Smart Textiles

By: Saroja Mhanta

cooling. 2 . The last century also brought tremendous advances in the textile and clothing industry. The particular application came into limelight especially after 1996 Olympics where almost all swimming champions used of “SPEEDO” fabrics as their swimwear and the sports community was enthralled by usefulness of performance supporting textiles. Therefore dissipating of water becomes more effective. Smart textiles represent the next generation of fibers.Saroja Mhanta Abstract Since the nineteenth century. computers. New fiber and textile materials and miniaturized electronic components make it possible to create truly usable smart clothes. active changing of colour and active drying. fabrics and articles produced from them. It makes perfect sense to actually start integrating products into clothes. the jogging suit which turns to climatic conditions after exercise and further advised the jogger for the balanced action. the Internet. The shark-suits. so this means a passive drying. the innovation tempo is high’. So smart textiles can really make even an ugly man look smart though its performance and developed technology. mobile phones. the discovery and complete mapping of the human genome have transformed he entire world.www. Inventions of electronic chips. A piece of clothing works and helps actively to carry out a mission such as drying. it requires a certain time to dry. These intelligent clothes are worn like ordinary clothing providing help in various situations according to the designed application. laptops.fibre2fashion. which notices proportional humidity growing up and puts heating on. The athletes call it as energy conserver. says “OSCAR FRIERE” the world cycling champion. Smart clothing is a combination of electronics and clothing textiles. Active characters of smart clothing can be heating. ‘In the world of professional sport. An active drying can be accomplished with humidity sensor. personal hi-fis and more one the way. which have profound impacts on every human being. Many intelligent textiles already feature in advanced types of clothing principally for protection and safety and for added fashion or convenience. revolutionary changes have been occurring at an unprecedented rate in many fields of science and technology. the burrows-flame.com SMART TEXTILES By. A piece of clothing usually dries hanging. In this paper the latest developments and innovations of Smart clothing has been addressed. Introduction People are already carrying around more and more electronic products.

the Internet. Sophisticated finishes. and even form. sustainable way of utilizing natural resources. 3 . such as silicone coatings and holographic laminates.fibre2fashion. and many more have transformed the entire world We have learnt a lot from nature! Solid foundations of scientific understanding have been laid to guide the improved usage and processing technology of natural fibers and the manufacturing of synthetic fibers. revolutionary changes have been occurring at an unprecedented rate in science and technology with a profound impact on our lives Inventions of ICs. transform color. or carbon to produce lightweight hybrids with incredible properties. Textiles Materials for Every Need Optimized moisture management Better heat flow control Improved thermal insulation Breathability High performance in hazard protection Environmental friendly Increased abrasion resistance Health control and healing aid Body control Easy care High aesthetic appeal Enhanced handle High/low visibility Engineered Textiles Engineered textiles are materials that are developed and/or designed for a special need or application where a very high performance is required Engineered textiles may combine fabrics with glass. metal. ceramics. texture. discovery and complete mapping of the human genome. The technology has progressed so that manufactured fibers and their products surpass natural fibers in many aspects Textiles can now be designed for specialized applications Biological routes for synthesizing polymers or textile processing represent an environmentally friendly.www.com Since the 19th Century. computers.

Very smart materials-which can sense. can 1 Share of Smart Clothing in U.which sense and react to the condition or stimuli.be mimicked? The skin has sensors that can detect pressure. market for smart and interactive textiles is valued at an estimated $64. ambient conditions.3 million in 2009. and anti-insomniac micro-fibers.S. Military. chemical. Phase change and conductive textiles accounted for the rest of the market.4 million in 2004 and is expected to rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 36% to $299. Active smart materials.which are those capable of responding or activated to perform a function in a manual or pre-programmed manner 4 .S. Consumer products that include low-tech items such as photo chromic t-shirts and swimsuits account for the bulk of the U. and intelligently function with environmental stimuli Smart/interactive textiles (SIT) are materials and structures that sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli.etc. magnetic or other sources SIT are no longer a science-fiction fantasy. For example.fibre2fashion. and vehicle safety and comfort applications are projected to grow rapidly. SIT can be divided into: Passive smart materials-which can only sense the environmental condition or stimuli. biomedical. react and adapt themselves accordingly. pain. market.S Textile Market The U. there are in the market selfcleaning carpets. such as those from mechanical. thermal. electrical.www. According to the manner of reaction. memory-shaped and environment-responsive textiles.com Smart Technology We are inspired to mimic nature in order to create clothing materials with higher levels of functions and smartness Cloning silk fibers was a first step Can the skin -a smart material. and Intelligent materials.

processing and control: neural networks and control systems cognition theory and systems For integrated processes and products: o wearable electronics and photonics o adaptive and responsive structures o bio-mimics o tissue engineering o chemical/drug releasing 5 .actuators: photo-sensitive materials fibre optics conductive polymers thermal sensitive materials shape memory materials intelligent coating materials chemical responsive materials micro-capsules micro.com How does a smart material work? Trigger or Stimuli Sensing The sensors provide a nerve system to detect signals C NR L I G O T OLN Processing The processor analyzes and evaluates the signals Response or Action Actuation The actuators act upon the detected and evaluated signal either directly or from a central control unit A reas of R & D (1) For sensors .fibre2fashion.www.and nano-materials Areas of R & D (2) For signal transmission.

