E-textiles, a type of technical textile, consist of circuits embedded into fabrics or will be built into a textile product, either through woven or printed methods. They are active technical textiles, meaning their functionality changes along with input and interaction with their environment, and tend to be more design-forward than standard circuit integration methods. E-textiles are opening the door to elevate everyday soft products and create new application areas.
E-textiles have applications in many industries; from the more obvious apparel to automotive, robotics, and medical, e-textiles provide a new front for practical, beautiful hardware design. They enable sensors, heating, and data analysis while also withstanding more wear than Flex PCBs and other traditional flexible circuits.
Loomia is the creator of Loomia Electronic Layer technology or LEL, an innovative soft, flexible circuit that is built to integrate into soft products. It allows for easy draping and is built for large-area coverage with elasticity in mind. The LEL is lightweight and ultra-flexible, providing a massive range of motion required by some products. The LEL is designed to be sewable and bondable to aid in including it in products without worrying about damaging the circuits. It also has robust connectors and a fully modular and customizable manufacturing standard, all while maintaining competitive performance in the smart textile market.
The LEL enables innovation in transportation interior design. Integrating heating components into a car’s steering wheel or seats becomes simple with Loomia’s customizable circuits, so each product easily meets the specifications. User interfaces can be built directly into the interior fabric, making seamless, compact input sensors for car door handles and adjustable seats.
There are applications for the LEL in the medical industry. The LEL can replace the tangle of wires needed to monitor patients’ vitals by embedding sensors directly into a patient’s gown or a vest. Nurses and doctors can continuously monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature wirelessly. The LEL can interact with its environment remotely to help patients with dementia regulate their temperature or remove germs from soft surfaces to maintain a sterile environment, for example.
Not to forget, the LEL can significantly improve the most apparent application of e-textiles: smart apparel and wearable gear. The integration of flexible heaters into hats, gloves, and vests is simple by using the LEL. It’s easy to embed sensors into an active-wear shirt for consumers to monitor their workout effectiveness or ensure that an old injury is not acting up. The LEL can provide vibrations or straightening functionalities to alleviate pain if an injury does flare up. The LEL can also enable soft interfaces directly into clothing for a seamless, functional design.
The LEL’s flexibility, modularity, and customizability enables a broad range of applications beyond the ones I have mentioned here. Visit Loomia’s blog for additional ideas on how your team can use the Loomia Electronic Layer.
Flow is our response to hardware development setbacks we’ve experienced while developing our products. Fundamentally, it is a collaboration platform for development teams where requirements, product structure, supplier communications, and many other features are centralized to create a single source of truth for any project. It also serves as an environment to connect you to consultants and suppliers participating in the Flow community.
The Flow community can now seamlessly collaborate with the Loomia team to incorporate the LEL into their projects. Tasks like receiving an estimate for custom parts, tracking quotes for various products, and verifying engineering requirements for each phase of development are simple for clients in the Flow community who have access to our partners like Loomia.
Your project that demands a sleek, user-friendly, and easy-to-integrate user interface or a lightweight, efficient, flexible heating system is ready to collaborate with the Flow community to bring your vision to life using the Loomia Electronic Layer.