CPI is using its equipment and Pireta, its knowledge, to support the scale-up of wearable technology in textiles

CPI is using its equipment and Pireta, its knowledge, to support the scale-up of wearable technology in textiles

A new smart clothing project is getting underway in the UK to try to scale-up the development of wearable technology in textiles.

Under the initiative, the UK Centre for Process Innovation, a technology innovation centre with expertise in hybrid and stretchable electronics, is partnering with smart clothing technology company Pireta, which is working on a process to make durable, flexible interconnecting electrodes that do not change fabric feel and performance.

CPI is using the company's industry expertise in the printed electronics sector to coat individual fibres with metal on fabrics in selective patterns without changing its physical and mechanical properties. This enables wearable electronics to be more discreet, as the electrodes are integrated into the fabric.

The project – known as TexAnn – aims to cut existing manufacturing timescales while optimising electrode pattern resolution, says CPI.

Pireta's technology "will potentially unlock many of the current restrictions in the development of smart textiles and wearables," says Sean Bolton, project manager at CPI. "Our technical team will provide and coalesce our extensive knowledge across multiple technologies to accelerate the route to commercialisation for Pireta.

"Enabling this technology will add significant impact to smart textiles and wearable electronics, especially when there is an increased demand in this area from multiple industries."

Chris Hunt, Pireta founder and chief technology officer, adds: "We need to bring our game-changing technology to market, and this collaboration with CPI is key to that delivery."