Imagine your office chair talking to you and telling you that you have been sitting too long and it was time to get up. Increased interaction between the material and its user is a key factor in the development of smart textiles. Kinnarps is currently running a truly fascinating project around just this scenario.
“We are carefully following developments and research in smart textiles, so that Kinnarps will be able to use these techniques to create new, attractive and ergonomic interior design solutions. We are currently running a tremendously exciting project together with Smart Textiles in Borås. We are still at the prototype stage, but it’s all about how we can change the appearance of a fabric in response to the body’s heat, for example,” explains Christina Wiklund, colour and materials manager at Kinnarps.
Kinnarps recently visited Smart Textiles in Borås in order to try out ways of printing with a heat-sensitive colour – by no means an easy procedure.
“The printing technique can be done manually or by rotation printing using a template. The heat-sensitive pigment must subsequently be hardened in an oven. The hardening process in particular must be improved before we can test the next step.”
Despite several obstacles along the path, Christina Wiklund is confident about the future of smart textiles within the furniture industry.
“Yes, a fabric that changes colour would allow new and exciting furnishing solutions, certainly from a design perspective, but mostly in terms of its function and applicability. However, the future will show when this can become a reality.”