“Smart” fabrics


Do you still think 25 year old Gore-Tex is the latest
in fabric technology? If so you’ll be blown away by the fabrics to be introduced
within the next three years. These ‘smart fabrics’ could revolutionise active sportswear.

“Garments which think for themselves – automatically adjusting the structure
of their fabric to cope with changing climates – are on the way,” says Leon
Sylvain Lentenois of the Institute Textile de France, as reported in Printwear &
Promotion trade paper (we read widely here at BikeBiz).

Researchers at Tokyo University have created mini-machines – micro robots – that
can react to changes in climate and alter the very fibres a textile is made of. Once
these micro-bots can be made robust enough to survive multiple journeys through a
washing machine the technology will be brought to market.

Much closer to launch are the fabrics printed with inks which react to an electric
current. So, for instance, Lycra tops could be produced which flashed the sponsor’s
name as a stage winner – arms akimbo – crossed the finishing line at the Tour de

The mind boggles…

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