Smart materials and modern materials have many different uses and are developed to meet modern needs.

Smart Materials

Can sense and react to environmental conditions and are produced to perform a particular function. Some of them:
  • alter according to external stimulus (change when something happens to them or around them)
  • change when the tempreture changes, either hotter or colder - Thermochromatic
  • are activated by internal or external power sources.

Examples of smart textiles and fabrics are:
  • Fabrics which can create a sense of well being through anti stress properties. These include tights impregnated with moisturisers or vitamins
  • Wrinkle free fabrics and garments
  • Activity regulated clothes which change tempreture in response to extreme conditions.
  • Sanitized fabrics for sportswear that contain anti bacterial properties to combat smell and sweat. Socks
  • Synthetic fabrics with moisture management properties that can regulate and absorb sweat.

A good clip about smart textiles.
Electronic sweatshirts
Electronic Garments

Interactive Textiles

Involves including a circuit and micro chip in a fabric so that it can act like a computer or store energy.
Interactive textiles include
  • Hats and gloves that generate power through movement and then produce energy to keep the wearer warm.
  • Fibre optics woven into garments to act as radios or mp3 players. O'Neill mp3 jacket
  • Lights incoporated into clothing for safety purposes.

Other modern materials

Micro encapsulation

Where a smell is contained in fibres. The smell is released when the patch is scatched. Used in logos on T shirts. Can also be used in bandages and dressings for wounds.How it works


An incredibly strong material which is 5 times stronger than steel. It is used for bullet proof vests and other protective garments such as motorcycle clothing.


A biodegradeable polyester fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. It is warm, lightweight and breathable often used to make fleece fabric. How plastic bottles are turned into a textiles top

A heat proof fabric which is used to make garments for firefighters, astronauts and racing car drivers. Also used for oven gloves.


Used for wetsuits and sportswear. It is made of synthetic rubber that resists water, is soft and warm. It is environmentally friendly as can be recycled.