Just as technology and science advance, so do textiles. Over time, different varieties of fabrics and textiles have been developed, but not only for fashion and interiors, but also for medicine, beauty, art and science.
But what type of smart textiles exist? and what are they?
Well, these are those that have the ability to alter their nature in response to the action of external stimuli, whether physical or chemical, which modify some of their properties with the aim of providing a benefit to the user. By this we refer to those traditional fibers that are transformed through science, materials, mechanics, biology, electronics or artificial intelligence. They also detect certain stimuli, be it environmental conditions, situations or actions that change due to its reaction, resulting in a new textile. The first precursors of these are microfibers and elastane.
Now, there are different classifications and uses within smart textiles, such as nanotextiles, chameleon textiles, biotextiles, and geotextiles.
Nanotextiles: These are fabrics composed of nanofibers, that is, polymers with
microparticles known as nanoparticles, which are spun
conventional or by impregnating nanostructures on fabrics. Some examples are fabrics capable of killing bacteria, water repellent, those that conduct electricity, regulate body temperature, monitor the vital signs of a patient in the hospital, among others.
Illustration 1: Nanotextile.
Chameleons: They are those active chromium that change the color of the fabric by
through external stimuli such as light, temperature, water and pressure. They are mostly worn for military purposes in uniform for camouflage. However, the fashion industry is using it a lot, as it is quite striking and aesthetic. Unfortunately this type of fabric is not very durable.
Illustration 2: Chameleons.
Biotextiles: These are structures composed of textile fibers designed for use in a specific biological environment, either for health benefit or for medical purposes, such as in the field of implantation devices, including surgical sutures.
These have allowed a wide field of tissue research and exploration to be generated, since tissues and even organs can be repaired or regenerated through biological substitutes.
They generally try to imitate skin tissues and their appearances. Furthermore, they use
Organic materials have the ability to biodegrade, are durable, flexible, but are usually expensive to produce.
Illustration 3: Biotextiles.
Geotextiles: These are those with waterproofing, reinforcement, separation or filtration properties. They are generally made of polyamide polymer fibers such as nylon, polyester or polypropylene, since they provide greater stability with cement and without movement in the face of the chemical elements of a soil.
These are divided into three fabrics, non-woven or mixed.
Knits are meshes woven in the flat direction or knitted.
Nonwovens are joined together from fibers through mechanical, thermal or chemical processes with continuous filaments that can be needled or thermo-welded. Mixed ones are made up of short fibers or mixed geotextiles.
Illustration 4: Geotextiles.
At FORMATEX we handle a variety of smart textiles that have properties similar to those mentioned, you can find more information about them in the blog 14 .
You've probably already seen or had contact with one, but after learning about all these smart textiles, tell us which ones have been your favorites? and because?
Author | Jimena Chavez
Image 1: Guest, Arthur, (2011) “Nanotextiles facts behind the fabrics” in My green australia retrieved on July 21, 2021 in
Image 2: Kalei2, (2013) “Smart chameleon materials” in trucks
retrieved on July 21, 2021 at https://www.camionetica.com/2013/06/18/materiales-camaleonicos-inteligentes/
Image 3: Sklodowska Marie, (2016) “Bio textiles” in Etextile retrieved on July 21, 2021 at https://etextile-summercamp.org/2016/bio-textiles/
Image 4: We select solutions in welding machinery. (s/f) in Arístegui Maquinaria retrieved on July 21, 2021 at https://www.aristegui.info/que-son-los-geotextiles-y-cuales-son-sus-propiedades/