E-textiles in health monitoring

April 8, 2019

The potential, progress and challenges for next generation smart garments. Among the many benefits promised by the smart fabric revolution has been the “consumerization of health care.” Wearables are enabling the remote monitoring of a wide range of chronic medical conditions, from diabetes, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure (CHF) to symptoms of disease, …

Move over, synthetics

October 22, 2018

There’s a new appreciation for the versatility of natural fibers in high tech fabrics. Since the industrial revolution, textiles have transitioned from natural fibers of cotton, wool, silk and linen, to textiles created from petroleum products and reconstituted wood pulp. Today’s synthetic fibers are stronger, cheaper to manufacture, and have proven easily adaptable to a …

New technologies are redefining today’s textiles

March 26, 2018

From raw materials to manufacturing processes, the word “textile” takes on new meanings. Textile technology is undergoing a revolution, with innovative structures, raw materials and manufacturing platforms creating new fabrics that defy old-school definitions. Introductory textile science classes taught us that textiles were materials that could be woven, knit, crocheted, knotted or felted from yarns …

Challenges and opportunities

October 23, 2017

Smart fabrics products may require novel textile substrates. A key takeaway from the Smart Fabrics Program and E-Textiles Workshop at IFAI Expo this September was the symbiotic relationship between smart technologies and the development of suitable textile substrates to facilitate the desired function. While the fashion apparel business has become increasingly commodity-driven, smart fabrics require …

A long and winding road

October 9, 2017

The progress of smart fabrics discussed at IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference. Smart fabrics, generally defined as textiles that sense and react to various individual stimuli to provide desired effects or benefits, are now entering their third decade. Early smart fabrics relied on specially engineered fibers or finishes, while the digital revolution and the Internet of …

Rethinking odor control

July 10, 2017

New antimicrobial technologies focus on treatments for ‘permastink.’ It’s everywhere, and it’s not attractive. Permastink—the unpleasant smell that won’t wash out of textile products—has become a topic of conversation for consumers and brands alike. Polyester and other synthetic fibers are the materials of choice for the active performance and athleisure styles consumers now wear throughout …

Are smart textiles ready for the real world?

March 24, 2017

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a slow but sure evolution of wearable electronics, including smart textiles, designed primarily to monitor body functions and communicate with the Internet of Things. But a great many were not especially wearable, and some never made it out of the lab. The tide, however, seems to be turning. Première …