Securus fiber seat belts protect the passenger in a three-step process: holding 6 . It is a three-layer design that combines special hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibers into a fibrous batting core. The two functions are truly separated within the fabric.The reflectors are smaller than a grain of sand and finer than a human hair. Securus is the first in a new category of polyester copolymer fibers being developed for managed-load applications.fibre2fashion. which provides restraining properties. actively cooling the wearer through evaporation. Protective Flex The new “smart response” fiber is proving to enhance passenger safety because of its unique energy-management properties. bicycle or any other object. Flash Dried Fabrics 3XDRY finishing technology was developed to provide a treatment that retains water resistance on the face of a fabric and increases wicking on the back. inner lining. the treated fabrics are indistinguishable from untreated fabrics.com Reflective Technology A technology has been created to convert proprietary materials into miniature reflectors that. The end result is a fabric that remains soft to the touch and retains its function and fashion. During a collision. The batting is sandwiched between a breathable outer shell fabric and a thermally conductive. when imbedded into fabric by the millions. During the day. spreading it over the fabric. They can be imbedded into the weave of almost any fabric.The fabric dries six to eight times faster than untreated fabric. which provides flexibility and cushioning. reflect oncoming light. It combines polyethylene terephthalate (PET). which remains highly breathable. It also has a hydrophobic finish that repels water and dirt. and helping to maintain the core body temperature in high-heat environments.3XDRY uses a special process to apply a hydrophilic finish on the back that wicks perspiration away from the body. 3XDRY also incorporates a hygienic treatment to control odor. such as automobile headlights. in a way that illuminates the full silhouette of a person. and evaporating it quickly on the face.www. and polycaprolactone (PCL). Thermal Performance Enhancing Fabric Hydroweave provides extraordinary protection against heat.

Nano Technology Nano-particles are permanently attached to cotton or synthetic fibers. The technology is now used in apparel.fibre2fashion. and restraining and limiting that motion. equipment and linens. Outlast is a paraffin wax compound that is micro-encapsulated into thousands of miniscule. the hydrogel releases water and contracts. Phase Change Materials Outlast temperature-regulating technology effectively recycles body heat.www. Nano-fibers 1/1000 the size of a typical cotton fiber are attached to the individual fibers. keeping the wearer’s skin temperature within a comfortable range. keeping the wearer’s skin temperature within a comfortable range. It recycles body heat by absorbing. footwear. preventing more water from entering. impenetrable. Smart Skin absorbs cold water that has flushed into the suit and expands to close openings at the hands. distributing and releasing heat on a continuous basis.com the passenger securely in place. allowing more water to flush through the suit. and the particles can be configured to imbue the fabric with various attributes. feet and neck. The change occurs at the molecular level. Nano-technology combines the performance characteristics associated with synthetics with the hand and feel of cotton. Water trapped inside the suit heats up upon body contact. This passive system constantly regulates the internal temperature — no batteries or mechanical action are needed. which is embedded in an open-cell foam layer bonded to the inside of a closed-cell neoprene layer in a composite wet suit fabric with nylon or nylon/Lycra outer and inner layers. storing. Thermal Sensitivity Smart Skin hydrogel is a new technology involving a hydrophilic/hydrophobic copolymer. elongating and cushioning the body as it absorbs the energy of its forward motion. hard shells. If the water warms up past a transition temperature determined by the proportion of hydrophilic to hydrophobic components. Outlast was first developed for use in astronaut uniforms and as a protection for instruments against the severe temperature changes in outer space. The changes to the fibers are undetectable and do not affect the natural hand and breathability of the fabric 7 .

