04 New Technologies Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

04 New Technologies Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

In past few years, the new technologies have improved almost all areas of our lives. If we talk about textile and apparel sector then it is not only improve the utilities of the products but also improve its general appearance. If we look at the past inventions of new technologies then we can see that the smart products are not having enough eye catchy attributes. And we can’t compare these hi tech wearables with regular high fashion wears. Because during its development, the developer and garment designer both have to compromise on many things. Although, the main hi tech features were normally achieved in past inventions yet the shape and current trend of fashion was normally overlooked. This is why; you could see a long list of wearables which were disliked by the consumers due to its unattractiveness or failure to provide optimum functions.

New Technologies distinctive Enhancements:

Despite of earlier failures or less consumer’s response, the urge for better wearable in both attractiveness and functions has increased. And every failure or less expected results of the newly invented wearables gave us guidelines for better future products. The contribution of new technologies in shape of nanotechnology and smart materials has finally introduced some distinctive smart textile products. As we have discussed in our previous articles that how smart wearable technology is playing a vital role in health and military sector. Besides these two sectors, the fashion industry players have also partnered with smart technologies organizations to come up with some smart and striking wearables.

Biotechnology Leather: (Modern Meadow)

Although the artificial leather was considered as replacement of leather in the past yet it didn’t fit well in all leather products. As its appearance and feeling was not as good as the real leather has. So, the company named “Modern Meadow” has worked out on this thing and introduced environment friendly leather which was grown in a lab. With the help of biotechnology, they produce collagen from few real skin cells of animal. And that collagen turns into real leather through further process of two weeks’ time. This whole process is called biofabrication. The said company already exhibited few of its products and received much appreciation from audience.

As per company’s executives, their full line of consumer’s products will be released by next year. And interesting thing is that you can develop any animal leather by following standard procedures. It means in future, we can even see those leather made products whose real animal leather usage is banned.

Spider Silk Fabric:  (Bolt Threads)

A team of scientists, engineers, and apparel experts launched such fabric which categorized under the best eco-friendly creations of new technologies. These engineers and scientists follow the nature for developing man-made silk. They produce a fiber from corn syrup which was fed to yeast fermentation. This fermentation creates protein that was harvested and purified into a powder. This process created fibers which were converted into yarn and this yarn knitted the spider silk tie.

The spider silk proteins are not new for the retailers as it is already using in cosmetic and medical devices. The Bolt Thread sources their raw materials from Midwest farmers. And their manufacturing facility is in North Carolina. They have already made partnership with famous fashion designer “Stella McCartney” for its spider silk product line. And both companies are expecting huge response from the customer who loves to buy vegan fabrics (made of without the need of animals).

Mars Growing Boots:

Mars boots are the joint efforts of Liz Ciokajlo and Maurizio Montalti and also considered as sparkling product in current new technologies. Keeping in view the scenario where the resources are limited like living on Mars then such type of products would be blessing which are fueled by feet’s sweat. Yes, it’s true these shoes are made from mycelium (a mushroom like fungus) and grows with human feet’s sweat. In space ship, the astronauts normally filter their urine and sweat to make it drinkable water. So, these shoes are also best for exploring Mars as the earth material like Gore tex is not workable at Mars climate. On the other hand, the wearer of these shoes giving sweat to the mycelium to grow so the shoes never ruined or damaged.

Customized Clothes and Shoes:

Fast fashion trends are overburdening the economy with too many waste clothes. Due to quick changes in fashion trends, the current fashion manufacturers couldn’t cater the needs of every client.  The fashion lovers facing a lot of fit issues after having their favorite wears into their wardrobe. So, the result comes out with the sheer load on our environment in shape of waste clothes.  Keeping in view the said scenario, the British fashion brand named “Unmade” come up with ultimate solution. With help of new technologies, they developed software and fabrication tools that allow its clients to design their own dresses.  Now by-following these new technologies, an individual can make changes in pattern and design their fashion-wear according to his/her choice. And after finalizing everything, the created design file would develop customize dress on 3D knitting machine.

