The kind of fabrics that are manufactured increase every decade. Ever since synthetic fabrics were developed in the 1880's, textiles have often been created by scientists rather than farmers. New fabrics are still being developed every day. Some of these are already available to the general public; others are still being perfected and developed but hold exciting possibilities. The following are the newest, the most promising, or the most fascinating fabrics that are being produced right now.
Fabric made from bacteria
As disgusting as it may sound, there are clothes being sewn out of fabric made out of bacterial cellulose. The fabric is produced by letting bacteria feed on substances like yeast, red wine, or algae in a vat full of liquid. The bacteria breaks down the liquid in the vat to produce a thick film that floats on top, known as a mat. The mat is harvested off the top and dried on screens. The resulting material is similar to leather. This leather like material can then have patterns cut out of it and fashioned into clothes, bags, and shoes. The fabric is economically friendly and fully biodegradable.
Closed Loop Fabrics
Closed loop fabrics are manufactured from recycled clothes. Fabrics that are harsh on the environment are continually recycled over and over again. Most synthetic fabrics are produced by using oil. This wastes precious natural resources. Cotton needs a lot of water to grow, making it an environmentally harmful fabric, even if it is organic. By breaking down old clothes so that they can be spun into new thread and woven into new clothes, the environment is being saved from waste and also from more clothes ending up in landfills.
Scientists have developed a self-healing fabric that releases a glue contained within the fabric in tiny capsules when the fabric has been torn. The glue seals the tear and cures into a permanent fix when exposed to air and water.
University researchers have invented a fabric that collects and transmits data while being worn. The main purpose of this fabric is to monitor health information about the wearer. The textile can read heartbeat, blood sugar, limb movements, and brain function. This is accomplished through small antennae woven into the fabric.
The fabric is still in development, but could have life-saving implications for wearers in the future. These textiles could be worn by hospital patients or by people in dangerous situations such as combat.