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Use of smart textiles on the rise globally

Technological collaborations among companies have contributed to the growth of the global smart and interactive textile market. Smart textiles are textiles that can sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli such as mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical, or magnetic properties. They come integrated with conductive polymers, shape memory polymers, electronic sensors and various communication equipment.

High durability, appearance preservation, integrability with the human body, light weight, and reliable protection are some of the important characteristics of smart textiles. On the basis of the end user, the global market is segmented as: medical, healthcare, military, aerospace, transportation, and others.

Developments in newly crafted textiles have led innovators to invent many smart textile applications such as color-changing fabrics, fabrics measuring body fluid composition, pulse and heart monitoring clothes, temperature sensing clothes, microphones in fabrics, cooling apparels, and others.

Passive smart materials can only sense the environmental condition or stimuli. Active smart materials have the capability to sense as well as react to the conditions. Ultra smart textile materials can sense, react, and adjust as per the conditions. Europe dominates the global smart and interactive textiles market. North America stands at the second place and has a large consumption of smart textiles in defense and consumer applications. Asia Pacific is expected to grow in the near future.