Textiles have evolved over the years from fibers, like the invention of microfiber, to finished products such as seamless knitting. New innovations in textiles can produce new ways of manufacturing materials, lead to more sustainability, bring products to market faster, and much more. With technology influencing every industry, we’ve seen a lot of emerging trends that have the potential to change the textile landscape in a big way. Here are 5 textile trends to look out for:
- Bio-based Leather
Biobased leather is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to animal-based leather or many “vegan” leathers that are made from synthetic materials. Unlike animal or most synthetic-based leathers, Bio-based leather is made with materials that are more sustainable such as fungi, cacti, and even fruits such as pineapple. Often bio-based textile companies are using these alternatives in an effort to be more sustainable and will also work towards other sustainable goals such as reducing carbon footprint, using renewable energy, or using by-products from other industries that would otherwise go to waste. As this new way of making “leather” grows, the materials get better as well, with some claiming to be just as soft and supple as animal leather, without harm to animals or the environment.
- Seamless Knitting
Seamless knitting has been a growing textile trend for many years, especially in athletic wear, undergarments, and other clothing where seams can cause chafing or discomfort. Seamless knitting has two advantages, it makes the garment more comfortable and also reduces waste because there are no leftover fabric scraps from cutting like with a cut-and-sew manufacturing process.
- Graphene-based Fabrics
Commonly referred to as the “wonder material,” graphene is one of the most durable materials in existence. Graphene is made of a single layer of carbon atoms and is incredibly strong yet lightweight. This combination makes it popular for sports fabric because it’s more resistant to wear and tear without weighing someone down. It can also conduct heat and electricity which lends itself well to applications such as heated jackets.
- Smart Fabrics
Smart fabrics are an umbrella term for any fabric that has innovative technologies that are designed to respond to changes within their environments, including the state of the person wearing them. These smart textiles can use electrical, thermal, mechanical, chemical, or magnetic messages to create change within the fabric or garment, for example aiding in the heating or cooling of the body. Other applications of smart textiles are clothing that can light up, change color or alter its shape.
- Fully Automated Garment Construction
Fully automated garment construction has been continuing to influence textile trends. Using automated cutting and sewing technology, companies are now able to produce a diverse array of clothing using machines or robots. This can allow for a reduced labor force and more regional locations of factories which can save money, time, and bring products to the desired market faster. On top of fully automated garment construction, companies are automating more of the entire creation process through software, hardware, and on-demand production to bring concepts to market faster.
With these new trends emerging, companies are now looking for employees with knowledge in textiles combined with other industry knowledge such as bioprocessing, electrical engineering, or advanced robotic automation. Because these industries typically haven’t had much crossover in the past, it can be hard to find employees that have that niche skillset.
Here at Coley Company, we’ve been in the Apparel, Textile, and Nonwoven industries for over 25 years, so we know how to find the best candidates even if it’s a rare skill like textile knowledge and bioprocessing experience. If you’re a company that’s looking to find the best candidate call ( 336-218-6637) or email us today.