Similarly, in footwear, Adidas collaborated with Carbon and came up with customized sneakers (ADDYY, +3.16%). The client can change the color and pattern of shoes as per his needs and desire. The 3D printing method facilitates its clients to produce small and customize runs. By adopting such new technologies, we can save our environment from thousand tons of wasted wears.

Some Ending Lines:

This is not the end as there are also so many brands which are working tirelessly to offer sustainable products. Some are on prototype phase and others are on mass production planning phase.  But here, one thing is important that a distinctive idea has lost its uniqueness if it’s not mass-production supportive. As many of us already came-across so many announcements in past which sounded unique but failed to produce mass bulk. Or the mass bulk production couldn’t conform all products’ described features. So, the brands which we discussed above and others which are on developing phase need to be very careful while claiming any feature. Because the awareness level of the consumer is on its optimum level and we can’t back off our wordings later on.

Why New Innovations in Conductive Textiles is Essential

Why New Innovations in Conductive Textiles is Essential

The global smart textiles products demand is increasing by every passing day. The day to day new innovations in wearables is changing the way of people’s life. If we have a look on the conductive textile market value in year 2016 then it was US$ 1.02 bn. And based on the previous and current growth rate of the market (CAGR 15.6%), it is projected to touch US$ 2.11 bn till year 2021. In year 2015, the woven textile segment was the largest consumer of conductive materials. Whereas, the leading consuming industries include military, defense, healthcare and sports & fitness. On the other hand, the minor industry users include aviation sector, automotive and architecture sectors included.

The main reason of growing demand of conductive textile is an increasing awareness about the advantages of conductive material based products. Now days, the biomarker monitors are commonly used in healthcare and fitness industry. As with the help of which, you can easily check your heart rate or can even count your steps. Due to technology useful attributes, the application of the smart wearables and other electric devices is significantly increased in military and defense industries.

Textiles New Innovations in Military and Defense:

As of now, the military and defense sector is prove to be the largest consuming sector of smart wearables of textile. At one side, nanotechnology and other electric gadgets are used for military uniform. On the other hand, a conductive textile is protecting soldiers from extreme weather conditions (hot, cold, rain, moisture etc.). Moreover, the new innovations of smart textiles can also be observed in their parachutes, tents, ropes and other daily appliances. In short, whatever the situation is there, whether it’s a matter of safety (nuclear, biological and chemical threats) or routine movement (navigation help), the usage of smart wearables is unavoidable. Along-with that now a days, the conductive textile technology is also applying in personal clothing too.

Conductive Textile Regional Growth:

Although, the Europe’s conductive textile industry growth in is really significant. And the overall research and development outcome of conductive textiles in Europe is noteworthy. It categorizes under leading consumer of conductive textiles products with the rise-in market anticipation upto US$340.6 million by year 2022. But North America remains dominant in global conductive textiles market. As its conductive textiles market value was USD 472.9 million in year 2016. And now it is projecting to rise from US$340.3 million to US$445 million for the year 2017-2022. There are also some other countries like UK, China, Germany, Japan and other Asia-pacific regions which are continuously working on the new innovations in conductive textile market.

Things to do:

Despite of hasty new innovations and hopeful future projection, the cost factor is still a big restraint in the overall growth of conductive textiles. As the high cost of conductive and other smart materials could directly affect the price of the final product.  So, in many countries, there are extensive public and Government funded research and development programs are running. And the main motive of these projects is to increase production of smart textile products with competitive cost. Especially Europe funded projects are really supporting the manufacturers to come up with new innovations in smart textile products.

How Google Jacquard Supports The Smart Levi’s Denim Jacket

How Google Jacquard Support The Smart Levi’s Denim Jacket

The global smart sensors market is expected to grow at CAGR of 11.25 percent for year 2017 – 2021. As per the recent report which covers both present scenario and the industrial growth outlook of the smart sensor market. The main and major driving force of this growth is wearable technology. As we discussed in our earlier article that how wearable technology supports health and fashion industry. Along-with that, its contribution in military and other industrial sectors (mines, wind turbines, and oil-rigs) is also really helpful. Smart sensors are normally incorporated with wearables which directly connected with the cell phones or satellite transmission.  Recently Google and Levi’s collaboration launched a new smart levi’s denim jacket for cyclists and bikers.

