The Textile Texting Laboratory is celebrating a major milestone this year – 25 years of offering fee-based services for the textile industry. In 1988, the original contract was signed with the National Association of Institutional Linen Management (now known as the Association of Linen Management). This initial contract, which continues today, set the stage for an enterprise that has provided beneficial services to the textile and apparel industry, research data and results, and experiential student learning.

Textile Lab - MeasuringUnder the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Easter, professor in the Department of Retailing and Tourism Management, the Textile Testing Laboratory has tested products ranging from a robe for the Trump Hotel in New York City to linens from Walt Disney World and Opryland Hotel to firefighter turnout gear to consumer apparel for Polo and Carhartt. Both undergraduate and graduate students are employed in the lab and are actively involved in all textile testing. The students gain real-world experience that has enabled many of them to acquire jobs in the textile industry.

Meredith Cinnamon, a student in the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles master’s program, has worked in the lab since her sophomore year. Cinnamon commented, “The Textile Testing Lab has given me every opportunity to succeed on the career path I have chosen.” Recently, Cinnamon presented her research at the Interflam Conference in Windsor, United Kingdom. She will graduate with her master’s degree in December and continue her education in the doctoral program at North Carolina State University.

Testing in the labThe Textile Testing Lab is funded through fees, grants and contracts. Funds generated provide graduate students with support to conduct and present research. In total, 20 graduate students have conducted master’s thesis research through the lab which has received more than $1.5 million in fees and grant funds since its inception.

Dr. Ann Vail, Director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences stated, “Over the past 25 years the Textile Testing Lab has provided significant learning experiences for our students and state-of-the-art testing for the industry. It is one of the few such labs in the country with this dual purpose. As a result, our students have obtained key positions in the industry.”

Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Easter and all those who have contributed to the lab’s success during the past 25 years.

Posted 7/30/13