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Are You as Smart as Your Clothes? Plus Size Clothing Intelligence

Jun 25, 2008
The latest fashion for plus sizes is "smart clothes"- In Japan, they are working on a variety of items. One type is fabric woven with sensors or other electronic devices that can perform various functions- such as monitoring body functions (blood flow or and heart rate); or "bio-functional" clothing that can send out vitamin C to the wearer, or reduce and eliminate unpleasant odors automatically. Tiny capsules in the fabric release their contents when they come into contact with body heat.

And UK firms are leading the way in smart fabrics and interactive textiles for wearable electronics. No less than seven UK-based companies which have successfully integrated their smart technical textile technology into clothing and other consumer clothes and related items such as bags and backpacks. Products made by three of these companies are being designed to interface with software from Microsoft and iPod music players from Apple.

And there is more-
-Clothing with built-in switches or joysticks to control equipment for electronic entertainment, particularly iPod like creations made from a special conductive yarn.
-Knitted fabrics of a conductive polymeric yarn which keep the wearer warm by heating up when a power
source is applied, either from a battery or plug-in.

-There are even textiles that can change colors under tension. The materials are "auxetic" which means they become fatter when stretched, unlike conventional flexible materials.

-Smart fabrics are also being designed to protect against terrorist bomb attacks by absorbing energy.

-Intelligent fabrics for high performance sportswear which absorb shock with a range of applications including protective skiwear, motorcycle gloves, football gloves and shin pads, and protective headgear.

There is something agreeable about the idea of clothing that detects and gets rid of unpleasant odors. But the real market for fabrics, textiles and materials that sense and deliver such minerals to the body may be elsewhere: For example, in military, medical and industrial settings, critical information and the timely delivery of medical or preventive ingredients are necessary.

And what about embedded solar collectors for energy? Your Ipod and cell phone will always be charged. You can have in-built air conditioning for hot days.

And while no one knows for sure where all this could lead, it's got just the right amount of pizzazz to be an extremely promising area for a the industries of polymers and nanotechnology, bioscience and health care to find some radical new twist that creates an entirely unexpected, unseen new market. The ultimate will be the wearable, washable computer; still a long way off but tantalizingly close enough to glimpse some convincing prototypes.

Are you ready for clothing like this? And of course these smart clothes will come in all sizes- petite, small, medium, and plus.

There is a bit of irony involved in smart clothes. The Victorian mathematician Professor Charles Babbage invented the analytical engine, considered the world's first computer. Lady Ada Byron Lovelace is credited with developing the idea of computer programming. The first computer was programmed for the weaving of textiles for clothes. Now, smart fabric incorporates computers inside clothing. Both would be amazed at the how their work has progressed, and the strange twists it has taken.
About the Author
For more tips and information on fashion with an plus size flair visit http://www.fabulous-plus-sizes.com a trendy plus size fashion website.
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