This paper provides the latest insights into emerging technology to enhance wear ability of e-textiles and smart clothing by reviewing the cutting-edge researches and development. It will contain the construction process of an e-textile and some relevant application fields.
It is hard to believe that a fabric we are wearing can monitor our health, guard us in case of any danger, measure the chemical mixture of our body fluids and do many more such things. But of course it is possible in today's world of technology. Here we are taking about none other than the electronic textile, which is the commendable invention in the category of smart textile. E textile is used in numerous industries and purposes that are useful not only for human beings but for the entire living beings on the Earth. Electronic textiles or more often called e textiles are the textiles that have electronics and interconnections. These electronics are woven into the fabric to make e textile wearable. With advancement in this sector you can get from very simple computing devices to large and complex sensing and protective textiles.
Definition of E-textile:
Although electro-textiles attract a great deal of interest in relevant industries and academia, they do not have any official definition. Electro-textiles, known as e-textiles, refer to fabrics that can electrically function as electronics and physically behave as textiles. The prominent application of e-textiles is smart clothing. Generally, "smart clothing system" refers to a new garment feature that can provide interactive reactions by sensing signals, processing information and actuating the responses. A group of E-textile research group has given a definition of e-textile like this: “Electronic textiles (e-textiles) are fabrics that have electronics and interconnections woven into them, with physical flexibility and size that cannot be achieved with existing electronic manufacturing techniques. Components and interconnections are intrinsic to the fabric and thus are less visible and not susceptible to becoming tangled together or snagged by the surroundings. An e-textile can be worn in everyday situations where currently available wearable computers would hinder the user. E-textiles can also more easily adapt to changes in the computational and sensing requirements of an application, a useful feature for power management and context awareness.”
Types of E-textile:
E-textile is basically divided into two types. These are:
1. Prototype E-textile.
2. Wireless E-textile.
As wireless E-textile is more complicated and is under a lot of research and development, mainly the prototype E-textile will be discussed here.
Construction process of an E-textile (Prototype):
The most feasible way to wear complicated electronics or computers at this point is to use attachable electronic components. The clothing itself carries only transmission lines and connectors so that clothing can be flexible and washable enough to be wearable. The attachable electronic system consists of textile transmission lines and connectors. Structures and technologies for textile transmission lines, interconnection methods, and connectors would be explored from a textile perspective. [pic] Figure 1: Concept of Attachable Electronics
The textile that needs to be made as an E-textile or Electronic-textile, have to pass through three different stages. These are: 1. Textile Transmission Line.
1. Textile Transmission Line:
A textile transmission line consists of conductive yarns integrated into a flexible textile base. In order to produce a successful textile transmission line, the best mix of conductive -- metal -- and non-conductive -- textile -- components is critical. The structures of conductive yarn could be...