#FutureFabrics: The merge of science and fashion

P&G FF 2015 Lenor Downy Kristl Monden

Considering that technology has greatly influenced how we go about what would otherwise be mundane aspects of our day, it was only a matter of time before science infiltrated every thread of our lives, including the one on our backs.

This year, P&G’s Future Fabrics conference held in Barcelona, Spain, explored the fashionable world of athleisure which not only made its way into the quirky street style blogs that I particularly obsess over but the coveted fashion week runways too, inevitably trickling into many women’s closets as a result.

Gym clothes suddenly became OK to wear outside of the gym and strappy sandals were traded for sneakers. But that’s an article for another day.

Today, I want to share the truly fascinating world of fashionable tech. Or is it technological style. Fashtech? Who knows.

Project Jacquard

Project Jacquard – a Google initiative – was announced earlier this year introducing what could arguably be described as the most advanced form of wearable technology as we know it.

According to the team behind this new phenomenon, Project Jacquard allows “everyday objects such as clothes and furniture [to] be transformed into interactive surfaces.”

Imagine my surprise when I watched a video of a man swipe the cuff of his jacket’s sleeve only to end up making a call!

Project Jacquard 4

Because the structure of textiles is similar to that of touch screens, the team was able to integrate modern technology into apparel making it conductive and thus interactive. Best part? The yarn works with a whole range of fibres including wool, cotton, polyester or silk and in a myriad of colours.

But what happens when it comes to caring for these pieces? Because software development and fashion design often don’t exist in the same space, the aspect of treating these pieces can seem rather daunting to a consumer.

We already know that poor fabric care can lead to you falling out of love with your wardrobe, but how does that change when interactive apparel is involved?

Project Jacquard 2

I sat down with the P&G Future Fabrics Research and Development team to get an idea of how this will be affected. According to them, the process starts with partnering with the companies producing these conductive fabrics, to make sure that they remain as beautiful as they are functional.

Most of their products are already designed to clean and protect but they are being enhanced to keep up with the changes in technology.

One can’t deny the great opportunities, improvements and changes that technology presents fashion. Future fabrics is no longer something we look forward to; it’s something that’s happening now and it’s great to see people and companies alike embracing these advancements and continuously evolving.

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