Our research has built an international reputation relating on the qualities and properties of fibrous materials their consumer and industrial end uses. Specific programmatic thrusts of the department include:

Functional textile products for health and safety. We have a strong record in developing protective clothing for hazardous occupations and are expanding our interests in household products that can reduce home hazards. Work in this area is consistent with campus support for health-related activities and college support for agriculture and human health. 

Textile marketing systems and cultural diversity. We currently are engaged in both teaching and research efforts in the areas of international trade and cross-cultural consumer behavior. These efforts are relevant to the Hemispheric Initiative on the Americas.

Bio-based materials and macromolecular science. We have developed a number of projects in this area, which are consistent with national initiatives on becoming less dependent on fossil fuels and gases as well as campus and college concerns about environmental protection.

Sensory science. Faculty have developed improved physical testing systems as well as psychological measurements to relate fabric properties to consumer responses. Work in this area contributes to the campus initiative on Mind Sciences.