7 Wonder Materials That Could Clean Up Fashion Industry’s Act

There is no denying that a lot is going on in the smart textiles space. It is an exciting time for the design world, who get to experience some of the innovation first hand. At the beginning of the year I found myself in Sweden moderating at the DeFINE Info Day Boras event. It was there that I was introduced to Smart Textiles- the driving force behind textile innovation in Sweden. From basic research and prototyping to the commercialisation of products, Smart Textiles introduced me to seven different types of new materials with a unique breadth that opened my eyes to the textile possibilities that could seriously help clean up the fashion industry’s act.

Dissolvable Material

Imagine a dress that dissolves in water. Riikka Talman is a designer who has made this happen by experimenting with textiles made of PVA, a material typically used in the packaging for dishwasher tablets. The result was a dress capable of changing shape and structure. Also; it will dissolve when it comes into contact with liquids over 20 degrees.

Assistive Textiles

Assistive technology is a growing field. It is a space that Inerventions and Smart Textiles collaborated on to come up with Mollii, an assistive device designed to help people suffering from spasticity due to CP or stroke. The garment works by sending a weak electrical current to particular muscles of the wearer which increases mobility. For 1-2 hours of treatment, the effect will last up to 48 hours.

Molli is a functional suit with a control unit which sends electrical signals to the wearer via electrodes on the inside of the garment

Biologically Degradable Cloth

There is a dress that has been created using a material that consists of regenerated cellulose that has been reinforced with cotton fibres. Made from Wettex cloths the dress is biologically degradable. Designed by Vika Im, the dress can be put on the compost heap at the end of its life, and in 6 weeks it will be dirt.

Made from Wettex cloths Vika Im’s dress is biologically degradable.

The Pine Dress

Karin Rundqvist created a dress made from 100% viscose, a raw material sourced from forests in Sweden. The alternative fibre is a sustainable textile that could be considered an alternative to cotton, which is beginning to become a product in short supply.

Fluoro-carbon-free Material

Fancy making a garment out of fluoro-carbon-free and water repellent Organo Tex treated textiles? Designer Karolina Nilsson created a vest, trousers and matching bag in the recycled fabric which originates in PET bottles. By refraining from re-dyeing the material, large quantities of water, energy and chemicals were saved.

Climate-controlling Fabric

Karolina Nillson also came up with a dress that is sewn in climate-controlling fabric commonly used to adjust the temperature and light in greenhouses. Working in collaboration with Li Guo, Nillson’s garment was accentuated with 100 LED lamps as part of the creation of the Iman dress, a project with Smart Textiles.

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Founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies like LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior contributor at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.