MENU

Functional textile products for different heating and other intelligent applications

This research is concerned primarily with electrically conductive textiles. The work that would be carried out would focus on the design for intelligent wearable garment from a knitwear design perspective. The knitwear technique, and garment design skill have to be integrated interactively.

The term `smart textiles' defines materials with advanced responsive properties enabling them to sense, actuate and/or control. The term ‘smart textiles’ is derived from intelligent or smart materials. The concept ‘Smart Material’ was for the first time defined in Japan in 1989. The continual shrinkage of the textile industry in the Western world has amply raised the interest in intelligent textiles. Smart textile products meet all criteria of high-added value technology allowing a transformation to a competitive high-tech industry: from resource-based towards knowledge-based; from quantity to quality; from mass-produced single-use products to manufactured-on-demand, multi-use and upgradable product-services; from “material and tangible” to “intangible” value-added products, processes and services. The development of smart wear is a new challenge for the textile and clothing industry: it has to develop products based not only on design, fashion and comfort concepts but also in terms of functions. Moreover these products must be easy to care and durable. The smart textiles sector is becoming increasingly significant within the technical textiles industry, contributing an increasing number of products and applications and using a number of different technologies. Combining textiles with electronics has become a promising realm in the future development of textiles. A number of researches have been conducted to exploit the potential applications, such as sports, healthcare, etc. However, the growth of wearable electronic textiles in the market is being retarded. The reasons may refer to the poor appearance of current products in that consumers may consider the products to be ‘technical’ rather than ‘garments’, since aesthetics have been ignored as a result of focusing on the functionality of the textiles. Conductive fabrics have become one of the fundamental elements of wearable electronic textiles, which form an electrically conductive network to interconnect various electronic function units, such as textile electrodes, power sources, etc. Therefore, it is essential to develop a direct and fast method to aid the fashion designer without an electronic background to compute the resistance of the conductive fabric so as to meet the high demand for rapid prototype development of wearable electronic garments. Electronic textile research is still in its infancy, but it can clearly be seen several important research directions that suggest appealing near future applications. The present proposal is in line with some of these directions. Designers, scientists, technologists, consumers and others are quite excited by the future vision of a world populated with magical garments that can adapt and respond to various interaction parameters and change based on time of day, mood, or the designer’s whim. Developments of electrically conductive textile materials are one of the key issues in recent smart textile research. This is a field of innovation that broadened the scope of the traditional textile and apparel products to high-tech textiles, designed to meet specific needs, involving different technologies and produced according to required properties, like personal protection, safety, leisure or health wear. Wearable electronic knitwear has recently been gaining the attention of both researchers and industrial sectors. Combining knitting technology with electronics may become a dominant trend in the future. The knitting made with conductive yarn is one of the essential building blocks for textile-based intelligent garments. Knitwear exhibits high flexibility and comfort, making it a good candidate for applications in sports, medicine, and other areas that incorporate electro-conductive components. Textile-based electronic circuits have become a key element in recent developments in intelligent textiles. The integration of electronic components with textiles to create very smart structures is getting more and more attention in recent years. Most of the textile materials are electrical insulators. Hence, various types of fibers and fabrics having reasonably good electrical conductivity are required especially for electronically functional apparel products. The textile-based materials being flexible and easily workable are the most preferred one in such cases. The garments, which can heat the body, will possibly be one of the most widely used products as electrotextiles for future use in daily life. In this study, different conductive yarns and other textile products would be used to produce heating and other possible applications, within the study about interactive electronic (heated) garment design. This research is concerned primarily with electrically conductive textiles and, for the purposes of this project, smart structures are considered to be electrically conductive components which can be used in conjunction with functional or/and intelligent products in order to enhance their performance and properties.
Acronym: 
ProTexHeatINT
Project ID: 
7 218
Start date: 
14-05-2012
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
770 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Textiles Technology
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.