8 . Application fields are: Working: displaying helpful data. providing controlled release for optimum exposure to the destructive bacteria. in a solution-dyed polyester Fossfibre bicomponent fiber. storing.Clothing is now capable of recording. Varying the electrical or magnetic field changes the optical properties of certain oligomeric and molecular moieties by altering their absorption coefficients in the visible spectrum as a result of changes in their molecular structure. connecting to the internet or to other people Medicine: monitoring health parameters Security: detecting danger. These functions can be referred to wearing and durability properties. A revolutionary new property of clothing is to exchange information. sending and displaying data. hue. depth of shade or optical transparency by application of an electrical or magnetic field could have applications in coatings.www.fibre2fashion. a silver-based inorganic zeolite. calling for help Microbes Begone An anti-microbial technology has been developed by which it embeds AgION. augment the view of reality and provide useful information anytime and anywhere the user goes. additives or stand alone fibers. more silver is released. Ambient moisture in the air causes low-level release that effectively maintains an anti-microbial surface. Fossfibre with AgION is suitable for all textile applications in which anti-microbial protection is desired. The silver ions from the ceramic compound are released at a slow and steady rate. Bio-mimics Fibers have been developed that can quickly change their color. The bicomponent fibers in Fossfibre are specially designed so that AgION is found only on the sheath. The change in color is due to the absence of specific wavelengths of light.com Wearable Technology Clothing is currently supposed to have more functions than just certain climatic protection and good look. which is a new dimension with intelligent systems. As the humidity increases and the environment become ideal for bacteria growth. analyzing. it varies due to structural changes with the application of an electromagnetic field. Clothing can extend the user’s senses.

fibre2fashion. and structured woven composites (passive systems) Also. The scaffolds provide support for cellular attachment and subsequent controlled proliferation into predefined tissue shapes. because then there is no permanent foreign-body tissue reaction toward the scaffolds and. protective clothing can greatly improve performance by adding smart/interactive features Smart thermal protective clothing: Detection of vital signals Global Positioning System (GPS) Wireless. Implications for Research Protective textiles materials benefit from the development of a myriad of high-performance. hands-free communication Cooling – warming system Incorporated warning signaling 9 . preferably of biodegradable materials. Textile-based scaffolds have been used for such tissue engineering purposes.com Tissue Engineering Tissue engineering uses living cells and their extracellular components with textile-based biomaterial scaffolds to develop biological tissues for human body repair. The most frequently used textile-based scaffolds are non-woven structures.www. over time. there is more volume space into which the engineered tissue can grow. Such an engineering approach would solve the severe shortage problem associated with organ transplants. thermal-stable fibers.

They can be tailored to provide other features such as an anti-static system. Interactive electronic textiles with integrated GPS enhance safety by quickly locating the wearer and allowing the suit to be heated. and physiological comfort air gaps 5-layer interlock woven structure In a structured layered system. and the presence of hazardous gases. and rescue teams. Global Positioning System (GPS) Textiles integrated with sensory devices driven by a GPS can detect a user’s exact location anytime and in any weather. Used in conjunction with a wireless-enabled radio system.fibre2fashion. In addition to monitoring vital signs. it also offers two-way voice communication. GPS can provide added safety for firefighters and emergency personnel by facilitating offsite monitoring of vitals 10 . the Smart Shirt can monitor the health and safety of public safety personnel/victims trapped in a building or underneath rubble with the ability to detect the exact location of victims through positioning capability. smart features may be added and supported by the matrix formed . Detection of Vital Signals Sensatex is developing a Smart Shirt System specifically for the protection of public safety personnel.com 3-layer interlock woven structure Multi-layered woven structures can increase thermal and fire protection by adding controlled air gaps. police officers. the system can detect the extent of falls.www. namely firefighters.

etc. power. enabling a warning signal to be displayed or sent. Wireless. hands-free communication Fabric area networks (FANs) enable electronic devices to exchange digital information. The heat exchanger is similar in principle to a bush fridge where a cold cloth is put over a container and the temperature drop caused by evaporation keeps the food cool. industrial textiles .packaging electronic components.The anti-static materials are widely used in household textiles . FANs use wireless RF communication links using currents measuring one nanoamp.com Anti-Static Wipers: Incorporating conductive fibers in a carpet or mats. and control signals within the user’s personal space and remote locations. biological and chemical) clothing. these currents can transmit data at speed equivalent to a 2400-baud modem. The sensors can monitor EKG.www. firefighters. It is designed to be worn by personnel underneath NBC (nuclear. which is based on heat pipe technology which works by collecting body heat through vapor filled cavities in a vest worn on the body. Cooling – Warming System A new high-tech vest has been developed to help keep soldiers. etc. body armor and other protective clothing. heart rate.This keeps the materials free from dust and remains unaffected by multiple washes . and pulse oximetry readings. results in greatly reduced static charge accumulation on people as they walk across the carpet . The vest uses a personal cooling system (PCS). mines and major fires. The heat is then transferred via a flexible heat pipe to the atmosphere with the help of an evaporative cooling heat exchanger. alive in the searing temperatures of deserts. temperature. Warning Signaling A combination of sensors and small flexible light emitting displays (FLED) can receive and respond to stimuli from the body. respiration.fibre2fashion. even as isolated conductors. If vital 11 .

