Smart textile developers take knitwear technology to new heights

The UK based smart textile manufacturer Footfalls & Heartbeats have launched a new shoe that has been created on the latest Santoni X machine. This textile uses knitted textile sensors to measure movements such as gait and footfall.

It is knit under 12 minutes per shoe and without using embedded electronics, the sneakers pressure measure while running and walking but completely rely on rue on body movement to a user interface of choice.

The company has developed a variety of proprietary processes for manufacturing smart knitted fabrics to measure in real-time compressive and tensile force. This technology combined mathematically determined textile structure using an electrically conductive yarn to form repeatable and robust sensor networks. This technology utilizes the three-dimensional complexities of the textile structure which include the interactions of the fibers within the yarn to control the electric resistance characteristics of the sensor structure.

The company believes that these textile sensor structures are capable of entering the external environmental stimuli in the form of electrical signals. This provides a competitive edge over the company’s competitor’s products, in which solid-state sensing systems are embedded within their fabrics, FHL offers a solution in which  “the textile is the sensor”. The signals obtained from the textile can be filtered, amplified, analyzed, or stored in real-time to produce multiple data sets relating to physiological output. This emerges scope for the next generation of smart textiles where the sensor functionality is integrated into the fabric structure for real-time monitoring while ensuring comfort, personal privacy, wearability, and durability.

Santoni’s innovative X Machine is ideal for the latest project. This model facilitates knitting infinite intarsia items to produce seamless uppers and allows the mapping of different areas according to the types and various combinations of yarns used to produce a final product that only requires the application of the sole. This is the latest manufacturing stage of the shoe.

The X machine can knit a range of different yarns which include recycled yarn into one piece uppers ready for sole attachment. There are other sustainable benefits with variable fabric panels permitting a limited and controlled level of wastage. The ability to blend various types of technical yarns and specific mapping of many areas of the uppers with dedicated meshes guarantees breathability and high performance.

Santoni brings to light how the 20G version of the X machine ensures a light and breathable knitting structure that offers better stretch to give the comfort that the user gets while wearing a sock.

According to FHL, there is an increase in demand for smart textiles in sports, medical and the automobile industries to monitor changes in their environment. The FHL knitted textile sensors provide the ease of manufacturing and allow customization of design to fulfill the requirements of each and every commercial partner’s customers.

www.footfallsandheartbeats.com 

www.yarnsandfibers.com