Tomorrow’s Textiles

Innovation, Contemporization, Technology

Tomorrow’s Textiles: Building Tradition - Technology Synergies

Kaul, Ekta Khokhar

Technology is ushering in a brand new era in the 5000 year old history of textiles. The fields of art, science, design, craft, engineering and computation are converging to create new fabrics that are innovative, functional, aesthetic and provocative. This next generation of textiles is pervading all fields, be it architecture, space travel, medicine or fashion.

Fashion makes a good case study of current developments brought about by the assimilation of technology with craft. “Technology is the future of fashion” notes New York based designer Donna Karan1. The use of technology is not just confined to advanced fabrics, but it now extends to question the very craft of making clothes. On the one hand intelligent textiles are being used to make clothing that is responsive to change in temperature, light or even emotions; while on the other, technology is spurring designers to take a fresh look at their craft and to devise unconventional ways of clothing the body. Though, still in their nascent stages, these developments point to a future where clothing would serve more functions than it does today; taking on functions like communication, healthcare, wellbeing and even entertainment besides more traditional functions like aesthetics, protection and personal expression. “Who knows what clothes will be? Maybe an aerosol used to spray the body; maybe women will be dressed in coloured gases adherent to their body, or in halos of light, changing colour with the movements of the sun or with their emotions...
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