46 of 2019

Newsletter No. 46                                                    29 November 2019


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New textiles that change shape thanks to body heat

A robotic textile sensitive to our body temperature? This is the revolutionary new invention in the field of wearable technology just achieved by the Design of Active Materials and Structures Lab and Wearable Technology Lab, according to a study published by Advanced Materials Technologies.

Highly Modular Robotic Knits

At first glance, these fabrics with the potential to change how we interact with the clothes we wear every day look like simple knits. In reality, they were created using a special category of active materials, known as shape memory alloys (SMAs), which have the specific feature of changing shape when heated. “This is an important step forward in the creation of robotic textiles for on-body applications,” stated Brad Holschuh, the project lead. In partnership with NASA, researchers from the University of Minnesota studied the unique dimensions of a human leg. They then designed, manufactured and tested an SMA-based knitted garment that can precisely conform to a leg’s topography. “This technology required advancements on multiple scales,” adds Julianna Abel. “At the material scale, we tuned it to respond to body temperature without added power. Structurally, we manufactured it to adapt to the complex shapes of the human body perfectly. At the system level, we created an operation that maps the mechanical performance of textiles to human anatomy. Each advancement is important, but, together, they create a functionality that didn’t exist before,” explains the researcher.

A host of garment applications

In fact, these new-generation fabrics can be used to produce custom garments that can easily go from loose to tight-fitting and even bend in unique ways to conform to irregularly curved regions of the body (such as the back of the knee). The researchers would subsequently like to be able to create compression garments that are initially loose and easy to put on, while being able to shrink to tightly fit the wearer. ““This creates an exciting new opportunity to create garments that can physically transform over time, which has significant implications for medical, aerospace and commercial applications,” stated Holschuh. The next step? Integrating these textiles into full-sized garments, thereby solving a variety of clothing problems where fit and conformance to the body are important, such as compression stockings  Promostyl

Ghana to pursue strategic industrial initiatives in 2020

Ghana’s ministry of trade and industry will aggressively pursue the implementation of its Strategic Anchor Industries Initiatives (SAII) aimed at industrial transformation of the country in 2020, minister handling the portfolio Alan Kyerematen told a delegation of some of the leading global textile and garment companies that visited the country recently.

The purpose of the visit was to explore sourcing opportunities and to consider establishing a vertically-integrated textile and garment industry in Ghana on a long-term basis, according to Kyerematen. The delegation included representatives from Vanity Fair, PVH and H&M.

SAII is one of the key components of the ten-point Industrial Transformation Plan of the ministry designed to diversify and transform the economy by creating new pillars of growth and expansion in the industrial sector.

Key strategic industries under the initiative are petrochemicals; integrated aluminium and bauxite; iron and steel; vehicle assembly and automotive industry; garments and textiles, pharmaceuticals; vegetable oils and fats; industrial starch from cassava; industrial chemicals based on industrial salt; and machinery and equipment manufacturing, Kyerematen said.

He emphasised that, the Ministry of Trade and Industry launched the Ghana Automotive Development Policy in August 2019 which has so far attracted investments and commercial interests from global OEMs (Original Equipment manufacturers) including Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, Hyundai, Sinotruck and Suzuki.

He assured the private sector community that activities will be intensified in 2020 on the implementation of all key ongoing Strategic Anchor Industrial programmes being implemented by the ministry, according to a Ghanaian media report.

A programme of action will also be launched to attract strategic investors into these sectors to ensure sustainability and global competitiveness of Ghana’s industry he added.  F2F

SACTWU “Befriends” the High Court to Prevent Illegal Imports, and Celebrates Reinvigorated SARS

On Tuesday, 19 November 2019, the COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) held a protest against customs fraud, outside the Pretoria High Court. The Court was scheduled to hear a case between the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and a freight forwarder, Dragon Freight, and importers of strangely low priced clothing.

SACTWU also made an application to become a friend of the court to show our support for SARS work to deal with customs fraud.

Today our application was heard by the Court and we have successfully become a Friend of the Court in this case.  Dragon Freight has gone to court to try to force SARS to release their consignments of clothing urgently since SARS has detained these goods. Court records show that Dragon Freight tried to import this clothing into the country at prices well below the cost of raw materials and fiber, and that there are more products in their consignments than were declared to SARS. SARS is opposing the urgent release of these products so that it can have enough time and space to conduct an investigation of the legitimacy of these transactions.

As a Friend of the Court, SACTWU will be sharing  our knowledge and experience of the threat posed to local jobs and factories by illegal imports and illicit trade. Indeed every year billions of Rands of illicit goods flow into the country and, like a form of economic terrorism, they sabotage our economy and devastate the local economy and employment. For years from our vantage point, as a trade union, we have witnessed the closure of factories, the hobbling of industries, a flood of job losses, and the annihilation of communities and livelihoods as a result of underpriced goods illegally flowing into the country.

The Court case will take place on Monday 25 November 2019 at the Pretoria High Court.

Instead of Dragon Freight and others trying to prevent SARS from doing its work, they and all patriotic South Africans should be welcoming these events with vuvuzelas and ululations, and saying ‘Rise SARS Rise’.

Issued by  Andre Kriel  General Secretary  SACTWU

For further comment please contact SACTWU’s Research Director Simon Eppel on 083 562 3559.





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 Did you know……………..

1938 Fashion: What did people wear?

A special elegance marked fashion in 1938. The popular look was the pencil-thin silhouette with black outfit, skunk jacket, hair piled on top of the head, extravagant hat and enormous artificial jewelry.

At night, the fashion conscious woman wore skin-tight molded dresses and short tailored jackets with embroidery.

To Advertise………………….. Click here to see fact sheet with advertising rates. 

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