THEMES

New Materials for Textiles

Advances in new material technology have created enormous opportunities and challenges for the textile industry. Such technology requires understanding, manipulating and control of matter at the nano-scale, so that the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the materials can be engineered, synthesized, and altered to develop the next generation textiles. Such materials at molecular level can be used to develop desired textile characteristics, such as high tensile strength, unique surface structure, soft hand, durability, water repellency, fire retardancy, antimicrobial properties and so on. Graphene and other 2D material with their incredible thermal electrical, optical, and mechanical properties has already shown great prospects in developing next generation textiles. Other nano-engineered functional textiles also demonstrated great potential to revolutionize the clothing industry as they can offer new properties or the combination of different functions in one textile material as well as significant improvement in existing functionality.   

Wearable Electronic Textiles (E-Textiles)

Multifunctional wearable e-textiles are becoming increasingly popular since such technology makes life healthier, safer, and more comfortable. Wearable technology allows the production of highly innovative and intelligent e-textile garments that can perform as a sensor, actuator, power generator, and energy storage device all at the same time which has potential applications in sportswear, military uniforms, environmental monitoring, and health care. The wearable electronic textiles market has been growing rapidly and is forecasted to grow up to USD 5 billion by 2027 through the integration of lightweight and flexible electronics into everyday garment. Already, there have been enormous efforts to fabricate conductive pattern for wearable electric textile via different printing, coating and yarn dying process. However, still there is a need for a robust, scalable, low-cost, environmentally friendly technique to produce reliable and durable wearable e-textile. In this theme, we will investigate key academic and industry challenges for e-textiles and their potential solutions for rapid transition from laboratory-scale research to real-life applications.

Sustainable Textile Manufacturing

Advances in new material technology have created enormous opportunities and challenges for the textile industry. Such technology requires understanding, manipulating and control of matter at the nano-scale, so that the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the materials can be engineered, synthesized, and altered to develop the next generation textiles. Such materials at molecular level can be used to develop desired textile characteristics, such as high tensile strength, unique surface structure, soft hand, durability, water repellency, fire retardancy, antimicrobial properties and so on. Graphene and other 2D material with their incredible thermal electrical, optical, and mechanical properties has already shown great prospects in developing next generation textiles. Other nano-engineered functional textiles also demonstrated great potential to revolutionize the clothing industry as they can offer new properties or the combination of different functions in one textile material as well as significant improvement in existing functionality.   

Circular Economy

Heavily reliant on non-renewable resources, today’s textile industry follows a linear model from raw material to production eventually ending up as waste. A transition to a circular economy for textiles is the one based around principles of closed loop systems, where waste becomes a valued resource for continued cycles within the value chain. We are interested in topics that may be linked to material recovery, re-use, recycling, and regeneration with case studies demonstrating real world examples of new systems, services and materials within the textile and related industries. We are also interested in the growing field of research into materials and the bio-economy.  

Technical Textiles/ Functional Fibres

Smart functional textiles are changing the way we think about the role of fabrics for industrial purposes and everyday use. With new technological advancements, we are moving closer to a future where fabrics are functional, beautiful, and responsive. High performance functional clothing that are light-weight, comfortable and extremely durable are of great interest for numerous applications including active wear, sportswear, and extreme conditions. This theme aims at facilitating an important session involving academic and industry experts, exploring the latest development in smart functional textiles, as well as outlining the future research and development directions for such textiles.