Smart Fabrics – The Future of Textiles Is Here

Ryan / 01-25-2021

As science fiction blossomed into its media genre, there’s no denying that 2020 came with high expectations. For instance, living in virtual landscapes, visiting other planets like popping into the local retail store, and driving flying cars.

While these ideas held immense fiction in them, an abundance of impressive technology advancements has emerged over the years, which means the future has already arrived in other ways than expected.

While we’re inventing new things, we’re also expanding on the existing technology that entails revisiting old ideas, for instance, smart textiles. With the advent of this new technology, these smart fabrics can be more useful and versatile than ever before.

Our drive and diligence to step up what we already have by a few notches can take the smart textile sector and those that have supported it to greater heights.

Keeping that in mind, let’s explore how smart fabrics work, why they are the future of the textile industry and a few smart fabric trends. Read on!

How Do Smart Fabrics Work?

Also known as e-textiles, intelligent fabrics, smart textiles, electronic fabrics, and smart garments, smart fabrics have digital components embedded in them, such as electronic chips, sensors, batteries, and lights. The technology is incorporated into the fabric via different methods, such as 3D multi-layer printing and conductive fibers.

The goal of smart textiles is to deliver increased value to wearers, regardless of whether it’s for safety, performance, or pleasure. The development of smaller electronic gadgets, along with their cheaper production, significantly fuels the market growth.

From a broader view, smart textiles can be categorized into two types.

Aesthetic enjoyment, for instance, fabric that changes color depending on the body heat and sneakers that light up.

Performance enhancement, for instance, textiles that can provide immense protection against radiation and other environmental hazards, and smart clothes that can regulate body temperature.

How Smart Fabrics Are Changing the Game

Let’s delve into a few smart fabric trends that are changing the future of the industry.

Fitness and Sports

Smart textiles are coming in handy for professional and recreational athletes to monitor vital signs during a workout and boost physical performance. They can monitor their progress and make the necessary adjustments.

For instance, Nadi X smart yoga pants have woven-in sensors coupled with vibration monitors that sense your movement and guide you through yoga sessions. The Bluetooth-enabled pants sync with a mobile app that allows the user to choose from many workouts.

The motors then produce gentle vibrations that draw your attention to the parts of your body required for a certain yoga pose. The leggings are machine-friendly and designed with comfort in mind.

Nufabrx, a biomaterial manufacturer headquartered in Conover, North Carolina, recently introduced its compression wear line known as Active Wear. Designed with optimum comfort in mind, the pain relief, hand, wrist, and foot sleeves are designed to soothe the wearer and increase physical performance.


An expected CAGR of 9.5% by 2027 is expected in the medical smart fabric market. The increased ability to treat and monitor patients via smart textiles with less interaction by medical personnel fuels this growth.

The digital technology and sensors embedded in the garments monitor patients’ vitals, such as their breathing, blood sugar, heart rate, and blood pressure. They can constantly be monitored, and immobile patients can be watched remotely.

Xenoma, a smart fabrics company, is creating smart pajamas that medical patients can wear. They have embedded sensors that detect motion and alert medical personnel. The sensors also monitor conductivity with the skin without using liquids or gels and can withstand hundreds of washes.

Emergency and Military Personnel

The military is incorporating smart fabrics for improved communication, protection, and monitoring of soldiers.

Smart garments can safeguard military personnel against adverse heat and other harsh conditions. Their vital signs can be monitored remotely, alerting higher-ranking officers when soldiers are in distress.

For instance, smart textiles, known as SOFT, an acronym for Self-Organized Framework on Textiles, can detect, pre-concentrate, capture, and filter toxic gases and chemicals. Sensors in protective clothing alert you in real-time upon the detection of the harmful gas.

Closing Remarks

It’s an exciting time for various smart fabric technologies, with applications in nearly all industries imaginable. We’re currently teaming up with clients on a multitude of projects that are closely similar to those described above, including textile marketing.

As such, we’d love to help your business brainstorm on new applications for smart textiles and turn those ideas into a pleasant reality.

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