Dr. Karen K. Leonas

Professor, TATM

Email : kleonas@ncsu.edu
Phone : 919-515-6594
Address : College of Textiles - Room 3307

Dr. Karen K. Leonas post image


Dr. Karen Leonas spent a lot of time in Nelson Hall when she was a College of Textiles student studying textile chemistry. After graduating from the College of Textiles, Leonas worked for Burinlington Industries, Industrial Fabrics, as a textile technologists; she served as the Aerospace Product Manager and worked with a variety of technical textiles.

She then entered the University of Tennessee, where she earned an M.S. in clothing and textiles and a Ph.D. in Textile Chemistry Textile Physics and was a member of the PATRA program.

Proir to joining the NC State Colleg of Textiles faculty in 2013, she was the Chair of Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles at Washington State University for six years.  She was a faculty member at the University of Georgia in  the Department of Textiles, Merchandising, and Interiors for almost 20 years.

She has received numerous awards for teaching research and advising during her time as a faculty member.


  • Personal protective equipment material design and development, specifically for resistance to small particle and liquid transmission
  • Product development and evaluation (chemical and physical)
  • Surface and chemical modifications of textile and polymeric materials
  • Weathering and degradation of polymeric materials
  • Sustainable processes and practices throughout the supply chain

Academic Degrees

Ph.D. Textile Chemistry/Textile Physics 1985
University of Tennessee

M.S. in Clothing and Textiles, 1983
University of Tennessee

B.S. Textile Chemistry, 1980
North Carolina State University


FTM 217 – The Textile Industry

Study of the structure and organization of the integrated textile complex and its strategic functions. Critical stages involved in the manufacture of textile and apparel products. Fundamental aspects of cost management and finance as related to the integrated Textile Complex. One Saturday attendance during the semester is required.

FTM 491 – Cotton Sustainability through the Supply Chain

Exploration of sustainability within the Global Cotton Supply Chain.  This course identifies issues surrounding cotton throughout its life cycle and the aim is to increase student awareness and understanding of cotton fibers, cotton products, and the regulations and policies surrounding sustainability.

Recent Publications

Li, C. H., Moore-Kucera, J., Miles, C., Leonas, K., Lee, J., Corbin, A., & Inglis, D. (2014). Degradation of potentially biodegradable plastic mulch films at three diverse u.s. locations. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 38(8), 861-889.
NC State Library Scholarly Publications List

Graduate Projects

Recycled in Consumer Products



Back to Directory