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Techtextil Focus | May 2019

Frankfurt: The hotspot for high-tech textiles

Technical textiles for all applications and a wide range of textile technologies: from 14 to 17 May 2019, Techtextil will bring together more exhibitors from even more countries than before. Around four months before it opens its doors, Techtextil is almost fully booked, exceeding once again booking levels for the previous event at the same time of year. With its trend theme, ‘Urban Living – City of the Future’, the leading international trade fair also takes a look ahead to see how technical textiles will shape urban life in the future.

“Every two years, Techtextil mirrors the range of applications for textile materials. Leading international experts from the most diverse industries – be they from architecture, the automotive industry, medicine, the fashion industry or personal protection – come together at Techtextil in search of lightweight, durable and sustainable materials”, says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

The suppliers at Techtextil represent the complete spectrum of technical textiles and nonwovens. There is a significant increase in the number of suppliers in the fields of technology, as well as fibres and yarns. Suppliers of woven fabrics, coated textiles and functional apparel textiles are also strongly represented. All areas of application for textile materials are covered. In particular, representatives from industry, architecture and construction, the fashion and clothing industry, the automotive sector, aerospace, medicine, sport, and hazard protection will find a more comprehensive range of products than before.

Textile solutions for life in the city of the future

In collaboration with ‘Creative Holland’, the Dutch creative industries, Techtextil is dedicating an exhibition space to life in the city of the future with the ‘Urban Living – City of the Future’ special event. According to the United Nations1, nearly 70 percent of all people are expected to be living in metropolises and megacities by 2050. This poses new challenges for living and mobility concepts, as well as food supplies and health services provision. Functional apparel, with smart functions for example, could also play an even more important role in people’s everyday lives in the future. The Techtextil and Texprocess exhibition area will be presenting examples of textile applications. In addition, an accompanying complementary programme will offer insights into the industry.

Techtextil Forum provides an open platform for exchange

On all four days, the trade fair will offer a new format of lectures, discussions and interactive sessions with the Techtextil Forum. The forum, which replaces the Techtextil Symposium, will take place directly in exhibition Hall 4.1 and all Techtextil participants will be able to access it free of charge. Trade visitors can look forward to contributions in the following thematic areas: sustainability, digital transformation, smart textiles, urban textiles, composites, and technical textiles in medical technology. In addition, both the Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (GFC) and the textiles competence centre at the General Association of the German Textile and Fashion Industry (Gesamtverband der deutschen Textil- und Modeindustrie e. V.) are organising a thematic block.

Awards for innovative ideas

For the 15th time now, Techtextil will be giving the Techtextil Innovation Award for outstanding new and further developments in the field of technical textiles, nonwovens and functional apparel fabrics. Both exhibitors and non-exhibitors at Techtextil can take part in the competition. Entries can be submitted online up till 18 February 2019 at: www.techtextil-award.com.

Also for the 15th time, Techtextil will be giving awards to students and young professionals for their work, as part of the ‘Textile Structures for New Building’ competition. The competition is supported by the international network TensiNet as sponsor, the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (Institut für Leichtbau Entwerfen und Konstruieren - ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart, and the architecture and design platform Architonic. The online application deadline is 24 February 2019 at: www.techtextil-student.com. The award ceremonies will take place during Techtextil. All the award-winning works and ideas will be presented in special shows.

Focus on sustainability

Sustainability is one of the central themes of the upcoming Techtextil and Texprocess. For the first time, the two fairs will be showcasing their exhibitors’ efforts towards sustainability. The Techtextil and Texprocess Innovation Awards give prizes for sustainable textile innovations and processing approaches. In addition, the Texprocess Forum will offer a thematic block exclusively around the theme of sustainability in the textile and fashion industry, with an offshoot of Fashionsustain, Messe Frankfurt’s conference about sustainable textile innovations.

Techtextil & Texprocess share an exhibition hall

In May 2019, Techtextil and the parallel Texprocess will be sharing an exhibition hall for the first time. In Hall 4.1, Techtextil will be showcasing some of the suppliers of woven, laid web, braided and knitted fabrics, coated textiles, and nonwovens, as well as selected suppliers of textile machines. Suppliers of functional apparel textiles and the ‘Digital Textile Micro Factory’ mark the transition to Texprocess, which will be showcasing different production lines for clothing, shoes, and the processing of technical textiles. In addition to these, exhibitors for product preparation, finishing, textile logistics, internal material flow and textile refinement, as well as providers of sewing solutions, will be there. In the shared hall, visitors will get an insight into the entire production process, from raw material to finished product.

In parallel with Techtextil, Texprocess, the leading trade fair for the processing of technical textiles and nonwovens (14 to 17 May 2019), will provide insights into all the stages in textile processing, including textile finishing and digital printing. Texprocess is also recording an outstanding level of registrations, above those for the last event. Techtextil 2017 drew more than 33,670 visitors from 104 countries and 1,477 exhibitors from 55 countries. In addition, 7,091 visitors to Texprocess also visited Techtextil. The two fairs welcomed a total of 1,789 exhibitors from 66 countries and more than 47,500 visitors from 114 countries.

Texprocess to focus on micro-factories for clothing

Texprocess 2019 is set to focus on individualisation, automation, and digitalisation with micro-factories for the future of clothing production. The trade fair for processing textiles and flexible materials will be held from May 14-17, 2019, at Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Micro-factories are based on networked and integrated procedures of textile processing.

In a total of four micro-factories at the up-coming Texprocess, trade visitors will be able to get an idea of how integrated textile processing works and where micro-factories are already being used, according to a press release.

Texprocess, in collaboration with the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf (Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf – DITF) and partners from industry, will once again be presenting a ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ display - and thus fully networked production chains - live in hall 4.1. The ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’ will showcase three production lines – one for apparel manufacture, one for 3D-knitted shoes and one for processing technical textiles, largely for the motor-vehicle and furniture industries.

The fashion industry plays a central role in the ‘Digital Textile Micro-Factory’. The customer’s digital doppelganger is becoming more and more important in development departments in the apparel industry as the starting point for individualised and perfectly fitting clothes and for links with finishing departments. In the context of the micro-factory’s production line, it is the key feature.

The production line demonstrates the various stages involved, including CAD/Design, printing, cutting out, assembly, finishing, and labelling. New approaches also combine 3D simulations of clothing with direct data transfer in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Instead of presenting the customer with physical examples of the clothing to be produced, the examples are visualised as virtual objects. And during the production process, the customer has the opportunity for direct input into the design of the product in question. This direct interaction between the 3D simulation of an item, the representation in VR/AR displayed on the customer’s own hardware, and the direct impact on the production process has never been shown before in this way.

The Digital Textile Micro-Factory at Texprocess and Techtextil show a workflow, which enables 3D-knitted uppers for shoes to be produced directly from the customer’s own particular foot measurements.

The 3D-knitting Line of the micro-factory demonstrates the process from the 3D model to the creation of a geometrically accurate knitting pattern by the software, based on the 3D data set, and the development of a specification of the final knitting data, through to the manufacture of a 3D-knitted prototype. Knitting is the additive manufacturing process for textiles. The ‘3D-knitting Line’ is partnered by Stoll.

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