The smart materials of the future


Human beings have been manufacturing a variety of textiles for more than 9,000 years. They have kept families warm, furnished homes and protected furniture and people. Textiles play an indispensible role in our everyday lives and help to make them easier. In the future, however, textiles will do even more for us. Smart textiles will revolutionise our lives. The smart materials of the future are already being developed at Smart Textiles from the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås.

“Smart textiles are really exciting. They also offer greater scope to integrate functions and broaden our design options. The development of these textiles will lead us to creating products offering greater comfort and allow us to communicate with these products in completely new ways. The textiles of the future will improve our everyday lives and open up new possibilities to industry, healthcare and the environment. We believe that the textile industry is moving from being fabric suppliers to becoming a positive force in social development,” says Anna Berglund, project coordinator at Smart Textiles in Borås.

A segment of particular interest to Kinnarps is how colours can be used together with textiles in the future.

“Some pigments change under different conditions in response to heat, moisture and light. Depending on what the material is exposed to, the design changes and people can then respond to its new appearance and function. That’s how things might work in future,” says Anna Berglund.