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$317 Million Textile Facility To Open In Cambridge Near MIT

May 09, 2016

A new project in Massachusetts aims to accelerate the revival of textiles manufacturing in the U.S.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced just recently that a $317 million futuristic textiles manufacturing hub will be opening in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The hub will be located close to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus and the U.S. Army-funded Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. Proponents of this initiative hope to spur a revival of textile manufacturing and develop an array of cutting edge fabrics with a range of unusual, but incredibly helpful applications.

More about the project

Fibers and fabrics have not changed much over the years, but their functionality has not been fully capitalized on. The new facility will combine traditional textile production with functional fiber and yarn technologies to yield new products by design. The fabrics will have a long range of properties including:

  • Very lightweight;
  • Flame resistant;
  • Exceptionally strong;
  • Built-in electronic sensors;
  • Sensing capabilities of a smart watch implemented into a lightweight fabric

These fabrics will be made into products for:

  • Firefighters - fire resistant gear.
  • Soldiers- apparel that can detect when a wounded soldier needs to be treated with an antimicrobial compression bandage

Long term benefits of the project

The project in Massachusetts is being spearheaded by a group of 89 manufacturers, universities and non-profits organized by MIT. They hope the new textile factory will:

  • Help support the development of the next generation of manufacturing technology
  • Help build up the skilled work force
  • Modernize current operations in everything from battlefield operations to medical care
  • Capitalize on two strengths of Massachusetts- the legacy of the old mill towns and the brainpower behind these mills.

The new facility will be the eighth manufacturing hub created by the Obama Administration, building on the President’s vision to establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The NNMI, the president hopes, will have at least 15 hubs located across the country, and will hopefully be established before the end of his presidency.

For more information on the project, contact any member of our Manufacturing Services Group.

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