Luminous Clothing: Wearable Light-Emitting Fabric

Apart from AR and VR, there are recent developments in wearable technology.  A new approach to the design of light-emitting fabric could lead to the development of softer and more wearable luminous clothing, according to a project at the University of Windsor in Ontario. The fabrication of wearable e-textiles and smart clothing has until now been hindered by a number of factors, including the porous structures and non-planar surfaces of the textiles themselves. The Windsor project tackled the problem by using the textile structure as an integral part of wearable device design. The findings were published in Matter.

“Users want light-emitting displays that are integrated into fabrics so that they are still soft, lightweight, stretchable, washable, and wearable; just like ordinary clothing but with light-emitting panels that can illuminate the user or display graphics – luminous clothing,” said Tricia Carmichael from the University of Windsor.

One issue with this in practice has been the inherent stiffness of light-emitting structures, making it difficult for a fabric incorporating them to remain able to move and stretch. So the Windsor team took a different approach, using a sheer nylon and spandex fabric as the substrate for a transparent conductor.

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