Smart & Intelligent Textiles: A New Horizon For Garment And Fashion Designers

Source: The Stitch Times, April 2009

For a long period, fashion designers of European countries like Italy and France have dominated garment and fashion industry. However, in the last 30 years India has been through a revolution in terms of fashion designing. Fashion is a term commonly used in relation to clothes, dresses, garments, etc. There has been perceptible improvement in use of quality textiles and materials by the fashion designers.

Fashion is identified today with status, acceptance and it almost implies social involvement. Fashion is an important aspect in every one’s life. Every person has an inherent tendency to be fashionable though they have different body structures and not every kind of clothes suits him, which require people to know about fashion and dressing sense. Lack of knowledge about proper dress code and color sense, one gets exposed. Fashion is always evolving and therefore it is important for all those fashionable man and women to always update themselves with the hot and happening fashion of different seasons and occasions. The fashion designer profession has recently emerged as one of the most sought out careers among the youths. They are confident in their own creativeness, which has helped them in setting new trends rather than following trends set by others.

Future trend in fashion

A few years back, the need of a cell phone for the users was only to talk with others and it was an overwhelming satisfaction for the users. Gradually the demands of the same users increased much more in terms of various additional functions and services from the same product besides fulfilling the basic need. And the dream came true. Today we have the cell phones comprising of many additional functional services starting from entertainment, games, e-services, photography and what not? So far the fashion designers designing garments depended upon the normal mill made /handloom/ power loom fabrics and accessories with an objective of making it aesthetically beautiful and then follow different business tools so as to reach the product to the common people through merchandising, popularizing or arranging ramp shows etc.

But now the time has come to think something different. Be sides the traditional concept of designing a garment with an eye for better aesthetic value for satisfying the users, it can be thought of adding some functional value also by utilizing the new textile products and concepts developed through the emerging areas like ‘smart and intelligent textiles’ so as to set up a newt rend for growth for upcoming fashion entrepreneurs. Garments made from ‘Smart& intelligent textiles’ are a foundation for a new fashion philosophy for the 21st century. Present day fashion designers tie up themselves with the vision of electrical and electronic engineers, material scientists, textile engineers, chemical engineers, IT professionals etc. The world market 1for smart fabrics and interactive textiles (SFITs) has exceeded US$640 MN by the end of 2008 against the projected figure of US$485 MN.

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