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Textile vs Technology: Created to Please or Displease?

Portrait of beautiful cute newborn baby looking at camera showing tongue lying on bed at home.

Since the 1960s, technology has been revolutionised from the first generation of technology push to the fifth generation of systems integration and networking. We’re all in the technical sense. This include everything we wear, use and clean, the textiles. Textile can be broad, it can be the clothing, home textile, technical textile, medical textile, sports, or even military textile. As the textiles are so near to our hearts, we take clothing and home textiles into consideration in this article, all of which have a global forecast worth more than $100 billion.

Future fashion is not only putting a lot of beading on the clothing, but it has something to do with technology, or we can say much related to nanotechnology. This is because if we can see the trends, people nowadays are working into the old fashion, which is simplicity. If possible, we would grab the easiest and fastest clothes.

Hence, to achieve fulfilment, nanotechnology in the clothing or textiles industry is the solution. Even though it is not a new phenomenon as it started in the mid-2000s, the awareness of having this technology is not equivalent to the marketability of other nanotechnologies such as sunscreen and others. Business players either the upstream or the downstream need to be familiarised with the upcoming future of fashion. One thing for sure is that they may be curious about how textile and technology can both be commercialised together. Is it a good combination? And the most important question in their mind is how the functionalised textile may raise profits.

However, somehow technology and textiles can be best friends as they can be embedded together to give new value propositions. This situation is known as functionalised textile. By concept, functionalised textiles or clothing is user-specific and designed to fulfill the user’s needs in extreme situations or designed to satisfy them. Each functionality provides a broad variety of functionalised textiles or clothing with regards to its configuration, material, consequent technology, and methods. The antibacterial fabrics are also functional in several applications. The applications are included in clothing such as undergarments, socks, kids’ apparel, military clothing, medical garments, and sportswear. But then again, the antibacterial trend nowadays improves business players’ turnover as people in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic require safer clothing, particularly face masks.

Functional textile also helps shield the skin from damaging sun rays, which is difficult to see with naked eyes. Nanotechnology that enables UV protection can be used for different forms of textiles, such as clothes, sports, and swimming suits. We can still be exposed without applying sunscreen though be protected by technology. Any of the positives are helping to decrease the chance of skin cancer, plus it helps eliminate tan, which is more important for your appearance.

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In addition, as the importance of home textile products among customers is gaining attraction nowadays, the expectation of features and added value in addition to fine quality and better designs increases too. With the growing technology, some of the new features were embedded in the home textiles such as antibacterial, flame retardant, hydrophobic, quick-dry, and cooling. If there are parents that are paranoid about their child getting bacterial infection even in the home, they can try to get the products such as pillows, blankets, curtains, towels, and bedsheet that are embedded with nanotechnology. Plus, it is a golden time for home textiles manufacturers to grab the chance to improve selling revenue by promoting a new range of products pertaining to the customer’s taste

 
Portrait of beautiful cute newborn baby looking at camera showing tongue lying on bed at home.

In addition, as the importance of home textile products among customers is gaining attraction nowadays, the expectation of features and added value in addition to fine quality and better designs increases too. With the growing technology, some of the new features were embedded in the home textiles such as antibacterial, flame retardant, hydrophobic, quick-dry, and cooling. If there are parents that are paranoid about their child getting bacterial infection even in the home, they can try to get the products such as pillows, blankets, curtains, towels, and bedsheet that are embedded with nanotechnology. Plus, it is a golden time for home textiles manufacturers to grab the chance to improve selling revenue by promoting a new range of products pertaining to the customer’s taste

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Fashion Shift : How Nanotech Revolutionise What We Wear

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FIBRE2FASHION : When Fashion Meets Technology

Nanotechnology has helped revolutionise the concept of smart textiles with various offerings in terms of performance, comfortability, cleanliness and current needs. The market for nanotechnology-infused textiles has risen rapidly from $20.3 billion in 2008 and is projected to reach $205 billion by 2022, representing 16 per cent of the global textile industry by value.

Fashion and technology are inevitably a blend of art with each comprising its own advancements and developments. When Malaysian company NanoTextile launched the themes ‘When Fashion Meets Technology’ and ‘When Mighty Meets Nano’ in 2019, fashion companies were quick to pick up on the latest trends. It was the year when we realised that the fashionista and technologist have to collaborate more. NanoTextile did just that by expanding to everything from clothes and business models to innovations in functional products, technical offerings and production. Though clothing is a commodity industry, its future will be about more than just merely covering our bodies.

Nowadays the fashion industry has become more interesting and advanced. The demand has grown so much over the past years that consumers are demanding more than just a fabric. Technology is therefore infused into fashion and that has enhanced its level. Based on a report published by Cientifica Research in 2016, textile industry players look forward to improve technology adoption. By 2022, nanotechnology in the textile industry will be a $3.5-billion opportunity for wearables, comprising half of the total textile market. The market for nanotechnology-infused textiles has risen rapidly from $20.3 billion in 2008 and is projected to reach $205 billion by 2022, representing 16 per cent of the global textile industry by value.

NanoTextile offers the scope for both investment and opportunity for all main players in the industry to bridge the gap. The initiatives make a decent impact when industries invest billions of money on nanotechnology to create sustainable alternatives. The gaining pace becomes faster as it is driven by consumer demand. The fashion industry and technology combine from manufacturing process until the end product to satisfy consumer demand. The application of nanotechnology offers advantages in the fashion industry with various offerings in terms of performance, comfortability, cleanliness and current needs.

Comfort is one of the vital attributes in fashion. It is the one of the contributing factors affecting sales. Demand has tilted to products that ensure comfort while maintaining a sense of fashion. Focus has shifted to movement of heat and water vapour in garments. Heat transfer through a fabric is a complex process, which can be affected by the thickness of the fabric and fabric type. Nanofibre technology had been used to reduce the thickness and weight of fabrics. This has since become the precise measure of comfort. Fashion designers can now choose and allocate their designs according to the wider range of fabric choices.

‘When Fashion Meets Technology’ has definitely infused confidence among consumers. The idea was to convey the message that technology can be used to improve the current state of fabric. With embedded nanotechnology as an added value proposition, many new functionalities are being introduced. For instance, our collaboration with Malaysian kids apparel brand Poney in 2019 targets a specific audience with the launch of Baby Essential Extra Care collection with anti-bacterial properties. We have since received feedback and gained confidence among parents to offer extra protection and comfort in our nanotechnology-enhanced products. Nanotechnology offers a variety of protection possibilities to fabric. Our proprietary technologies and processes give resultant effects ranging from UV protection to anti-microbial properties, odour control and self-cleaning functionalities. For modernisation of the clothing industry, NanoTextile offers a new approach to fabric materials processing. Nanotechnology-embedded fabrics can be modified to do almost everything, including quick drying and breathing and resist liquids.

E-commerce has also been seen as the next complementary technology to allow fashion to work its best. Social networking technology allows business owners and designers to promote their products all over the world with just one click. In recent years, the revolution of fashion along with these enabling technologies has made clothing relatively cheaper.

From light-weight and wrinkle-free fabrics to non-woven textile incorporated with sensors, fashion has no limits when it comes to infusion of technology. Nanotechnology has helped revolutionise the concept of smart textiles. When combined, fashion and technology have jointly delivered incredible range of performance benefits. This unique combination will continue to meet consumer expectations. These three pillars—technology, fashion and consumers—would interchangeably shape the modern day perspective toward textiles.

Article Link : FIBRE2FASHION: When Fashion Meets Technology