Of wearables, e-textiles and a smart jacket

We have all heard quite a lot about wearables over the last few years. Smart tech devices have become more and more popular, particularly in the form of fitness bracelets and smart watches.
Gradually, more and more textiles and clothing with smart properties like special reflector strips or a heating function have also started to arrive. There have been articles about jackets that play music or give you free access to the subway thanks to an integrated ticket. In a nutshell, “wearables” refers to any technology worn on your body or which is connected to your clothing via a wire and plug.

Electronic textiles are a more advanced form of wearables and also go under the name of e-textiles or soft-circuits. Here, the technology is integrated into the fabric itself: e.g. electroconductive threads are woven directly into the fabric or conductive inks are used, enabling you to use printed electronics that allow soft fabrics to conduct electricity.

With LEL (LOOMIA Electronic Layer), the American company LOOMIA has managed to create e-textiles with heating, lighting, sensor and data applications embedded in the fabric – products that offer many other applications in other industries besides smart textiles. This includes heated car seats for the automotive industry, for example, or a light function for a backpack for the outdoor industry. This video illustrates the special capabilities of a smart material.

LOOMIA has also developed a stylish e-textile jacket with a heating function in partnership with designer Mari Kussmann. With “H1” it has also created a best-practice case for the fashion industry. The integrated heater is powered by an external battery similar in size to a smartphone. The battery simply disappears into one of the jacket pockets and is connected to the garment via a magnetic connector. The heating function has an on/off switch and the heat intensity can be controlled via a regulator. The Loomia H1 jacket was manufactured using an ISO 9001-certified machine from Eastprint using sustainable materials and a Polartec lining. Additional information about this good idea that Loomia says is unfortunately no longer available can be found here.

Images
H1 Jacket: Loomia & Marta Molina Gomez
E-textiles: Loomia