There Were Smart Textiles Without Smartphones ...
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Conductive yarns and fabrics, one of the basic materials needed to produce smart textiles, date back more than 1000 years. In particular, craftsmen have used fine metals, mostly gold and silver, by wrapping them in threads for centuries. For example, most of the dresses of Queen Elizabeth I of England are fabrics made of gold wrapped yarn.
Electrical appliances that came into our lives at the end of the 19th century had an impact on the textile industry as well. Engineers and designers began to combine electricity with clothes and jewelry by developing luminous necklaces, hats, brooches, and costumes.
For example, in the late 1800s, people could rent evening dresses decorated with lights from Electric Girl Lighting Company for party entertainment.
In 1968, the Contemporary Craft Museum in New York organized a groundbreaking exhibition titled "Body Covering" on the relationship between technology and apparel. In this exhibition, besides the space suits of the astronauts, dresses that can inflate and descend on their own, radiate light, heat and cool them were featured. In this collection, the work of Diana Dew, who designed a series of electronic fashion products such as sparkling party dresses and alarm-sounding belts, attracted attention.
In 1985, the inventor named Harry Wainwright invented the first animated sweatshirt. Consisting of fiber optics, LEDs and a microprocessor for control, this suit could simulate a colorful cartoon on the surface of the suit. In 1995, Wainwright invented a machine that can produce enough to meet the needs of large markets and allow fiber-optic to be processed into fabrics.
Together with German machine designer Herbert Selbach, in 1997 they produced the first CNC machine that could implant fiber optics into any flexible material.
Although the first LED / Optical-based display and machines were patented in 1989, the first CNC machine was produced in 1998 to make animated clothing for Disney Park. The first ECG biophysical display jackets using LED / Optical displays were invented by Wainwright and David in 2005 and were exhibited at the 2007 "Smart Fabrics Conference" in Washington. The washable screen on this jacket used the GSR sensors of the watch it was connected to via bluetooth.
Another smart fabric technology that can detect infrared numbers thanks to a machine integrated into the fabric to identify friend and foe, developed by Wainwright, was evaluated by the British UAE company and received an honorary award in the "Design the Future" competition organized by NASA in 2010. In addition, Wainwright introduced its fabrics at the Textile and Dye Conference held in Melbourne / Australia in 2012, which changed color using any smartphone and showed the number of callers on a smartphone without a digital display.
Syduzzaman, Patwary SU, Farhanaz K, Ahmed S (2015) Smart Textiles and Nano-Technology: A General Overview. J Textile Sci Eng 5: 181. doi:10.4172/2165-