Engineers are threading circuitry into clothes to create comfortable devices that could make electronic fashion the future of the textiles industry. Smart textiles, where electronics are incorporated into fabrics, have been around for some time, from sensor-laden shirts that keep you cool, to dresses packed with LEDs. Despite these innovations, even the most determined shopper would struggle to find this type of fashion on the high street.
Dr Ana Neves, a researcher from the University of Exeter in the UK who specialises in wearable electronics, thinks bulky design is partly to blame. ‘The user needs to feel comfortable,’ she said. ‘Most smart textiles still rely on integrating conventional electronics onto fabrics, attaching them to the surface and removing them when the textile needs to be washed.’ ….more