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Smart Navigation and Digital Circularity: theme of two-day TIFE 2019

Leaders and experts of the textile industry pose at the launching ceremony of the two-day Textile International Forum and Exhibition 2019 held in Taipei on Wednesday. From left to right are David Ho, chairman of Taiwan Infiltration and Separation Society; Ray Lin, chairman of Taiwan Smart Textiles Association; Lee Kuei-chi, Taiwan Textile Research Institute President; Lo Ta-sheng, director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Industrial Technology; Alex Lo, chairman of Taiwan Technical Textile Association & Taiwan Excellent Brand Association; Matthew Kolmes, CEO of VOLT Wearable Tech; and Tomohiro Katsumo, Branch Office Manager of Snow Peak (Photo courtesy Taiwan Textile Research Institute)

The Textile International Forum and Exhibition 2019 (TIFE2019) kicked off in Taipei on Wednesday with a great number of bigwigs and experts from home and abroad taking part in the annual event.

The theme of the two-day event, organized by the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) as part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ technology development program, is Smart Navigation and Digital Circularity.

To help domestic textile businesses keep up with the development trend and future prospects of the global textile industry, TTRI – which marks the 60th anniversary of its founding this year – has invited specialists from the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Portugal, Spain, Israel and Taiwan to conduct 12 lectures and four forums on functional textile, digital transformation, circular economy and smart textiles from Wednesday to Thursday.

Intelligent Wear for Rehabilitation
Intelligent Wear for Rehabilitation

“Through the exhibition of the latest developments of the textile industry and the two-way exchange of views by domestic and international entrepreneurs, experts and officials, we hope to find a more precise direction for the smart development trend and sustainability of the industry in Taiwan,” said TTRI President Lee Kuei-chi during the opening ceremony at the event’s venue in Taipei.

Alex Lo, chairman of Taiwan Technical Textile Association & Taiwan Excellent Brand Association, also addressed the opening ceremony, stressing the need to create the new value for the textile industry. He quoted the Dalai Lama as saying that “If you know where to go, the whole world will make way for you” to encourage those in the industry to have a clear direction in mind for continuous development.

Fluorescent Knitting Cap
Fluorescent Knitting Cap

Following the opening address, Lo Ta-sheng, director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Industrial Technology; Ray Lin, chairman of Taiwan Smart Textiles Association; David Ho, chairman of Taiwan Infiltration and Separation Society; Matthew Kolmes, CEO of Supreme Corporation and VOLT Wearable Tech, manufacturers of high-tech fabric and yarns from the United States, and Tomohiro Katsuno, Taiwan office branch manager of the Japanese outdoor apparel and gear brand Snow Peak, joined TTRI President Lee as well as Chairman Alex Lo in the launching ceremony to formally start the event.

Kolmes and Katsuno later delivered lectures titled Development Trends in Wearable Smart Yarns Technology and An Observation of the Taiwanese Market for Outdoor Apparel and Successful Brand Management, respectively.

This year’s event includes exhibitions on smart, functional, and sustainable textiles, as well as a demonstration area for smart manufacturing in dyeing and finishing, where machines with functions such as digital streaming, power management for entire factories equipment power monitoring, and maintenance prediction are on display.

Fabric-based NFC Tag
Fabric-based NFC Tag

The exhibition on smart textiles includes fabric-based NFC Tag, which is made by embedding chips with near field communication (NFC) functions into fabrics to obtain the functionality of an electronic ticket (such as an EasyCard). NFC Tag can be applied to mobile payment and photonic fabric, which is made by applying multiple layers of flexible precision coating onto the surface of elastic fabrics to complete electronic packaging and conduction circuit layouts. It can also be applied to safety warnings, wearable interactive entertainment, and smart technology as well as smart garment for rehabilitation, which is an intelligent rehabilitation assistive device for patients with shoulder impingement syndrome. This last device involves using a highly-elastic band to fixate and support the shoulder and is embedded with multichannel electromyography with textile electrodes and a flexible conduction circuit, which can perform objective evaluations of muscle contractions and sequences through numerical computation to obtain referential data for physical therapists’ prescriptions and patients’ rehabilitation work.

Micro Filament Nonwoven of Bedding
Micro Filament Nonwoven of Bedding

On the exhibition of functional textiles, micro filament nonwoven with fineness lower than 0.5 denier are on display. This fabric can completely exclude allergens such as dust mites along with their excrement and eggs. This technology enables the application of nonwoven fabrics in products such as household and bedroom decorations and bedding, increasing the value of nonwoven fabrics.

Other functional textiles on display include antibacterial sputter silver yarns and flame-retardant and heat-tolerant thermoplastic polyimide fiber.

As environmental protection has become a critical topic worldwide, the exhibition also features sustainable textiles. This category includes fluorine-free water repellent fiber (non-coating), which features one-way wicking, moisture-proof, and dry functions. The fiber can be used for the inner layer of clothing.

Others include easily-recyclable low melting point polyester fibers, which can be applied to make shoes and windbreaking or warm clothing; and orange, yellow, and red fluorescent dope-dyed fiber, which adopts the waterless-dyeing technique to reduce water consumption and pollution during the manufacturing process as well as meets the ISO 20471 high visibility clothing test standard.

With the support of the Department of Industrial Technology of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the TIFE has been held for 19 years. Each year, textile experts worldwide are invited to share the latest industry dynamics and trends to inspire businesses in Taiwan to develop high-value and innovative textiles of great variety, thereby creating new opportunities and favorable prospects for Taiwan’s textile industry. (Courtesy Taiwan Textile Research Institute)