Wearable Technology and E-Textiles
At Seamless Knitting Solutions (SKS) we are continually engaged in E-textile projects. E-textiles refer to garments or fabrics that contains electronic elements. The development of E-textiles supports the idea of wearable computing or electronic devices worked or knitted into the garment design. Some such projects provide physical interfaces through control elements knitted in the garment design. Power sources such as batteries can also be integrated into clothing or fabric. There is a difference between embedding electronic devices in garments or fabric, and knitting conductive electronics into the fabric making the fabric of a garment into a computer. At Seamless Knitting Solutions, we have contributed our expertise to both approaches in the following projects:
- Health monitoring of vital signs such as heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, activity and posture
- Development of a military applications vest that can detect a bullet entrance and exit and send a signal. The vest can track the position and status of soldiers in action.
- Garments used in sports training with data acquisition
- Textiles that monitor pilot or truck driver fatigue
- Wearable technology for EKG/ECG monitoring
The construction of electronic capabilities in seamless garments frequently requires conducting or semi conducting yarn. There are several commercial yarns available today that are conductive, and SKS routinely makes recommendations for which yarns are best-suited for specific client projects. Conductivity is obtained by metallic fibers being mixed with textile fibers to form a conductive yarn that is pliable enough to knit and that provides stretch for form and function.
One of the most important issues for wearable technology garments is the ability to wash it repeatedly without any damage. Along with the ability to knit conductive yarns directly into the garment, Seamless Knitting Solutions also has experience with conductive inks, printed sensors and plastics applied directly to the garments.
Many projects involving E-textiles and wearable technology do exist now. Many of these E-textile development projects possess healthcare, sports and military applications. The SKS Lab is proud to contribute to this exciting and fast growing segment of the textile industry. Our goal is to help our clients develop high quality, cutting-edge prototypes and support them getting their products to market as quickly as possible.