Textiles with brains

Do you still think 25 year old Gore-Tex is the latest in fabric technology? If so youll be blown away by the fabrics to be introduced within the next three years. These smart fabrics could revolutionise active sportswear.
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Garments which think for themselves automatically adjusting the structure of their fabric to cope with changing climates are on the way, says Leon Sylvain Lentenois of the Institute Textile de France, as reported in Printwear & Promotion trade paper (we read widely here at BikeBiz).

Researchers at Tokyo University have created mini-machines micro robots that can react to changes in climate and alter the very fibres a textile is made of. Once these micro-bots can be made robust enough to survive multiple journeys through a washing machine the technology will be brought to market.

Much closer to launch are the fabrics printed with inks which react to an electric current. So, for instance, Lycra tops could be produced which flashed the sponsors name as a stage winner arms akimbo crossed the finishing line at the Tour de France.

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