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Industry experts discuss future of fabrics at UGA
Oct '16
Tosha Hays addressing the conference. Courtesy: College of Family and Consumer Sciences, UGA
Tosha Hays addressing the conference. Courtesy: College of Family and Consumer Sciences, UGA
Industry experts, researchers and military officials discussed the future of textiles and fabrics in the digital era at the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America partnership (AFFOA) Industry Day event organised at the University of Georgia (UGA). Emerging textile materials for department of defense needs were also discussed at the conference.

The AFFOA seeks to accelerate fabric innovations through advances in manufacturing and engineering. At its Industry Day event, experts presented their views regarding the use of modern materials sciences in the textile industry as well as transformation of fibres and yarns into sophisticated systems for consumer and defense applications.

“The event was designed to bring US textile and clothing manufacturers to the highest point of modern materials science, with a major goal to create new jobs in this country. Training and workforce development for the new market was one of the key topics of our discussions,” said Sergiy Minko, Georgia power professor of polymers, fibres and textiles in the college of family and consumer sciences (FACS) and professor in the Franklin college of arts and sciences department of chemistry.

Gajanan Bhat, the Georgia athletic association professor of fibres and textiles within the FACS department of textiles, merchandising and interiors said, “We're joining with companies large and small, universities and startup incubators from around the US to drive a manufacturing-based revolution by transforming traditional fibres, yarns and fabrics into highly sophisticated systems and devices for both consumer and defense applications.”

FACS alumna and co-founder of Brrr! Inc., Tosha Hays also attended the event and was of the opinion that working together towards one goal with each individual or company contributing their own expertise can make incredible things happen. Her company that develops and commercialises textile technologies, launched a material with cooling technology to lower the skin temperature by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

A poster session also took place during lunch to give University students an opportunity to connect directly with industry, get feedback on their work and understand more about industry needs.

The AFFOA industry Day event was jointly sponsored by the UGA office of the vice president for research, the FACS and the college of engineering. It was a part of the FACS Week, the college's signature event that celebrates communities, academic excellence and the future of families.

Members of the AFFOA partnership include Fortune 500 as well as small and medium-sized companies. It also includes leaders of the fabric industry, such as Inman Mills, and leading research universities MIT, Drexel University and the University of Texas at Austin. (KD)

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