Smart Textile Applications: Fashion’s Biggest Revolution

Konstantina Antoniadou
5 min readAug 26, 2022
K-dress by CuteCircuit

Smart textile technology is a term you might not have heard during your time online. Imagine yourself in the great outdoors on a cold, winter afternoon. How cool it would be to communicate directly with your clothing and request them to heat themselves automatically? How about being able to change the elasticity of an uncomfortable bra depending on how much strain you are under? You could even tighten and loosen its straps.

No, that’s not a dystopian scenario; it’s one of the many smart textile applications. In fact, there are dozens of smart textile examples that will certainly make our lives a whole lot easier. Thanks to 2022’s nano-textile revolution, smart fabrics are very real — and their advantages are many.

What is smart fabric technology?

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Smart fabrics, electronic textiles, e-textiles. However you decide to call them, this technology allows textiles to sense and respond to changes in their environment. As a matter of fact, the term “smart textiles” dates back to 1989 when the Japanese needed a phrase to describe Silk’s shape memory ability.

Modern smart textile materials are a bit different. Through the use of digital components, fibers are receiving an upgrade. Technology in the form of a battery, an electronic chip, or a sensor, is incorporated into the fabric to add even more value to our comfort and safety.

Usually, through the use of conductive fibers or multilayer 3D printing, smart fabrics are developed to fit into three different categories: passive and active and very smart textiles.

The end goal? Aesthetic or performance enhancement.

What is the purpose of smart textiles?

Aesthetics: Clothing, is, after all, a form of self-expression. With the use of smart fabrics, the wearer can change the look of a garment within seconds. The fabric can light up and change color, offer an array of interactive elements or shift with its environment, and much more.