13 hours ago | By Sarah Housley
Big data meets consumer insights. Experience WGSN.
Apr 05, 2018
We’ve seen and reported heavily on wearable tech gadgets here at WGSN, and all the latest can be see in WGSN Insight’s CES 2018 – Top Technology Trends report.
Wearable tech, however, is no longer limited to gadgets alone. We first called out smart clothing back in 2016 in our report The Buzz – Smart Clothes, and now, new product innovations are coming to the forefront to support this.
Get to know the Lotushirt, who’s makers have drawn inspiration from the self-cleaning microstructure of the lotus plant to create a fabric claimed to repel water and stains, to be fade resistant, to be wrinkle-free and to dry really fast when it gets wet.
The fabric has been designed to mimic the hydrophobic structure of the lotus leaf and has been made into a button-down shirt “inspired by nature while utilising the highest principles of nanotechnology.”
Its maker, the Fiber Secret company, was founded “to bring tech-industry innovation to the stuffy world of men’s clothing” and demonstrates that wearable technology isn’t only about electronics and connectivity.
It’s a good example of the growing impact of nanotechnology on the clothing sector and, while such technology is still in its early stages, if products like this can be proved to do everything they claim, it may not be long before they hit the mainstream.
So what about that lotus link? The lotus has self-cleaning properties courtesy of it micro and nanoscopic surface architecture that means dirt particles are collected by water droplets and those droplets i’ll likely to adhere to that surface.
When looked at using reflection electron microscopy, it can be seen that the lotus leaf doesn’t have an even surface but is rough with systematically arranged water repellent nano-sized wax crystals and similar thinking has gone into the tech that produced this mainly-polyester shirt.
With multiple working samples, the Fiber Secret company have now set up a kickstarter page to commercialise the shirt and produce it at scale. Although in its early stages, it suggests that smart clothing could become as ubiquitous as wearable gadgets.
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