Wearable Electronics and Smart Textiles: A Critical Review
By Matteo Stoppa and Alessandro Chiolerio
The following review focuses of the advancements of smart textiles. It especially explains the materials used and the processes needed for creating such textiles. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. Through the understanding of these methods, the researchers strive to strike a balance between flexibility, functionality, low-energy consumption etc.
Smart textiles are categorised into passive smart textiles that are only able to sense the environment. Active smart textiles are able to react to the stimuli from the environment and very smart textiles take it one step further and adapt to the given circumstances
The way smart textiles work is that sensors provide a nerve system to detect signals that are triggered or stimulated by elements like temperature, light, movement and so on. These signals are analyzed, evaluated and result in a response or action. The different processes involved in creating and processing fabric include sewing , embroidery, knitting, printing, coating etc.
Smart materials include conductive fibers, treated conductive fibers, conductive fabrics, inks, stretch sensors and pressure sensors.
In conclusion, after reading the two articles, I learned the ways electronics can be incorporated into clothing in a seamless way. These garments are able to function as a second skin.