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What is smart textile?

Luftkuss Atelier

Smart textiles are technically defined as textiles that can perceive and react to stimuli from the environment and adapt themselves to stimuli from the environment by using functionalities adapted to their own structure.

Smart textiles are products that have the ability to understand and react to the effects or effects changes according to the technical textiles that occur with the principle of improving a certain technical feature.

There are many different classifications of smart textiles in the literature. Textiles, which are in the smart material class, consist of sensing, activating and managing units. According to the reaction of textiles, smart textiles are classified as passive, active and very smart.

  • Passive smart textiles are textiles that can perceive the effects from the environment.
  • Active smart textiles are textiles that can sense and react to environmental influences.
  • Very smart textiles, on the other hand, are textiles that can adapt their properties to these conditions.

There are many different types of smart textiles according to their properties. We have listed the most common smart textiles below.

Phase Changing Smart Textiles

Phase changing materials have the ability to change their current state in a certain temperature range. Substances that can reduce and maintain the heat during the transition from one phase to another, and in the case of a phase change, are called phase change materials. These materials are integrated into textile fibers and fabrics to develop smart textiles with heat storage or heat regulation capability. Thus, smart clothes that provide thermal comfort and have heating and cooling features can be produced.

Shape Memory Smart Textiles

Shape memory materials provide a transition from an existing shape to a previously determined shape, usually due to heat change or physical stretching/pressing movement of the person. At a certain temperature range, these materials exhibit a highly elastic behavior. The shape memory effect is mainly observed in metallic alloys and polymers. The shape memory effect is actually a result of the phase change. During the phase change in a certain temperature range, shape memory polymers turn into a rubber-like structure if they are in a glass-like structure. Similarly, changes occur in the crystal structure of metallic alloys depending on the temperature and they turn into a hard or softer, elastic structure.

Electronic Smart Textiles

Electronic textiles are also called “e-textiles”. Textile and electronic components are brought together by the method of touching/integrating electronic components and their interconnections into the fabric. Components and connections become less visible as they are embedded in the fabric and are also protected from physical damage from surrounding objects.

Color Changing Smart Textiles

Color changing smart textiles (also called chromic textiles) are smart textile tools that can change color with the effect of stimulus from the environment. They are obtained by incorporating these tools into the structure of textile tools. There are many different color changing processes, but usually with the effect of stimulus from the environment, the density of the electrons or the molecular structure of the materials changes, the color changes. When there is no stimulus effect, they return to their original state where they can be more stable and take their original color. 

The processes of smart textile materials, which started with studies based on science in various fields including military, medical, and sports, have progressed to inspire the combinations of use in daily life with the effects of its connection with technology. And the emergence of products that set an example in this regard has come to the fore. Smart textile solutions, which have been developed as a result of the research, have become one of the factors that greatly affect the textile industry today. It is possible to state that these developments are of high importance for the textile and apparel industry.

Insprad Creative Agency

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