Smart textiles use technology to recycle and reuse textile fibers. They can monitor health and can measure movements. Advances in specialized materials and fabrication technologies offer exciting opportunities to create seamless garments as sensors and actuators for biomedical applications.
Designers, scientists and doctors are producing new biomedical textiles and the resulting smart clothes are not only fashionably functional but could also be life savers. RFID technology is being integrated into belly bands for women with high-risk pregnancies. The band continuously tracks data and alerts the doctor’s office via the net should the woman start contractions. A smaller version is being created for babies at risk for sleep apnea.
An intersection of engineering, medicine and design, these examples of new human-centered service technology show vast potential to improve health care. Textile innovations improve people’s lives and benefit the industry, the health care sector and the environment.
The global smart textiles market is growing at a CAGR of 33.58 per cent from 2015 and 2020. China and India are two of the major manufacturers of smart textiles in the Asia Pacific market, and are the largest producers of manufactured fibers, and are expected to dominate the global smart textile market in the near future.
Knitting technology has gained a great deal of attention in the field of wearable electronics and could become a widespread method of construction for smart textiles in future.