Top 5 Textiles of the Future

Many designers are now integrating hi-tech fabrics, such as protective and impact-resistant textiles, or cellulose fabrics, with groundbreaking results. Embracing new processes such as biomimicry, they bridge the gap between art, design, technology, and sustainability more than any other material. Over the last decade, the textile industry has achieved a successful transformation toward developers, manufacturers, and distributors of high value-adding products for a very broad range of geographical and sectoral end markets. Fashion designers and engineers are collaborating to develop innovative “smart textiles,” or garments that merge fashion and technology. Here are the Top 5 textiles of the future:

• Two dresses that were created in the Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y, were produced without any pigments or dyes. The colors were created by coating cotton fibers with nanoparticles and manipulating the way matter and light interacts with the particles.

• Abbey Liebman, a design student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., created a dress made with conductive cotton that can charge an iPhone via solar panels.

• Researchers at the Textile Nanotechnology Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. are using nanoscience to create garments that can filter hazardous gases and industrial toxic chemicals.

• There is a new research in the merging between nanoscience and fashion design to color garments without using any dyes, and to add antibacterial properties to clothing. Designer Olivia Ong created textiles colored with nanoparticles and are capable of killing 99.9999% of bacteria. These dresses were created at the Textile Nanotechnology Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

• Researchers have for the first time, developed a smart textile from carbon nanotube and spandex fibers that can both sense and move in response to a stimulus like a muscle or joint. Lead researcher Dr. Javad Foroughi from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) explains that recent work allowed them to develop smart clothing that simultaneously monitors the wearer’s movements, senses strain, and adjusts the garment to support or correct the movement.


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