14/03/2017 – Techtextil/Texprocess — auf Deutsch lesen

Smart textiles on their advance

Fashion and cars have several things in common. They can heat, illuminate and communicate: intelligent textiles – also known as smart textiles.


Innovative Apparel Show at Techtextil: Catwalk for unconventional materials and processing technologies in fashion (Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin)


“Smart fashions frequently use technologies that are better known in sectors normally not associated with fashion, for example, architecture, the automobile industry, aviation and the medical industry”, says Michael Jänecke, Brand Manager, Techtextil and Texprocess, Messe Frankfurt. Technical textiles offer inspiration for fashion designers and help them expand their horizons.

The ‘Monitor Dress’ of Berlin-based designer Lina Wassong for example shows the wearer’s pulse via a circle of LEDs. The key to this is the conductive silver threads from which the jersey fabric of the dress is made. The silver-coated polyamides are made by Statex from Bremen and otherwise used in anti-static carpeting for aircraft. For human and veterinary medicine, the fibres are made up into silver-coated wound dressings. Used in smartphone cases, they protect the phones of politicians and the police against data theft.

For a collection of winter coats, Berlin’s ‘Moon Berlin’ fashion label uses textile heating elements that normally warm up car seats. The ‘Pink Bionic’ collection by Theresa Scholl (Hochschule Niederrhein) is inspired by the ‘Solar Trees’, an architectural element of the German pavilion at Expo Milano 2015. Thanks to integrated organic photovoltaic cells (OPV), the top can be used to charge a smartphone. It is printed using dye-sublimation technology – a common process in the promotional materials industry.

Smart textiles are also well on their way to making an appearance in everyday fashions thanks to companies such as Interactive Wear from Starnberg, which specialise in integrating electronic systems in textiles. Together with fashion designers and labels, they are bringing smart fashion to the market. Interactive Wear took over the wearable electronics activities of Infineon Technologies in 2005 and works together with fashion labels such as Zegna and Bogner.

The complete spectrum of technical textiles for all areas of application, from the automobile industry, via medicine, to sport and fashion can be seen at Techtextil in Frankfurt am Main from 9 to 12 May 2017. A focal point of the leading trade fair for the sector is functional apparel textiles and smart textiles. Parallel to Techtextil, the Texprocess trade fair presents all stages in the processing chain of textile and flexible materials. Read more about the fairs in our Online Magazine! In our next printed issue 5-6/2017 we comprehensive report about the highlights of the exhibitors.