Luminous Clothing: Wearable Light-Emitting Fabric

Apart from AR and VR, there are recent developments in wearable technology. According to a project, a novel approach to the design of the light-emitting fabric could create luminous clothing that is softer and more comfortable to wear.

The porous structures and non-planar surfaces of the fabrics have previously prevented the production of wearable e-textiles and smart clothing. The initiative found a solution by incorporating the textile structure into the design of wearable technology.

Users want textiles with light-emitting displays built into them so they can still be soft, lightweight, stretchable, washable, and wearable—just like regular clothing, but with the added benefit of light-emitting panels illuminating the wearer or showing graphics.

The inherent stiffness of light-emitting structures, which makes it difficult for a fabric incorporating them to stay able to move and stretch, has been a problem with this in practice. So the team adopted a new strategy and used a transparent conductor as the substrate for a sheer nylon and spandex cloth.

To create highly conductive ultrasheer electrodes that maintain conductivity to 200 percent strain, researchers use solution-based metallization to coat the open framework structure of an ultrasheer knitted textile with a conformal gold film.

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