The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) opened the advanced textiles education sessions of Virtual Expo 2020 with a presentation by Dr. Sasha Stolyarov, CEO, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). His presentation, “The Development of Advanced Functional Fibers and Fabrics” outlined the progress made in AFFOA’s mission to “rekindle the domestic textiles industry” with its coordinated research, development, and commercialization support.
Stolyarov says the vision is “to transform what a fiber and a fabric is,” so fibers become functional fiber microsystems that can be engineered for an array of functionalities and in multiple markets. “We’re talking about a whole new industry, a whole new set of skills,” he said.
In order to do that, it will take collaborative effort. AFFOA has key roles in this endeavor, he says, that starts with transforming traditional fiber, yarns and textiles into what is, essentially, an entirely new products that are highly sophisticated, integrated and networked systems. This will require a new domestic supply chain, as well, one that can be relied upon long-term and with rapid-response capabilities. The third part of this effort is “inspiring, educating and training students and workers for the future,” he said.
The advanced textiles education sessions continue through November 12, and registration for IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 is also open through Nov. 12. All Expo sessions will be posted on the Virtual Expo platform for viewing during Expo and for 30 days after Expo has concluded.