RALEIGH – The modern textile industry is much more than T-shirts: It’s fireproof tents. Stents for human arteries. Wound-healing fabric with “scaffolding” for new skin.
“In North Carolina, we’re all familiar with the state’s strong tradition in textiles,” NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson says in the accompanying video. “… I think people would be surprised to see the work that goes on in our College of Textiles.”
Woodson highlights the globally recognized College of Textiles’ work, for example, on materials used in tents to protect woodland firefighters should they become engulfed in flames, as well as development of arterial stents and wound-healing fabric.
“The medical technology in the College of Textiles, the stents that have been developed for arteries – just world-class things going on that are changing people’s lives that we don’t often think about,” Woodson says.
NC State’s wound-healing fabrics aren’t just a bandage coated with antibiotic ointment.
“The idea of wound-healing is to not only protect the skin and the wound from infection, but it’s also to provide a framework where you can rebuild the structure that’s been damaged – in this case, skin,” Woodson says. “It’s actually a scaffold upon which the healing occurs and often is not even removed when the wound is completely healed….
“The technology associated with materials science that goes into the College of Textiles is really focused on the interface between medicine, biology and materials,” Woodson says.
The vibrant activity at the College of Textiles contradicts dated conceptions of the industry.
“We often hear that the textiles industry in the United States is waning. Today, that is simply not the case,” says Dr. David Hinks, Dean of the College.
“Today, the U.S. textiles industry is resurgent and increasingly innovative.”
Hinks notes that North Carolina leads the nation in the manufacture of textile components, with billions in sales. And more than 90% of College of Textiles graduates find jobs in the industry soon after graduation.
“Our industry is on the move and our College is on the move with it,” he says. “We are helping to shape the textiles industry of the future.”1