The fashion industry is being reshaped by AI, Machine learning and Nano-technology. Specially Nano has had an immense impact on the way designers and brands are thinking about fashion-tech.
Nano-technology has been a huge driver of innovation in the domain, with both consumer and industrial applications around various industries. From sustainable design to tech-friendly applications, there are various advantages to using Nano.
What is Nano-technology?
Essentially, Nano-technology deals with the science and engineering of components that are measured at Nanoscale. That is between 1 to 100 Nanometers. This is a very intricate art and science, and one that has been perfected over the last few years. Nanotech has entered the domains of biology, health sciences, machine connectivity, and fashion.
How small is a Nanometer? There are 25,400,000 nanometers in 1 inch.
In fact, the microscopes invented to measure a Nanometer were only devised 30 years ago. It’s a fairly new technology with even newer roots in science.
The emergence of Nano-textiles
The field of Nano-textiles is a relatively new one, dealing with Nanofibers that are tweaked at the atomic level. This requires a high degree of precision, with a handful of companies dealing with it directly in the R&D domain. As a result, you can get water-resistant clothing, intelligent clothes, smell-free socks, and other customer-oriented fashion-tech solutions.
The two main drivers of Nano-textiles have been feature-driven and comfort-driven. Either the industry has made clothes that are easier to wear or that have fun new characteristics. Most of the sports-wear we find in the market today is some form of Nano-textiles giving the material anti-microbial and odor-elimination capabilities.
If you mix polyester fibers with minute silicone filaments, you can get waterproof clothing. There are even spray cans that hold their own formula which can make any clothing item waterproof.
The first generation of Nano-textiles benefited from Nano-coating (layered finishing) but are now increasingly emerging at the Nano-compound level. They can become increasingly resilient, prepared for industry use or be baby-proofed as per the application and need.
Let’s take a look at some companies using Nanotechnology in the fashion industry -
The company has created a patented method to create micro-silk fibers that replicate spider-silk, giving it increased strength and durability. The resulting fabric is also more tensile and elastic while being softer on the skin. It’s one of the first companies to experiment with the fiber in the mainstream consumer domain.
The company also studied how mushrooms are grown, specifically mycelium cells. These cells self-assembled into supply and sustainable materials that feel like animal leather. With this, they have replicated the look & feel of leather goods and created a sustainable model in the fashion industry.
CEAM founder Shimpei Kajiura has revolutionized the way we think about clothes. He ran a successful crowdfunding program a few years ago and has entered the mainstream with his water-resistant shirts. In fact, you can clean ketchup stains right off your shirt without getting it wet. His clothing line is innovative, and consumers can directly reach out to the company to get their hands on them.
His product line is also available in the industrial domain, where nurses and doctors wear this specially designed clothing option.
Modern Meadow is an innovative research firm that works in the Bio-fabrication domain. In other words, they take it one step ahead in the Nano-sphere. They reduce our dependencies on leather, dyes and raw materials, by replacing them with technologically advanced alternatives.
Hydro_Bot is trying to change the way we see sportswear. They’re designing clothes that work with sweat in various climatic conditions and activity levels. You can enhance your performance and manage moisture if you’re sweaty during a workout.
Vessi is the world’s first 100% waterproof shoes, and it’s raised over a million dollars on Kickstarter. It was one of the first viral campaigns a few years ago and has taken the market by storm. The technology is Nano-technology based and allows the shoes to remain dry for extended periods of time. The shoes allow consumers to walk around freely without worrying about the weather.
The manufacturing at PurThread allows for clothes to have antimicrobial properties. The Nano-technology behind the product is ingenious and your clothes don’t have to smell bad anymore. It works with a wide range of dyes and designs, and designers just have to pick up the phone and work with them directly.
The company was another Kickstarter favorite, giving consumers waterproof bags at an affordable price point. They raised close to €200k from about 2,000 backers. It was a highly successful Kickstarter made famous by the utility and fun features of the product. The bag pack can finally become a part of your everyday life.