Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 29

WHAT'S AHEAD
We asked sources what they see
in the future for interactive textiles:

The "Skin II" research project explores the
wellness benefits of strategically placing
probiotic bacteria into clothing, such as
performance sportswear, to encourage and
balance a healthy microbiome in different
areas of the body. Photo: Rosie Broadhead;
photographer: Karl Felix.

our skin. [Encapsulating probiotic material
into clothing] can provide an alternative
to antibacterial finishes and other harsh
chemicals that can be used on clothing."
Broadhead formed a collaboration
with Callewaert, whose research delves
into the characteristics of bacteria living
on the skin, clothes, washing machines
and homes ("He's the first to undertake
bacterial transplants to solve underarm
body odor," says Broadhead). She came
up with the idea of encapsulating the
bacteria into textiles and the technique
for doing so; Callewaert worked in the
lab, conducting wear-testing trials and
assessing the viability of the bacteria on the
textile samples. The fabric they're using
is a knitted viscose elastane blend with
microencapsulated healthy bacteria that
become activated by contact with moisture
on the skin, allowing them to "dominate"
the less desirable/beneficial bacteria.
"The encapsulated bacteria are
associated with reduced body odor,
encouraging cell renewal and improving

The most exciting milestone in
the Skin II project is having Chris
Callewaert [a skin microbiome
expert] and Ghent University
involved in creating probiotic
clothing/textiles. As a designer,
this project would not have been
possible without scientists on
the team. It's an exciting time
to be working collaboratively
and cross-disciplinary to create
innovative concepts in textiles.
ROSIE BROADHEAD
Apparel designer

Myant sees the potential in
applying connected textiles
across a wide spectrum of usecases. And due to the pervasive
nature of textiles in our lives,
the possibilities for partnerships
across industries are great. The
greatest opportunity would be
the potential for enterprises and
makers from across different
verticals to re-examine the value
their products can provide.
BRIAN FUNG
Director of marketing, Myant Inc.

I think in the future, we'll see
a reinterpretation of the term
interactive, getting away from a
strictly bits and bytes perspective
to a broader concept that
encompasses nature and the
wonderful benefits that one's
own body can provide through
textiles and clothing.

Some of the most exciting
opportunities for the interactive
market are in automotive and
in medical/wellness products.
As for the e-textiles market, I'm
excited about standardization.
It's a new industry and it's been
really cool to see groups like
IPC® [Association Connecting
Electronics Industries] and
AATCC [American Association of
Textile Chemists and Colorists]
standardizing the industry to
prepare for its growth.
MADISON MAXEY
Founder/CEO, LOOMIA
Technologies Inc.

There are not many examples
of truly interactive garments on
the market in the meaning that
the person wearing a garment
is monitored by some means,
for example, in respect of a
physiological characteristic
and that person simultaneously
receives something from
the garment. I believe the
opportunities are to happen
in the care/medical sector,
as well as the sports sector.
NILS-KRISTER PERSSON, PH.D.
SUITCEYES leader of the work on
smart haptic interfaces, associate
professor and research leader at
Smart Textiles, University of Borås

DAVID GRAY
Managing director, MedTextra LLC
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Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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