Levi’s Denim Jacket with Jacquard by Google:

The Google unveiled its first smart jacket based on Jacquard technology last month. It’s a joint efforts of Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) team and the famous clothing brand Levi Strauss. This smart top is developed with the Jacquard technology. And after having a successful launch, the technology people could get an idea that Jacquard platform can be used for such connected devices too. The Levi’s denim jacket is now available online as well as some selected US stores of different cities (Chicago, New York, San Francisco & Santa Monica).

Levi’s Denim Jacket Construction:

As per Paul Dillinger, vice president of global product innovation for Levi Strauss & Co, it’s isn’t just about technology for technology’s sake. As this garment guide the cyclist about ride navigation, along-with that it ease the cyclist to perform other simple tasks without taking off his/her eyes from the road. The rider’s phone is connected with cuff snap tag wirelessly. The said snap tag also notifies the cyclist/biker about calls and massages with light or haptic feedback.

The Levi’s denim jacket’s left cuff is made with conductive yarn which enables user for touch interactivity.  So, the user can do the simple tasks like answering or disconnecting calls, change music and accessing navigation information (by voice) with no hassle.  The digital connectivity is provided by the jacquard snap tag which is attached on the sleeve cuff.  When a cyclist/biker swap on the sleeve, the tag sends the wireless signals to the phone for performing the requested action.

Levi’s Denim Jacket Functionality:

While conceiving the urban cyclist/biker into mind, the Levi’s denim jacket has stretchable shoulder fabric. It has opening in the back for ventilation as well as dropped hem in the back. During finalizing the overall shape of levi’s denim jacket, the function and ease of wearer was on top of consideration.  As per Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, the both companies plan to integrate more functions into the jacket. And this would involve cuttin g the need to pull your phone out all the time. As he further revealed that they encountered a lot of challenges while developing such innovative product. And even at one point, the jacket’s sleeve caught fire which was later on fixed and rectified.

This is not the end, as Levi’s is continuously striving to attract its clientele with some of its own innovation in the online world. And for that sake, the company has recently launched a chatbot on its site that serves as a virtual stylist.

 

Photos: Levi’s Denim Jacket with Jacquard™ by Google

How Clothes Can Protect You from Ultraviolet Radiation

How Clothes Can Protect You from Ultraviolet Radiation

The cases of skin cancer are increasing in all over the world. Especially in UK, the figure of new patients is increasing significantly in every coming year. Over 80% of all types of skin cancer are caused by over exposure to UVR (Ultraviolet Radiation) of Sun. So, the experts are already trying to find the best solution or prevention to get out from this situation. And as of now, they found that clothes are the best and easy way to prevent ultraviolet radiation affect to human body.  This is why the customer’s demand toward UV protecting clothes has significantly increased.

The textile experts are doing a lot towards the functionality and over all look of the UV protecting clothes. Initially, the cloth’s appearance (darker) and especially the comfort level was not as good as it should be. But with the passage of time, the look and comfort level has significantly improved. The clothes which are UV protecting are normally called UPF labeled clothing. And now you can find a variety of garments in casual, athletic and sportswear category in the market. Due to increasing customer’s awareness, the demand and variety/functions (a part from UVF) of such clothes is significantly increasing.

Ultraviolet Radiation Protection:

In 1996, Australia has highlighted and standardized the concept of UPF (ultra-protection factor). It means how UPF based clothes can give a shield against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The ultraviolet radiation protection level varies in different fabrics. It’s level normally based on fabric construction, weight and color. For example, if a top labeled with UPF of 50, it means it allows only 1/50th of the Sun’s UV rays to your body. So, we can say it’s giving excellent protection from Sun’s UV rays. On the other hand, a white thin top allows 1/5th of the Sun’s UV rays to the body. Which means your body is badly effecting by the Sun’s UV radiations. Moreover, if the same white top is wet due to sweating then it will absorb even more UV radiation.

