Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 30

the skin's immune system," Broadhead
says. "This not only replaces the need for
chemical fabric finishes but reduces the
need to wash clothes as frequently. Skin II
aims to use what is natural on our bodies to
advance the performance of clothing.
"Skin II could be used in a wide range
of apparel; primarily sportswear and
outdoor clothing would benefit from this
technology," she continues. "However, the
wellness market is growing quickly. People
are concerned about what they're eating,
the cosmetics they put on their skin, and
now the chemicals in their clothing.
I'm working closely with Chris at Ghent
to scale and commercialize probiotic
clothing. We anticipate bringing this to
market in the next one to two years."
ENABLING MOISTURE
RETENTION
Garments that wick away moisture
have received a lot of attention from
the public, who generally perceive this
as a desirable benefit. And in certain

TOP PHOTO: The SUITCEYES project, underway at the University of Borås, seeks to enhance
the communication possibilities for those with deafblindness by incorporating sensors and
actuators into clothing, among other strategies. Designed into the vest shown here are
attachments for both using a simple Velcro®-like system. Examples of sensors could include
cameras for navigation. Photo: University of Borås, SUITCEYES project.
BOTTOM PHOTO: Yarns from MedTextra can be embedded or precoated with various active,
moisture-retention agents. The yarn combination uses a special polymer fiber that can be
spun with other fibers to produce textile-based products. The bulk fabrics and textiles shown
here provide examples of the standard MedTextra yarn combinations. Photo: MedTextra LLC.

30 REVIEW FEBRUARY 2020

cases, such as sweaty workouts, it is.
But because moisture is essential for
maintaining healthy skin and body
function, people should be equally
concerned about moisture retention,
says David Gray, director of MedTextra™
LLC. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.,
MedTextra is owned by Lidco Products
Inc., also in St. Paul (Gray is COO
of that company).
MedTextra provides yarns that can be
embedded or precoated with various active
agents, allowing them to deliver the benefits
of true moisture maintenance, explains
Gray. The yarn combination uses a special
polymer fiber that can be spun with other
fibers to produce textile-based products
worn next to the skin, such as athleisure
wear, gloves, socks, T-shirts and pajamas.
"The yarns can also capture
ingredients-creams, lotions, oils and
ointments-actually placed on the skin
with the polymeric fibers constantly
refreshing these ingredients, using the
body's own moisture to keep them active
for longer periods of time," says Gray.
"Being able to embed active ingredients
or to provide a method of delivery for
all those ingredients is very exciting,"
he continues. "Just imagine many of the
active ingredients in standard skin lotions
being kept effective longer."
The type of actives and the level of
polymeric materials incorporated into the
yarn can vary by manufacturer needs and
requirements. Other fibers, like cottons
and polyesters, can be used in conjunction with the MedTextra yarn without
compromising those fibers' benefits. The
company's spinners and yarn producers
work with the weaving and knitting companies to produce the textile hand quality
required for various marketplaces.
Gray says several name-brand
clothing manufacturers are expressing
interest in incorporating the yarn, which
is eight years in the making, into some
of their products.



Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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