pagers hooked to our belts. Electronics and fabrics woven together will make smart dressers of firefighters.www. the jacket automatically detects it and sends a distress message to emergency medical officials via Short Message Service.com signals were below critical values. the commander sees at a glance who's been hit and who hasn't—and who is gravely injured and in need of immediate attention. and microcontrollers embedded in the cloth. Software controls the communications inside the on-fabric network and can send radio signals using Bluetooth . a FLED would automatically display. actuators. we're all beginning to look like electro gadget pack mules. The garment must remain comfortable to wear with technology invisible to patient. PDAs bulging in our pockets. Electrodes that are used in conjunction with electro conductive gels. and data taken from a heart monitor For physiological knitted measurements electrodes and flexible sensors has to be integrated in under garments. Conductive fibers woven into the fabric using standard textile techniques carry power to sensors. football players With cell phones hanging off shoulder bag straps. If a crash occurs. and a wireless communication system could send a distress signal to a remote location. digital cameras dangling from our necks. and MP3 players clipped to our shirts. and two accelerometers to sense impact. 12 .An Army commander shirt communicates vital signs in real-time. and temperature.fibre2fashion. local environmental embedded in the undershirt. a flashing red light. Smart undergarments Functions of undergarments Home based monitoring of patients Controlling of room temperature conditions. Garment requirements The garment should ensure the sensor is accurately placed. The message conveys the rider's coordinates. sensors monitoring position. The jacket is embedded with a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) chip. and when all hell breaks loose on the battlefield. for example. motion. The electrodes must make good contact with the body. an electric conductivity sensor.

(b) Transmitter in use rests comfortably to left side of body. This form of interaction with the machine (heater) does not require conscious thought or effort. The fishing vest The result of the research was the fishing vest. Some shoes. after some time. does not require conscious thought or effort. Personal Position Manager (PPM) is a wearable application that is especially intended for fishing. and. (c) Receiver. the wearer might use it in the office (the base station can be replicated one for home. comes closer to being cyborgian than even the bicycle that comes into conscious thought when it is time to park it outside the grocery store. Positioning has become an important function in personal devices allowing users to access information according to place and time. joggers might pace themselves with a distant partner connected through wireless communications. It differs from other bodily extensions (such as a bicycle) in the sense that it may be worn at all times (even in a gambling casino) whether or not it is being actually used (sensed). a Jantzen bathing suit turned out to work better than underwear.www. This gives the wearer's computer a sense of the pace. Such technologies enhance one's capabilities of self-expression. equipped with sensors.fibre2fashion. one for office). picking up groceries on the way home. showing ``underwear'' with sensor sewn into waistband. so that. in addition to aiding navigation. one might completely forget that one is wearing such a device. RF signal-strength meter. but connected via the network. and then go home and continue to interact in this simple way. while the other is the transmitting antenna (hanging free). Internet Connected Shoes Smart clothing includes internet-connected shoes which allow one to run with a jogging partner located in some distant place. so the interaction. for example. For example. The system is 13 .) Transmitter at right has two cables entering it. measure the impact of various parts of the shoe with the ground. which can trace its position and help in navigation. and bank of high-current (40 amp) relays. together with heater (operating off one of the relays). I believe. with the home heater. one is to connect to the sensor. (This version is not actually underwear.com Controlling of room temperature Smart' ``underwear'' prototype: (a) Detail. Viewpoints might also be shared using the "eye-to-eye" glasses (where a portion of each runner's visual field comes from the other runner. but it is suitable for any activity where positioning is needed. While traveling from the office.

through prosthesis. become `smart people'. `smart clothing' brings more control to the user. so that fishers can find the best catch places again. with the potential to interact with external processes (computers. things. etc. to record continuously the last 10 km of travelled route. Conclusion By building much of what we normally interact with directly into our clothing. other people. Exploring the concept of ``smart'' clothing. programs. It suggests a future in which people. 14 . which allows riders to blast their favorite music while simultaneously racing down the slopes.fibre2fashion. Here is how looks the control panel on the jacket's sleeve (Credit: SOFT switch Ltd. from the tip of antenna hat. Burton Amp jacket Burton Amp jacket. and have improved abilities. from snowboarding company Burton in collaboration with Apple. in some sense. The basic function of the system is to record good fishing places. we. in day-to-day living. to the bottom of electric shoes.com constructed using a fishing vest and the functionality encompasses navigation help and notebook properties. and to follow a route travelled. Found that a much more natural form of interaction with external processes emerged. might both overcome disabilities. As an alternative to ``smart'' objects or spaces.www.). It is also possible to ask the route to a desired destination point that is saved earlier into system memory.) in a much more natural way.

fi www.mit.ele. by Edward Menezes Electronics Today. Feb-2004 www. vol-4 no: 1.fibre2fashion. april-jun – 2004 Smart Textiles.tut.www.edu 15 .wearcam.org www.media. jul-aug-2004 Smart fibers.com References Technical textiles international. by-Xiaoping Tao Journal of textiles Committee. fabrics and clothing’s.acg.