1 Introduction to functional, smart, and intelligent textiles: perspectives and potential applications

Smart and Functional Textiles(2023)

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“Smart textiles”, also known as functional fabrics or e-textiles, are changing the way of thinking about fabrics. The term “functional textiles” refers to textiles with integrated functions that control or adjust according to the application. Nowadays, electronics and photonics have greatly influenced the evolution of technical textiles. Smart textiles are functional fabrics integrated with a sensor array or functional nanomaterial/ polymer or an optical fibre. Various fibres (conductive and high-performance), chemicals/additives (finishing and coating chemicals, smart polymers, nanomaterials, etc.) and technologies (spinning, weaving, knitting, nonwoven, braiding, finishing, coating, lamination, etc.) are combined to create smart fabrics, depending on their use. This chapter covers all the main areas of applications of smart and functional textiles, including textiles with various functionalities (antimicrobial, UV-resistant, fireretardant, oil/water-repellent, stain-repellent, wrinkle-resistant, anti-order, antistatic, superabsorbent, etc.), coated/laminated high-performance textiles, conductive textiles, textile-based sensors, energy-harvesting textiles, medical textiles, protective textiles, textiles for military and defence, automotive textiles, and so on. This chapter also discusses the potential of emerging 3D printing technologies for making smart and functional textiles. Finally, the current challenges as well as future perspectives of functional and smart textiles have also been summarized.
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