A New Era

By Karen McIntyre | February 11, 2009

Last month, the world watched as the United States inaugurated its next president. Not only was this event momentous because it marks the first time a non-white person holds this office, but also because it comes at a time when many Americans are in crisis. Barack Obama has a huge task before him—turning around the economy, solving Mid-East crises, reforming healthcare and slowing down global warming—to name a few. Citizens from around the world are looking to President Obama to usher in happier, more secure times and he and his wife—a young, handsome couple—are the perfect image of change.

On election day, security in Washington was at its highest. As the nation's first black president, Obama is particularly vulnerable to harm. After the fact, we learned that President Obama was wearing a bullet-proof suit to offer increased protection as he made his way along Pennsylvania Avenue to his new home at the White House. A simple glance at his classic black suit showed no indications that it was made of high-performance, bullet-proof material.

Those familiar with nonwovens and technical textiles are well aware of the strides protective fabrics have made in recent years but the rest of the word was amazed to learn that a normal-looking suit can protect from gunfire. These abilities will only expand as technology advances and need for protection—from gun shot, from fire, from chemicals—grows.

This spring, two editions of Techtextil, one in Las Vegas and another in Frankfurt, Germany, will showcase how textile technology is advancing, allowing clothing and other fabrics to do more than ever before. For more on these shows, please visit www.techtextil.com.

As always, we appreciate your comments.

Karen McIntyre