Technological clothing is one of the most interesting trends of today’s tech development. Generally, the clothing industry for many years remained impervious to high-tech technological advancements. But in recent years, more and more advanced solutions are introduced to various types of clothes like hoodies, jackets, and sometimes even trousers, ties or beanies. Let’s flip through some of the most interesting aspects of this very promising trend.
Technology clothes, in most cases, are not made of traditional fabrics like wool or silk. Instead, high-quality synthetic materials are used. Back in the day, synthetic fabrics were produced primarily with cheap prices in mind, and clothes made of them used to have quite a short lifespan. But thanks to the recent advancements in the clothing industry, polyester and similar fabrics are durable, quite stretchy and provide a very long lifespan, ranging from 3-4 years to even 7 or 8 without visible defects on the clothing.
But the general feel of materials is not everything. Another important aspect is their durability in respect to stains, cold winds, heavy rains and other factors which have tremendous impact on our clothes on an everyday basis. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to produce stain resistant polyester than to do so with cotton or silk. Moreover, during the manufacturing process, synthetic fabrics can be manufactured with multiple resistances at one time.
There is another important factor to be discussed — fabrics used during production of technology clothing do not necessarily have to be synthetic. In fact, there are multiple types of fabrics, which blend natural and synthetic materials. So, if you’re a fan of more traditional clothes, there are multiple options for you. One of them is rayon, which blends natural and synthetic fabrics. As we can see, there is room for every taste on this promising market.
There is a popular misconception about technology clothing that they represent a very narrow visual style variability. Although there is some truth in this statement, it does not represent the bigger picture of the high-tech clothing market.
What is technology about in respect to the visual style? Often, it tends to popular trends, present in modern architecture and interior design. The most popular of them is minimalism, which despises any ornamentation, praises multifunctionality and serves as a counterpart for more opulent visuals like retro, Art Deco or loft. And yes, most of the technology clothes have quite a minimalist style, but it’s not empty or overly ascetic, as some critics claim. Moreover, there is a lot of diversity, even in the general, minimal aesthetic.
Let’s observe an obvious fact: many styles tend to be “minimal” in their design, but not all of them are strictly “minimalist”. It’s the same in the high-tech clothing field. They can represent a variety of different styles and tastes, which will satisfy many demanding customers. One of the most popular is steampunk, which refers to acclaimed pop culture trends. Another style, which recently has claimed a lot of critical acclaim, draws heavily from the video game aesthetics. Jay23’s products are a good example of that. These are made with the game industry in mind, but their design is meant not only to satisfy professional gamers. The gaming aesthetics world is so unique and diversified, that many people, even those who are not playing video games, can find many outstanding clothes designed in this fashion.
As we can see, such products as Jay23’s hoodies are not meant just for gamers, but for everyone.
Clothing technology has advanced tremendously during recent years. This created a great possibility for designers to blend the traditional clothing functionality with some high-tech, modern features. Nowadays, hoodies can charge your phone and warm your hands, using the specially designed heating pads. Some of them have IoT functionality, which allows you to control the heating process with a simple application on your Android or iPhone device. This sounds quite futuristic, but it has already become reality.
But is that everything that the word “multifunctionality” can contain? Certainly not. Adding advanced, high-tech features is just one of many ways to approach this problem. Another way is to implement new functions without adding earphones, batteries and sensors to your hoodie or jacket. A great example of this approach are some of the Jay23’s hoodies, which are convertible to fully fledged, roomy backpacks.
This creates numerous convenient opportunities for the wearer. Imagine that you’re going for a summer trip to a big city. On one day, with sunny and warm weather, you can use your hoodie as a backpack for carrying your belongings. But if there’s rain, your backpack can be converted to a water resistant hoodie in a matter of seconds. Isn’t that the very definition of technology clothing?
A good designer must approach his creating process in a creative way. Everybody can stack their hoodies with batteries, sensors and stuff like that. But at the same time, it’s good to remember that multifunctionality (if it’s being approached in a creative way) does not necessarily mean just wires and chips.
Back in the early 2000’s, the technology clothing market was basically limited to jackets with heating pads on the back and/or in the pockets. This state has remained for a couple of years, and other features like smartphone charging or built-in earphones were added later. Why? The answer is simple — miniaturization of chips was only starting to get its real momentum. In the 2000s, a small 10000mAh power bank was basically unheard of. Now it’s a standard product, available for purchase in every tech store.
The miniaturization process has gone a long way since the 2000s. More and more various features are introduced to technology clothes. One of the first was the heating one, which utilizes specially designed heating pads. Basically, it was the heating which spawned all other high-tech features in clothing. The reason is simple: the heat distribution requires a strong power source, which created the opportunity to implement other functions. They included:
As we can see, the number of functions is getting bigger and bigger. Sooner or later, it’s going to include even more advanced connectivity aspects. This brings us to the fifth and final fascinating thing about technology clothes.
Technological advancements seem to grow faster and faster over time. Upon a closer look at the computer industry, a rapid revolution has occurred from the 90s to this day. It’s going to be the same case with the technological clothing. Customers are only beginning to discover the full potential of this great market, and the designers, along with manufacturers are only starting to discover real possibilities of intricate and ingenious high-tech clothing design.
We can make a few well-grounded predictions. First of all, the miniaturization process is going to advance even further, which creates opportunities for embedding even more chips into clothes. Secondly, sooner or later, high-tech clothing is going to serve many more functions than today — it’s easy to predict Wi-Fi hotspots implemented into them, or very accurate GPS trackers with live feed on the smartphone.
Although the technological clothing market may seem to be a short trend with not very long lifespan, surely it’ll prove itself to be the future of the fashion industry. It’s quite difficult to predict when products like this are going to become an international standard, but it’s going to happen in a matter of a few dozen years.
Until that time, technology clothes are going to be a good purchase for young customers, well-oriented in the technology field.