Generally when wearing a fabric, we think of covering the body and protecting it from the environment, or as a form of personal expression and style. But the future of clothing is about to change in a big way as smart textiles are paving their way through. The textile industry is about to take a giant step from being a supplier of fabrics to becoming a positive force in the development of society. Textile innovations improve people’s everyday lives and benefit the industry, the health care sector and the environment.
So what are these Smart Textiles? Smart textiles are the values added on to a garment/fabric which are able to do things that a traditional/normal fabrics cannot. Smart textiles can be categorized in two different ways; aesthetics and performance enhancement. Aesthetic property examples include lighting or gathering energy on the fabric from the environment such as harnessing vibration, sound or heat and then reacting to these inputs. The Performance Enhancement smart textiles provide a huge impact on athletics, extreme sports and military industries. These fabrics will help to measure and improve body temperature, wind resistance, muscle vibration, or measure heartbeats which in all helps to improve performances. This may also be helpful in saving the lives of many individuals. We often hear news about children, students or a player passing away playing football or soccer due to over exhaustion; this can be halted with the use of smart textiles. The health and beauty industry is also taking advantage of these innovations which range from medical textiles to fabric with moisturizer, perfume and anti aging properties.
It is very clear that smart textiles and technology go hand in hand and that designers approach the design application differently than the technical companies do, which ends up being much more friendly to the end user.
Forecasting and keeping these things in mind, Mood Designer Fabrics does carry special end use fabrics such as Antimicrobial Max-Dri Fabrics, Anti-static Fabrics, Reflective Fabrics, Fire Retardant Fabrics, Oil and Water repellent fabrics, Breathable Fabrics, and Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics in their collection.
1) Anti Microbial Fabrics: Antimicrobial fabrics and textiles are fiber-based substrates to which antimicrobial agents have been applied at the surface, or incorporated into the fibers, rendering a product that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and molding for a healthier and more hygienic active lifestyle. 2) Antistatic Fabrics: Antistatic fabrics are those that do not cling; they prevent damage to electrical components to prevent fires and explosions when working with flammable liquids and gases. We do have acetate linings which are antistatic in nature, which will help to prevent static charge generation. 3) Reflective Fabrics: We commonly see reflective materials on our tennis shoes, bicycle wheels, and road signs. But did you ever think you would have reflective materials in your shirts and shorts? They are becoming more and more common in today’s sports and activewear, and they will continue to affect the way we dress, work and play. This has been made possible solely due to the continuous innovation put forth in the science field. Reflective fabrics are known for their ability to reflect the light to the farthest distance possible. These fabrics are also used on the streets; reflectors and alerts are made up of reflective fabric as well as security life jackets. 4) Fire Resistant Fabrics: These are textiles that are naturally more resistant to fire than others by chemical treatment or fireproof manufactured fibers. Fabric flammability is an important textile issue, especially for stage drapery used in a public space such as a school, theater or special event venue. Inherently, flame-retardant fabrics such as polyester are commonly used for flame retardant curtains. 5) Oil and Water Repellent Fabrics: Water and oil repellant fabrics are the ones were water, mud and oily liquids run off the fabric easily. For clothing that is worn intensively and subjected to considerable wear and tear, an oil repellent finishing is a particularly desired advantage as it means the clothing is hard-wearing and requires less frequent washing. Other common end uses for the oil and water resistant finishes include upholstery, rugs, carpets, uniforms, table cloths, wall paper, etc.
6) Breathable Fabrics: Breathability is the ability of the fabric to allow moisture to pass through the fabric. If you’re not already on the “LINEN” train, this magical, absorbent fabric is guaranteed to change your life (at least when it comes to those steamy days). Linen is made out of the flax plant, so the fibers come directly from the stalk of the plant, whereas cotton is just the fluffy part of the flower. So linen has more structure and holds its shape better than a lot of other flimsy fabrics — it stands away from the body and therefore isn’t as clingy. It’s ultra-breathable and lightweight, and the looser fit designs also allow air to flow for even more comfort. The only flip side is that because linen holds its shape and wrinkles quickly. Look for a linen-cotton blend if you’re searching for a more office-friendly fabric.
7) Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics: Wrinkle resistant fabrics are the ones that resist creasing. While natural fibers aren’t usually wrinkle-resistant, cotton and other fibers can be specially treated to prevent wrinkles and save you time and effort during the clean and care process. 8) Narrow Fabric: Narrow Fabrics are something that we daily come across. From clothing to interior decor, these fabrics have became the integral part of the lives. There are several types of fabrics such as synthetic fabrics, natural fabrics and many more depending upon their designs and usability. Narrow fabric is also the most commonly utilized fabrics in our daily lives.
9) Stretch Fabric: Stretch fabric refers to materials which contain one way or four way stretch (according to Mood’s terminology); one way stretch stretches in one direction, usually from selvage to selvage, and four way stretch stretches in all directions. Stretch fabric simplify the construction of clothing. First used in swimsuits and women’s bras, fashion designers began using them as early as the mid-1980s. Entering the mainstream market in the early 1990s, stretch fabrics are widely used in sports wear.
10) Crewel Fabric: A wide range of crewel fabrics come from Kashmir in north-western India. Because of its versatility, a crewel fabric is widely used for the manufacturing of curtains, light upholstery, bedheads, cushions, bed covers and so on. Due to its longevity, exquisiteness and with its aesthetic appeal, crewel fabric has been ruling the international market. 11) Quilted Fabric: Quilted fabrics are layered materials consisting of two or more cloths that encase a filling and are stitched together to form a puffy unit. Quilted fabrics are generally made for products like bags, clothing and mattresses. Quilted fabrics can be a blend of any fiber whether it be cotton, polyester, silk, or wool. At the same time, quilted fabric has been innovated and modernized in its composition and design. Quilted fabrics are available in countless colors and shapes. Other reasons for the popularity of quilted fabrics is its unlimited usability. Quilted fabrics typically require less maintenance as they are easily washable and dry-able.
12) High Tech Fabrics– When clothing gets wet from perspiration it sticks to the skin and hinders the evaporation process. The evaporation process keeps our body temperature at its appropriate level to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When we work or play outside in the cold or heat, our body temperature heats up, causing us to sweat. The sweat soaks into our clothing, causing it to stick to our skin and hindering the evaporation process. The wet fabric lies on our skin, keeping us cold or hot even while we continue to work or play hard. To combat this, we have “Wicking“. Wicking fabrics move sweat away from the body to the fabric surface where it evaporates. As a result it keeps athletes dry and comfortable.
After going through the blog, we hope you get a general idea of what should be expected of our upcoming fabrics in the near future. Apart from just covering the body, these fabrics do a lot of work you normally wouldn’t even dream of. So stop wasting your time. Make these high defined fabrics a part of your world by shopping our Tech Fabric selection at www.MoodFabrics.com.