows for designing complex electronic structures.  Key challenges are faced with applying this technology to textile architectures, including the thermal processing to create highly functional electronic materials and discrete device designs given the porous structure of textiles as compared to planar flexible substrates.   Attendees will leave with the knowledge of being able to:

1.  Identify targeted opportunities of inkjet processing of electronics on textiles.
2.  Understand the state of the art in low temperate processable electronic inks.
3.  Explain the process-structure-property relationships of ink processing on textiles to create a device patterns.
4.  Evaluate the materials characteristics of electronic ink coatings on textiles.
5.  Determine the use of inkjet printing on textiles for device designs.

Courtney O’Keefe, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Hologenix

Created in partnership with Kelheim Fibres, Celliant Viscose is an innovation that has been years in the making and offers a myriad of health and wellness benefits while meeting increasing consumer demand for more environmentally-friendly textiles.

Courtney O’Keefe, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Hologenix, inventors of Celliant, will share how Kelheim’s distinctive technology and Celliant’s functional additives create a unique fiber that provides full functionality without the need for any additional processing step – a new standard in the field of sustainable IR viscose fibers.

You’ll learn why brands have been anticipating a plant and mineral-based solution as an alternative to synthetic fibers, and how this viscose fiber capture and convert body heat into infrared, increasing local circulation and improving cellular oxygenation.


3:10 - 4 pm

Dr. George Sun, CEO and Founder, Nextiles, Inc.
John Peters, CBO, Nextiles, Inc.
Matt Evans, CFO, Nextiles, Inc.

Sewing is nearly a 2,000 year old technology, but has not seen the same pace of innovation as electronics and the broader technology industry. Chips have gotten smaller, but the form factor for wearables has stayed the same – wrapping, strapping or otherwise attaching electronics to our body has been sufficient, but left users with a limited experience. The future of textiles will be merged with electronics to create the most seamless form factor, resulting in a much better user experience for all.

An overview of actionable insights that attendees will gain:

  1. The future of electronics merged with textiles
  2. The power of sewing technology and why it’s ripe for innovation
  3. Why professional athletes are the perfect breeding ground for innovation in textiles
  4. Actionable data analytics that can be leveraged from smart fabric

Bud Weisbart, Vice President, A&R Tarpaulins, Inc.
Jessica Gunawan, General Manager, AR Industries

Join this session to discover how the idea of PITU (Patient Isolation & Transportation Unit) came to be, its development and its purpose. Also, how PITU differs from other isolation units in the market.

We will be discussing what issues PITU addresses in relation to contagious diseases, medical facilities, medical staff and patients.

We will also touch upon PITUs value in the medical industry, especially for patients in hospitals and nursing homes who became infected with COVID-19, were isolated and denied visitation to prevent further spread.

In addition, photographs and videos will be shown to demonstrate the use of PITU in a hospital setting.

Stephanie Rodgers, Senior Director R & D, Innovation Textiles, Apex Mills (Moderator)

Meredith Boyd, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Technology, UNIFI Manufacturing, Inc.
Lauren Choi, Founder and CEO, The New Norm
Ben Mead, Managing Director, Hohenstein Institute America

Join us for an invigorating panel as we discuss a variety of approaches to sustainable business practices, and how the textiles industry is shifting to sustainable materials.  Hear from experts on sourcing sustainable materials, how to improve sustainability efforts across the international supply chain, and innovative and disruptive methods of converting non-recyclable materials into fibers used in fashion.

4:10 - 5 pm

Clare King, President, Propel LLC

Clare King will speak about her company’s efforts, funded by the US Navy, for the development of e-textiles.  In particular she will discuss novel solutions that Propel developed for textile-based sensors and electrical connections within 3D knit structures. Propel’s 3-year project has resulted in 3 patent applications, and the prototype e-textile sensor garment just completed successful Navy testing.  Ms. King will also discuss the challenges for transition of e-textiles to mass production, and where she thinks the opportunities will be over the next years.

Michael Savarie, Sustainability Manager, Piana Nonwovens LLC
Daniela Leal, Sustainability Manager, Piana Nonwovens LLC

As the world pivots towards a circular economy, customers, designers, and manufacturers are reexamining the impacts of traditional materials throughout their lifecycles and supply chains. This shift towards circularity has driven innovation into the nonwovens industry and has opened up endless opportunities for material (re)utilization in new and existing markets.

Tuesday, November 2

10 - 10:50 am

Nate Bolin, Partner, DLA Piper
The Hon. Bill Jackson, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Textiles
John Macisso, Legal Counsel & Director of Global Trade Compliance, Albany International Corp.