It’s really difficult to assess UVF protection through hand feel or naked eye that how much a cloth can protect you from UV radiations. Although you can see that how much light is passing through the cloth yet you can’t judge the UV radiation passing quantity. So for this, UPF system was introduce which determine the criteria of assessment. And the same system is working all over the world including the US (The ASTM International). The UV labeled clothing means that fabric has been tested in a standardized laboratory. And consumer can gain the narrated benefits of UV protection.

Ultraviolet Radiation Protection Cheap Alternatives:

Since the skin cancer patient’s numbers are increasing significantly so everyone should wear UPF labeled clothing. As these clothes are a bit expensive than daily routine wearing and not available on every store. So, is it necessary to get the same in any case? The answer is “NO”. As per studies in Australia, the clothes which are composite with Lycra/Elastane have more than UPFs of 50. The denim and corduroy clothing are one of those clothes which have higher protection from ultraviolet radiation. Moreover, the fabrics which are more dense in making (tight weave or knit), can protect you better from UV radiations. But it’s not necessary that every dense fabric can give you better protection. As composition of the fabric is also matter a lot.

Normally, the clothes are made in different fibers like cotton, polyester, wool and nylon etc. Some fibers have more ability to stop/reduce the ultraviolet radiation. For example, the fibers like Lycra, Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic are more protective towards UV protection. So, the clothes which have said fibers can protect you better from rays. On the other hand, a dense cotton cloth normally absorbs much UV radiation. Whereas, the shiny thin rayon fabrics normally reflects more UV and absorb less.  So, you have a range of options and characteristics of the fabric’s fibers. Now you have the choice here to select any option protect yourself from unseen rays.

How Wearable Technology Supports Fashion & Health Sector

How Wearable Technology Supports Fashion & Health Sector

The growing usage of wearable technology is transforming the pattern of people’s life.  And now its application in fashion industry is revolutionizing the whole industry’s trends and objectives. As per Allied Market Research, in year 2015, the wearable market was valued US$ 19.6 billion. And till year 2022, it is expected to grow around US$57.5 billion (with a compound growth 16.2% annually).  Whereas, the growth rate of smart wearable textile is 40% annually and with a prediction of US$2.5 billion by year 2021.

The usage of sensors, heating elements or even battery charging devices in wearables is a normal example in smart textile. The military, hospitals and sports wears are the best potential segments for such kind of smart wearable. And by adding such gadgets, you can check the heart rate, breathing, skin temperature, perspiration level etc.

Wearable Technology Health Gains:

As discussed earlier, the usage of the wearable gadgets contributing a lot in the health sector. By applying these wearables you can get better results of patient treatment with physical injury and functional disabilities. And not only this, you can also avoid injury for patients at risk. Moreover, with the help of muscle and motion sensors, you can get useful data of the patient’s biomechanics. And this will be helpful for the health experts to advice better prescription.

As far as the affects of these gadgets on human health is concern, this thing already under consideration of the tech experts. So, the frequencies levels are in between 450MHZ and 2700 MHZ. Whereas, the power levels are 0.1 Watts and 2 Watts (which are safe for human health and body).

World’s Efforts Towards Wearable Technology:

Since the R&D work is going in recent phase so the quality parameters are considered on top priority basis. So, the quality of smart wearable textile is especially develop on high performance features and standards.  As per the Vice-President of Intertek Testing Services, ” all wearable technology had to be carefully tested to ensure it met strict manufacturing requirements”. Anyhow, the research and development teams are striving their best to launch such technologies which are best both for human and the world’s environment. And for this, a lot of projects are already in queue from the different nations of the world (See our other article named Wearable Technology and E-Textile)

Why Smart Materials in Textile are Crucial For Environment

How Smart Materials in Textile are Crucial For Environment

The climate temperature of the world is going to increase every year. As per the experts, over past fifty years, the average global temperature is going upward at its fastest rate. And still experts are predicting that the trend is continuously accelerating. So, keeping in view, the recent climate situation, every sector of the life is striving their best to develop something productive to help the human being and environment. The contribution of smart textile and materials toward technology that offer the wearer increase functionality is slow but gradual. And the usage of smart materials based products is really high especially in military and defense and health care sector . Now, the smart textile is also striving to contribute something in clothing which offers cool-clothing to overcome the heat feeling.

