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Textile Symposium 2018

The 18th Textile Symposium was held on 14 March 2018 at the Stade de Suisse. Around 310 national and international guests were there, including representatives from the textile industry, science and private industry. The event comprised six presentations on issues such as sustainability and innovation, and was rounded off with the amusing presentation «Health in the workplace».

20.03.2018 | armasuisse Communications

Textiles Symposium armasuisse 2018


In springlike weather, Thomas Knecht, Head of the Purchasing + Cooperations Competence Sector, welcomed guests to this year’s 18th Textile Symposium at the Stade de Suisse. He dived straight in to the subject of textiles, dedicating a few words to the MBAS project and emphasising the importance of scientific findings and sustainability.

National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger also highlighted the aspect of sustainability. The Armed Forces development programme WEA, which started on 1 January, is assuming a key role at armasuisse. There will be great challenges for procurement in this area in the coming years, particularly in terms of armaments. The MBAS project will therefore be one of the Swiss Armed Forces’ largest ever textile purchases.

In the first presentation entitled «From Swiss Army Knife to Global Brand», the CEO of Victorinox, Carl Elsener, showed how a small family-run company was able to position itself as a global brand for the long-term. Today, Victorinox is a symbol of quality. Thanks to strategic thinking and actions, the company has grown over the past 130 years and diversified its range to include new areas such as luggage, watches and perfume.

After this, Jean-Claude Brossard, Head of Command and Mission Support at the Federal Intelligence Service, explained the role of the FIS and described some of the possible threats to Switzerland such as espionage, terrorist attacks and most recently cyber attacks. Textiles can be equipped with microphones or even explosives in order to carry out such attacks. He also believes that the careless exchanging of data threatens the security of many people’s information.

Prof. Alex Dommann from EMPA provided some insights into new research and scientific approaches, such as using X-ray analyses to create high-performance textiles. Thanks to their thermal, mechanical, chemical or biological properties, these novel textiles enable bio-monitoring of bodily functions and can determine information such as oxygen content, PH value and certain behaviours without external influences.

In their presentation entitled «knitted rather than sewn», Prof. Tina Moor and Prof. Andrea Weber Marin from the University of Lucerne showed how it is possible to combine design with sustainability. Their innovative product KJUS Freelite is a ski jacket made of 95% knitted fabric which provides good insulation, adapts to the wearer’s movements, and produces less waste during production than other jackets, as it is made in one piece. Other projects include Textcycle, optimisation of the textile cycle, and TexLining, the renovation and insulation of large buildings using textile elements.

In the afternoon, Niklaus Zemp of the Serge Ferrari Group, focused on the subject of flame-retardant polyester fibres. This novel fire-retardant product is also very strong. The woven yarn in these fire-retardant polyester fibres do not produce any smoke in a fire, and minimise the burn time of the textile.

The last speaker, Raymond Jacobs from Sanitized AG, talked about the topic of innovative odour management for functional polyester (PES) textiles. Polyester clothing can soon start to smell bad, as bacteria settle on the textile and form a biofilm. This «permastink» can be remedied using Sanitized's Odoractiv technology. This helps stop the bacteria from clinging to the textiles and the odours produced while wearing are adsorbed immediately.

Dr. med Marco Caimi concluded the proceedings. With humour, he showed the audience how important everyday movement is for health in the workplace and in the private domain. Regular activity has a positive effect on blood pressure, metabolism, blood flow, somatic intelligence and on the entire immune system. But humour, personal relationships and communication are good for our health, too.

At the end, Mr Knecht thanked everyone for coming and invited all the guests to the next Textile Symposium on 13 March 2019.

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