Blog: The wizardry of technical textiles

Joe Ayling | 7 December 2007

Yesterday (6 December) I attended a technical textiles conference in Manchester organised by industry research group Technitex.

Materials research can sometimes play second fiddle to design, but delegates were keen to establish that the phrase "designers are the new technologists" is a whole lot premature.

Some of the Smart and Intelligent textile innovations discussed were mind-boggling in their own right, and certainly worthy of the grants and funding.

Although many of the products are already on the market in some form, many felt like science fiction and very futuristic. These included wound-healing, nerve-mending, and computerised materials - and a prototype bra that can indicate signs of breast cancer.

It turns out that a few of the ideas, although new to me, have been in the pipeline for a while, without gathering enough steam.

Technitex is a node of the government funded Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and does some great work salvaging the best of the UK's textile developments, amid a challenging environment where outsourcing is commonplace.

More will follow on just-style, including details - for all the execs out there - of a "Think Jacket", which can be worn in the office and has stress detecting materials, integrated computing and is solar-powered.

Who needs robotics when we can wear things like that?

By Joe Ayling, News Editor


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