Cooling Smart Materials Theme:

As described earlier, the research and development department of textile industry is continuously finding for the betterment of this industry. Moreover, they are not only seeking for better options but they are also focusing on cost effectiveness of the solution. The research and development department of Stanford University is right now focusing on climate issue. And they are extensively working on such plastic smart materials which cools the wearer. The motive of such cost effective solution is to save the energy. And as per the R&D people they are formulating such clothing smart materials which has the feature to keep the wearer cool in the hot climate. As per the Yi Cui (associate professor Stanford), If you can cool the person rather than the building where they work or live that will save energy.”

Plastic materials Clothing:

As per the R&D team, the plastic smart materials enable the wearer body to discharge the heat in various way. And this discharge will cause to reduce the temperature up to 04 degree Fahrenheit. So, the wearer will experience the coolant feeling as compare to cotton clothing. The integration of nanotechnology, chemistry and photonics which provides polythene properties of the clingy plastic which is normally use as kitchen wraps. Moreover, this solid (but see through) materials also allow thermal radiation, water and air to pass through. Since it has the features of polyethylene food wrap, so the infrared radiation also goes through from it easily. The whole process of this development is really challenging and difficult. But the research team is tackling each and every step very effectively and diligently.

At start of this research work, the researchers revealed an alternative of polyethylene that is normally used in batteries. The said smart materials (specific nanostructure) has the same characteristics like dense to light and transparent to infrared radiation which allow heat escape from body. Moreover, the treatment with bengin chemicals has modified the polyethylene with added features to let water vapor molecules that evaporate through the nano pores in the plastic. The initial experiment output was the development of single-sheet material that complied with the three standard criteria for cooling fabric. The research team is continuously working on this theme and trying to make it more versatile. And the versatility in materials will be like adding more colors options, texture and other cloth characteristics in the material.

Sustainability in Wearable Technology and E-Textile

Sustainability in Wearable Technology

The technology is becoming more efficient, accurate as well as even personalized now. The hardware devices are smaller, less noticeable and the data collection is more easy and smooth. The wearable technology companies own the user’s physiological data which is normally collected via mobile applications and devices, with an intention to perform any kind of operations on it. And this operation can be like analyze it, interpret it or even they can sell it without user consent. For instance, the personal fitness activities data is normally use to monitor worker’s health for job worthiness.

There are several technology giants and startups which are extensively working to make the next wearable gadget or application for body data tracking. This design will focus to connect multiple sensors and applications on the body for a more integrated view of the data. This is called a body area network of wearable devices which is connected with internet.

Sustainability in Wearable Technology:

In continuity of the above approach, a very huge wearable technology project is going to launch by Europe now. This project is investing EUR 2.4 million on the teams of creative people and development of latest technologists. And they will offer new ideas to the next generation for sustainability in wearable technology and e-textile. There are seven organizations across the Europe along with “Queen Mary University of London” and “University for the Creative Arts” are the part of this project name “Wear Sustain”. And for this, they have already launched the first of its two competition call-outs last month.

The said program is looking for the applications of the teams of engineers, design, art, technology and business experts. Because they can contribute an innovative and practical sustainable solutions for the wearable technology and e-textile. The fund of EUR 2.40 million will spend on the 48 teams of the experts (EUR 50,000/team) through innovation vouchers. And with the input from advisers and experts across the Europe, they will develop prototypes and take ideas from market. These prototypes will comprise of sustainability in wearable technology and e-textile. And all they will exhibit in a final showcase event late in 2018.

Wearable technology Gains:

The main motive of “Wear Sustain” is to develop such creative and technology oriented practices which support sustainable and ethical innovation methodologies for wearable technology and e-textile. And at the end of this project, they will publish online tutorial along with sustainable strategy guidelines. This information will definitely help the entrepreneurs and other industry’s stakeholder to aware the sustainability in wearable technology. Furthermore, it will also encourage them to use the recommended best practices for the future of society.