French Technical Textiles Industry: Futurotextiles 3: Nexus Of Technology And Art
Janet Bealer Rodie, Managing Editor
In conjunction with the opening of the European Centre for Innovative Textiles (CETI) in Roubaix,
France, in October 2012, and with 2012 lille3000 celebrations in Lille, France, the third edition
of Futurotextiles was installed at CETI to present current, state-of-the-art textile technology not
only as used in technical textile applications, but also as used by artists and designers to create
beautiful and imaginative articles that often include high-tech function as part of the concept.
In the exhibition catalog introduction, it is stated: "Midway between technology and culture, the exhibition rests on three foundations: education, since it explains the origins and diversity of textiles and shows how textile innovations change our relationship to the world; science, by highlighting the technical characteristics of the textiles of the future; art, finally, because the new fibres, with their innumerable properties, inspire the imagination of designers more than ever."
The exhibition covers a full textile spectrum including fibers and yarns, composite and nonwoven materials and finished products. Unusual fibers presented include spider silk; biopolymer fibers such as milk; mineral fibers such as basalt; stainless-steel fiber; piezoelectric and optic fibers; and flax; among others. The diverse range of end-use applications includes protective, apparel, smart, sport, health, transportation, home, construction and architecture, geotextiles, and wellbeing. There also are artworks that incorporate highly functional technical textile materials in objects that, while some may exhibit functional characteristics, are primarily aesthetic concepts.
Shown here are a few examples of the textiles shown at or in conjunction with Futurotextiles 3:
Lightex phototherapy pad for treatment of neonatal jaundice, developed by Brochier Technologies, is a textile pad made using polymer optic fibers and LED modules. Photograph courtesy of Brochier Technologies.
Windsurf board, developed by Libeco-Lagae NV, Belgium, is made using a composite containing carbon and flax fibers. Photograph courtesy of Libeco-Lagae & Lineo
Herself Dress, photocatalytic dress designed by British fashion designer Helen Storey, is made with 70-percent polyester/30-percent silk fabric, finished using sand and cement, and coated with titanium dioxide (TIO2). The coating is said to repel harmful molecules in the air and purify and deodorize the air around the wearer. Photograph courtesy of Maxime Dufour
Mood Sweater, designed by San Francisco-based future concepts designer Kristin Neidlinger, founder of Sensoree, is a cotton/LYCRA® dress that reveals the mood of the wearer via colored LEDs in a collar made using recycled plastics along with sensors and conductor fabric. Photograph courtesy of Roger Dyckmans
Active Protection Hood, developed by Bodysens SAS, France, for firefighters, is made using a 99-percent flame-retardant treated aramid fabric and allows hands-free communication by the wearer with colleagues involved in the operation. The hood features a digital radio to transmit movements and position up to a distance of 1 kilometer; sensors in the lining that measure vital signs such as heart rate, oxygen levels and skin temperature; and a wireless micro audio network that enables the wearer to communicate verbally with colleagues in a "natural" conversation despite physical obstacles. Photograph courtesy of Bodysens
After closing at CETI at the end of 2013, the exhibition moved to Paris and is currently on view at the Cité des Sciences & de l'Industrie until July 14, 2013.