Filing isn’t my favorite thing to do, but the pile had gotten so tall, it was going to fall over. My first answer to that problem was to divide the stack into multiple piles, but all that did was take up even more space in my office. Finally, I gave in and started filing. It’s amazing what you find!
Like the article about a textile that’s flexible and breathable but hardens on impact. Dow Corning has developed a product they call Deflexion™. It combines a textile and silicone to create a fabric that can be useful in soccer players’ shin guards or skateboarders’ clothing. It can be cut and sewn just like any ordinary textile, but it dissipates the impact of a kick or landing on the shoulder rather than your feet, protecting the athlete’s body.
Or, how about a light-activated coating for textile-based face masks and filters that can kill or inactivate 99% of tested viruses and bacteria? Serqet™ technology produces a singlet oxygen that lasts for only a micro-second but, in that time, kills microbes. I don’t exactly understand how it works, but the idea is very interesting for medical uses where viruses and bacteria are especially problematical.
If you live in hurricane-prone parts of the United States, you might want to protect your home with Storm-A-Rest™ panels. They are fabric “shades” that attach to the outside of a building and are marketed as an alternative to boarding up a structure with plywood. You just unroll them when needed. According to an advertisement, these fabric panels are, pound for pound, fifteen times stronger than steel.
In an article about sustainability and textiles, I found out about the “cradle-to-cradle” concept of sustainability that’s being promoted for industry. This means that products and processes are designed to be re-used in one way or another after their initial purpose has ended. Crypton Inc., a maker of stain, moisture, mildew, bacteria and odor-resistant fabrics, was one company cited as a business concerned with making sustainable products. Crypton (don’t you love the name for a performance textile?) has re-engineered its products to eliminate or reduce certain chemicals and heavy metals, lower energy consumption, and increase recycling. They, and many other companies, are now looking at sustainability as to help the environment as well as their own bottom lines.
I learned about all these innovations and great ideas—and many more—while reading magazines from ATHM’s Osborne Library. Perusing magazines always feels a bit like playing hooky, but it’s fascinating to see what’s new in textiles. What will they think of next?
Yes, filing really helps make my office neater, but it can also be a lot of fun, too.
Diane Fagan Affleck
Director of Interpretation