Affordable smart fabrics woven on industrial looms

textile tuned 885x428Researchers have developed next-generation smart textiles, incorporating light-emitting diodes, sensors, energy harvesting and storage, that can be produced inexpensively, in any shape or size, using the same machines used to make everyday clothing.

The international team, led by the UK’s University of Cambridge, have previously demonstrated that woven displays can be made in large sizes, but these earlier examples were made using specialised manual laboratory equipment. Other smart textiles can be manufactured in microelectronic fabrication facilities, but these are expensive and produce large volumes of waste.

However, the team found that flexible displays and smart fabrics can be made much more cheaply, and more sustainably, by weaving electronic, optoelectronic, sensing and energy fibre components on the same industrial looms used to make conventional textiles.

For the full story, see the May 2023 edition of Smart Textiles & Wearables.


Image: Sanghyo Lee/University of Cambridge