For centuries, we have used fabrics in much the same way, to keep our body warm, adorn our homes, and cut a dash. Whether it is in the form of designer dress or an ancient toga, we are used to seeing fabrics as a form of expression. However, for the first time in history, our modern society is faced with textiles that serve more than just aesthetic and protective purposes. The cutting-edge tech mothers a new generation of manufacturing and the dynamic fabric revolution is underway.
Breaking New Ground
Today, after stunning tech breakthroughs, we can manipulate materials with much more precision, at a nanoscale. Namely, the “Breaking me softly” technique was brought to life when scientists used a pair of pliers to pull taut a glass fiber coated in plastic. They thought that the fabric would snap in two, instead it broke down into numerous equal-sized pieces.
Basically, the inner fabric was fragmented and the molecules realigned, which is the basics of cold drawing process. Hence, we can expect to see the proliferation of advanced fabrics capable of withstanding much more pressure than fragile materials of today. What used to be one of the biggest issues for manufacturers has now been turned into an asset for the industry.
Controlling the breakage patterns of fabric and mechanical force in this fashion is what enables us to muse on implementing computerized processes into manufacturing. For example, the materials with optical and mechanical features can be pulled together, and integrated with sensors that monitor vital body functions. Our clothing will keep track of our blood pressure or heart rate and send the data to our doctors via the internet.
This all means that fibers can be made of multiple materials. Not only can they interact with each other, but also with the natural energy sources such as the sun. Customers have taken notice, and will expect the apparel to hold tailored performance attributes and connect to the internet nice and easy. To ensure such developments, the scientists have already created a “motherboard” for turning traditional textiles smart.
Our abodes will also be packed with smart materials. Versatile commercial shade sails shelter us from both the moody wet weather and hot summer days. The waterproof property is the result of the use of PVC materials, resin coated polyester fabrics commonly utilized in architectural membranes. As of lately, the market is teeming with sails and blinds that involve computer aided design and sturdiness to endure even the harshest weather conditions.
On the other hand, tech-infused bed sheets use cards with sensors to record the hours of sleep. On top of that, there are module employing radio frequencies in order to send information to the personal doctor. The initial focus seems to be on health care and safety applications, but the health sector is not the only one to profit from these novelties. Businessmen in sports and commercial industries are rubbing their fingers as well.
What to even say about the BMW’s shape shifting vehicle GINA, a nano fabric-skinned concept that is the embodiment of latest engineering ingenuity. This is borderline science fiction: Its surface is covered with flexible nano fabric materials that are resistant to expansion. The translucent fabric skin, called the Nano-Spandex, is not prone to slackening or damage over time. With such wonderwork entering the market, it is safe to assume that the future is now.
Substance and Style
Manufacturers no longer take advantage of the technological base and come up with a variety of products with futurist attributes. The innovation in fabrics and fibers are accelerating: From shape shifting cars to smart linen, we will be surrounded by a plethora of extraordinary products that make our life easier, more convenient and safer. They will have many complex functions and allow us to interact with the environment, and improve the quality of life.