E-Textiles | Electronic Textiles | Application of Electronic Textiles

E-Textile means Electronic Textile. It is also known as smart textile. Electronic textiles are the textile fabrics with electronics and interconnections woven in their structure that enable the integration of electronic functions and attachments. They possess the physical flexibility and size not known in conventional electronics. Components and interconnections are intrinsic to the fabric structure with reduced chance to be seen, tangled together or snagged by the surroundings. Thinking for electronics that can be draped over a vehicle or a tank is achievable using textile fabrics.

Electronic textiles can be created by using minute electrically conductive fibers. These metallic fibers have been used for years in various industrial applications for the purpose of controlling static and electromagnetic interference shielding. Today, metallic fibers are finding new applications in the development of electronic textiles. Electrically conductive fibers can be classified into two general categories, those that are naturally conductive and those that are specially treated to create conductivity.

The design process of an e- textile should appreciate the complexity, cost, and effectiveness of system. This process must be based on a set of percept derived from the experience and developing concepts. Software/ hardware architecture of an e- textile using defined percept would facilitate the future research, and produce applicable models. An understanding of theories, fabrics, embedded conductive threads/ fibres, and the connections in electronics and fabric are significant in producing a prototype.

Application of Electronic Textiles

E Textiles 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.

The Uses of E Textiles can be divided into two main categories:

  • E-textiles with classical electronic devices such as conducting wires, integrated circuits, LEDs, and conventional batteries into garments. This is the common type of e-textile.
  • E-textiles with modern electronics directly on the textile fibers. This can include can either passive electronics such as pure wires, conducting textile fibers, or more advanced electronics such as transistors, diodes and solar cells. The field of embedding advanced electronic components onto textile fibers is sometimes called fibertronics.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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