An international team of scientists have produced a fully woven smart textile display that integrates active electronic, sensing, energy and photonic functions. The functions are embedded directly into the fibres and yarns, which are manufactured using textile-based industrial processes. The researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, say their approach could lead to applications that sound like sci-fi: curtains that are also TVs, energy-harvesting carpets, and interactive, self-powered clothing and fabrics.
Avery Dennison Corporation (Glendale, California) recently announced that it has acquired TexTrace AG, a technology developer that specialises in custom-made woven and knitted RFID products which can be sewn onto or inserted into garments. TexTrace was formerly a subsidiary of Jakob Müller Holding, a leading Swiss OEM for the textile industry, and is located in Frick, Switzerland. The acquisition includes ownership of TexTrace’s portfolio of intellectual property, and its employees that will continue to be based in Frick, Switzerland, enabling Avery Dennison to continue to innovate and drive adoption within the apparel sector and unlock opportunities in non-apparel segments.
"Fibres with atomic coatings will turn the textile industry upside down," predicts Frank Verhage, CEO of the Dutch technology start-up SALD BV (Eindhoven). The company name stands for "Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition" (SALD) and refers to a process for applying atom-thin layers to fibres, for example. By applying several layers on top of each other made of different substances that enter into controlled chemical reactions, properties can be created that are "completely crazy" (Frank Verhage). The SALD boss speaks of a "textile revolution", comparable to the invention of synthetic fibres or synthetic dyes since the mid-19th century.