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Intelligent Textiles - The changing face of fabrics and textiles

Smart TextilesThe changing face of fabrics and textiles. At the Fine Group we pride ourselves on sourcing innovative new fabrics and working with suppliers that are at the forefront of cutting edge technology to ensure that we are always ‘one step ahead of the game’. One such company, with whom we are developing a close working relationship, is West London based, Intelligent Textiles.
They are a company with bonded weaving mills both in the UK and North America and they are revolutionising traditional fabrics as we know them, by weaving electrical circuits on a loom into woven fabric, using a patented combination of yarns and weave designs. A typical example is their fabric keyboard that is, quite literally, the size of a handkerchief and this can be connected to a PDA, PC or cell phone.
Their heated glove fabric is another fine example of textile innovation and this concentrates heating power at the fingertips, saving valuable battery weight and cost. Whilst the fabric contains the complex wiring circuit there are no visible or bulky cables to hamper the wearer. The glove fabric employs 3 distinct conductive yarns in combination and can be laminated or coated for environmental protection.
 Innovation like this is ideally suited to the FIST initiative currently being implemented by the Ministry of Defence (see front page article of this newsletter), particularly when those fabrics are employed by a leading provider of textile assembly solutions throughout the UK, such as the Fine Group.
The current dismounted soldier, by necessity, carries a large number of electrical devices. These all require a power supply so that data communications can be transmitted efficiently and effectively between individuals or units. Traditionally, this would have necessitated the carrying of bulky, heavy and unwieldy wires and cables (hardly ideal for the modern soldier who needs to move very quickly or by stealth).
A Fabric woven by Intelligent Textiles can overcome this problem, as the conductors are integrated into the textile in a flexible, thin and lightweight manner. The garments made from these ‘intelligent textiles’ are also more robust and allow the wearer to adopt a valuable lower profile.
The configurations possible utilising these futuristic textiles is almost limitless but within today’s theatre of war environment, it is perfectly feasible to design, develop and manufacture rucksacks, tactical vests, ballistic vests, combat trousers and vests, in other words, a complete uniform, all linked to a central processor, power or computer unit via these innovative and conductive fabrics.

Updated: 5/20/2015 12:40
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