The Philadelphia-based Drexel University has recently partnered with the DoD-supported AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America), and will be collectively establishing a statewide center to help entrepreneurs and private companies to transform their textile concepts from prototype to product.
The Department of Defense’s effo
rt to bring America to the forefront of textile technology manufacturing and innovation is gaining a strategic foothold in the region. Drexel University, in collaboration with DoD-supported Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), is establishing a statewide center that will help companies, entrepreneurs and innovators take their advanced-textile concepts from prototype to product and prepare America’s workforce for the quality jobs this growing sector is generating.
Drexel to Host Pennsylvania's Center For Advanced Fabric Manufacturing Innovation
Cher Horowitz’s closet from the film “Clueless” had a futuristic computer system that helped her put together outfits. Back in 1995, the concept teased what it might be like to get dressed in the future.
The future of getting dressed: AI, VR and smart fabrics
At the Defense Fabric Discovery Center (DFDC), engineers develop advanced fiber technologies for a range of applications for national security. The facility houses state-of-the-art equipment for functional fiber and fabric design, fiber device drawing, textile production, and system integration in order to create textiles with sensing capabilities.
Defense Fabric Discovery Center established to develop smart textiles
A common perception, even by some here in the Upstate, is that textile manufacturing is virtually gone in the U.S. When I encounter folks with this ill-informed notion, I’m more than happy to do my part to try to change their minds.
Years of negative headlines around layoffs, closings, and contraction no doubt etched that image into the minds of the general populace, particularly here in the heart of “Textile Country.” I had a front-row seat for the industry’s collapse, having written those headlines for more than a dozen years for another textile trade publication. Even before NAFTA was passed in 1993, the industry was beginning to see cracks in the powerful structure it had built and thrived in for many decades.