In this dynamic panel presentation, you will hear directly from leading U.S. trade official and industry peers on the trade and supply chain challenges and opportunities facing your company and industry and where the United States is likely to go next in the areas of trade and investment policy and government procurement involving advanced textiles and related technologies.

11 - 11:50am

Skip Gehring, President, Gehring-Tricot Corp.
Trevor Stevenson, Vice President, Eastman Machines
Rian True, President, Carolina CoverTech

Join us for an exciting panel of three unique IFAI member companies who will share their stories of navigating the pandemic and pivoting to the production of PPE.  This panel will address:

  • The decision making process: what prompted company leaders to make, in some cases, drastic changes to their businesses?
  • Physical changes necessary to retrofit equipment, production lines / processes, retrain employees, and more
  • Challenges in procurement of raw materials, and how the supply chain affected pivoting to PPE
  • Any challenges related to understanding testing / standards in PPE
  • The short and long term impacts on business models

Wednesday, November 3

9 - 9:50am

Chris Jorgensen (Moderator), Director, Technology Transfer, IPC
Stephanie Rodgers, Senior Director R&D, Innovation Textiles, Apex Mills Corporation
Michelle Farrington, VP of Stategic Growth, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA)
Clare King, President, Propel LLC

Join us for an engaging panel as we share a cross-section of industry perspectives on current and future capabilities related to advanced manufacturing of e-textiles. Hear from experts on manufacturability, scalability, automation/robotics, and innovation in products and materials. We will also touch on standards and roadmap efforts related to advanced manufacturing.

10 - 10:50am

Jifei Ou, CEO, OPT Industries, Inc.
Anthony Chu, Director of Product, OPT Industries, Inc.
Talia Connelly, Product/Textile Designer, OPT Industries, Inc.
Kevin Rosenberg, Partnerships and Business Development, OPT Industries, Inc.

Developing textiles for novel technical applications requires new performance considerations, tailored material properties, enhanced functions, and design novelty. However, conventional textile manufacturing processes have limited potential to achieve these results, due to intrinsic machine constraints.

We are changing this paradigm by condensing the labor-intensive, multi-step product creation pipeline into one streamlined additive manufacturing process. In this talk, we present a breakthrough in 3D photolithography technology, where textiles are engineered at the scale of microns and mass-produced to the scale of meters. We also share its exciting application opportunities in medical spaces, consumer products, automotive industries, and beyond.


11 - 11:50am

Ryan Gundling, CEO and Lead Engineer, Ryzing Technologies LLC

Compressed air has been used alongside industrial processes for well over a century. Used for many operations on the fabrication floor, air is the unsung hero of automation. As manufacturing continues to evolve many robotic structures now utilize air to their advantage and some use air to create their structure and to complete tasks. Inflatable robotic systems are being developed as an alternate approach to rigid robotics with great success for the right applications.

Attendees will leave with the knowledge to be able to:

  1. Explain soft, dynamic robotic systems
  2. Identify problem areas where inflatables may provide benefit
  3. Evaluate soft systems for technical capabilities
  4. Compare soft robotic systems
  5. Think critically about applications for dynamic inflatables

*IFAI Disclaimer: Although every reasonable effort is made to provide the speakers, topics, and sessions listed, some changes or substitutions may occur. Speakers and sessions are subject to cancellation or change up to and including the day the session(s) are scheduled to be held. Changes or cancellations are made at the discretion of IFAI and may be done without notifying attendees. If sessions are changed or cancelled no refunds should be expected. Agreement to attend IFAI Expo acknowledges acceptance of this provision.

Advanced Textiles Exhibitors

IFAI Expo 2021 includes exhibit hall space for AT innovators, suppliers, beginners and experts. Get inspired, make connections, discuss opportunities and find new products.  Join nearly 75 vendors, associations, and IFAI partners in this vibrant pavilion.

Advanced Textiles Campfires

Looking for show floor education?  IFAI Expo 2021 will have ten 30-minute interactive sessions in the Advanced Textiles Pavilion!  Stop by for fun, informal, and digestible sessions and keep the conversation flowing back to the exhibitor booths.

Learn More

Advanced Textiles Product Division (ATP) – ATP supports the entire industry and offers support, networking, education and scholarships to help ensure its future. For more information on ATP including a member list, scholarship information, a list of webinars and the latest news, click here.

Learn More

“Having now visited IFAI shows for more than 5 years, I’d like to share with you our excitement and satisfaction during this year’s show. This year was particularly effective for us, as we had several opportunities to share our public funded research results with interested public.”

Andreas Bisinger
DITF–German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research, Germany

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