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Highlights of the SYFA "Textiles Get Smart" Conference

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Highlights of the SYFA “Textiles Get Smart” Conference

Tarzana, Cali. June 25th, 2013, The FabricLink Network’s Founder Kathy Swantko recently covered the “Textiles Get Smart” Conference held in Charlotte, NC, sponsored by the Synthetic Yarn & Fiber Association (SYFA). The conference provided an opportunity to learn about the current state of business and new and exciting trends and technologies associated with recent fiber and yarn developments with leading edge future developments.

The FabricLink Network (FLN) focused on some of the most interesting “smart” trends and technologies highlighted at the conference. FLN elaborates with details on these innovations, and their potential impact on supply chain management going forward. For a full report on the conference click here: The Technical Center .

Economic Update & Overview, was lead by Tim Quinlan, economist with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC: According to Quinlan, “The federal government faces some significant fiscal challenges—the current path is not sustainable. We have been adding jobs for two years, but still have a long way to go. Overall, our forecast calls for the sub-par pace of economic growth to continue for the foreseeable future.” 

Quinlan predicts that over the short-term, the US will be looking at about a 2% growth, and the long-term average growth rate will be around 3%. All of these issues will impact future growth for the U.S. textile industry. 

Keynote Presentation, with Mike Fralix, TC2 spoke to Trends & Technologies in Supply Chains, Manufacturing, & Sustainability

“Supply chain technologies have changed and now more industries than ever are shipping products before they make them, because it is more efficient, more flexible, more sustainable, and more profitable. The key is adopting a supply chain strategy, implementing the appropriate technologies and changing the thinking of management and workers.” Mike Fralix, TC2

Fralix addressed sustainability, with one example being the less obvious 3-D printing. This rapid-prototyping of 3-D processing has a surprising number of green benefits. An emerging technology, 3-D printing uses ultraviolet beams to fuse layers of powdered, recyclable thermoplastic into shape, leaves behind virtually no waste. This localized production approach also saves on shipping costs, requires less labor, and compresses production time into hours, rather than weeks or months. Full details on the New Words for the 2000’s, Re-shoring, Additive Manufacturing, Subtractive Manufacturing, 3D Printed Clothing, Bio-engineering at this link.

Kenneth Pauluas, co-founder/VP of business development, Parasol Technologies LLC

Delivered the topic, The Future of Solar Fabrics.ParaSol is a solar technology that allows its polymer-based yarns to collect and distribute light within fabrics, which then converts that light into electricity and creates an energy-producing fabric. The nature of the technology allows ParaSol to be incorporated into thousands of applications including: clothing, tents, construction materials, window and shading, signage, and automobiles. The mission of ParaSol Technologies is to partner with existing manufacturers and integrators to create the next generation of energy autonomous products.

“Typical solar installations cover large areas with expensive ($1,000/m2) PV materials. What if we could concentrate large areas into small areas of expensive PV materials? By covering the edges of a material instead of the surface, we can reduce the amount of photovoltaic materials needed by several orders of magnitude. ParaSol Fabric will generate 20-50W / m2. And, the durability and resilience of ParaSol fabrics will continue to operate, even after parts of the fabric are completely destroyed or removed entirely.” explains Kenneth Pauluas.

Well Fargo Economist – Tim Quinlan, keynote speaker – Mike Fralix of TC2 and Kenneth Pauluas of Parasol Technologies delivered compelling data to the future in textiles, economics, innovations, futurist technologies, and emerging supply chain trends. Promising the latest in trends, technologies and fabric developments – FLN elaborates with full details on these “smart” innovations, and their potential impact on the specialty and industrial industries found at these direct links (trade-to-trade) and FabricLink Network. (trade-to-consumer)

About the FabricLink Network:

Kathlyn Swantko, a textile advocate and educator, is president and founder of and, the on-line textile resources which make up the FabricLink Network. (trade-to-consumer) and (trade-to-trade) provides information about new products and marketing opportunities for specialty textiles, textile-based products and services. The two sites offer; valuable content and technical information, news releases on innovations, fabric descriptions, usage and care, supplier history and contacts. Seven searchable indexes make the FabricLink Network websites the “go to” resources for developers of textiles, fashion designers, and researchers. In addition, the Network offers effective platforms for all businesses, from small niche-based companies to large broad-based textile manufacturers. This gives the ability to reach other businesses within the supply chain and the consumer. Visit the FabricLink Network ( and on twitter at FabricLinkNet, and on Facebook at

Kathy Swantko can be reached at (818) 345-7501, or at

Communications Contact: Beth Cochran 406.579.7909