Philadelphia’s Drexel University is to establish a new laboratory to research smart textiles, aided by a US$1m donation from knitting systems company Shima Sheiki.

The Shima Sheiki Haute Technology Laboratory will conduct research into the development of new smart textiles and wearable technology, and will be headed by Genevieve Dion, assistant professor and fashion design program director of the university’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

Shima Sheiki has donated 16 SDS-ONE APEX3 workstations, three knitting machines and research and development support, with a total aggregate value of more than $1m.

Dion said the new lab positioned Drexel to become a “national and global leader” in smart textiles, adding: “It is rich in possibilities for improving and enriching lives around the world.”