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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
Clothes that love you – textiles to touch the inner you
Clothes that love you – textiles to touch the inner you
Keywords: Textiles, Technology
Living in a world where vision is the dominant sense we often neglect our other senses, like touch and smell. But, imagine a sense-enriched world where your sportswear cools you on the move. Your shirt shrugs off the smell of tobacco or repels mosquitoes. You sink into fields-of-flowers on your sofa, catch the smell of success in a boardroom or hit a "cool" note in a chic hotel lobby.
This can all become reality due to innovative new technology, which incorporates fragrance into textiles. Sensory Perception Technologies (SPT™) is the way to weave well-being back into our clothes and lives. SPT™ is the joint creation of leading sensory designers Quest International, a member of the ICI Group, and one of the world’s most recognised textile brands, The Woolmark Company. This new technology weaves benefit-laden particles such as moisturiser, deodorant, fragrance, fresheners, repellents or even anti-tobacco agents into any fabric. It heralds an extraordinary new era of “smart” clothes which soothe, stimulate, protect and cosset you! SPT™ even withstands washing machines, so its impact can be enjoyed wear after wear.
Early trials have proved SPT™ a success with many global clothing companies interested in a host of products from moisturisers and deodorisers to signature scents. Sensory fabric does not look different but it incorporates tiny droplets in miniature waterproof particles that are activated by movement or touch. They can be woven into any fabric and are dry cleanable and machine washable. Every time you wear a jumper, vacuum or walk on a carpet, you will release what is stored in the particles. The smells are almost subliminal so as not to create any conflicts with the wearer’s personal perfumes.
Shibani Mohindra, New Business Development Director at Quest International, says: “Until now, textiles have only used the senses of vision and touch but a new way of looking at the impact of the senses on our lives – sensism – will revolutionise the textile industry. This new philosophy is based on the idea that multi-sensory tools can empower us to become more productive, more successful and to enjoy relationships more. The first practical application is SPT™ which creates ‘3D fabrics’. The fabric, which will be the norm in the future, makes clothes that look good, feel good and do good.”
The concept of sensism was introduced in the ICI Report on the Secrets of the Senses by Dr Charles Spence of Oxford University. Dr Spence, a leading expert in experimental psychology argued that we live in a visually dominant society which has marginalised the more emotional senses of touch and smell. He calls for a more holistic approach because together the senses produce beneficial effects that are far greater than the sum of the individual experiences. The multi-sensory magic of SPT™ works while you go about your life, round the clock. After a night on the town, your hard-partying dress will be daisy-fresh or as seductive as your designer scent after a quick shake next day. Not a second to spare in your crazy morning? Grab a lightning-fast shower then let your lingerie and hosiery moisturise while you run to work.
David Hellens, Marketing Director of The Woolmark Company said: “SPT brings huge new benefits to the consumer offering people new ways to use fabrics, while having the potential to add considerable financial value to the textile industry. The opportunity to work with Quest to globally launch a technology that may revolutionise the textile industry is a very convincing proposition.”
This remarkable innovation offers a multi-million pound opportunity for designers and the textile industry, ever keen to tap into and respond to real consumer needs. The “fabric of life” gains a vibrant new meaning with SPT™.
SPT™ the facts
SPT™ can be applied to any fabric, soft furnishing or flooring.
It is a total system that applies benefit- laden particles via “Microencapsulation” to textiles as part of the finishing process.
“Microencapsulation” is a process in which tiny droplets or particles are wrapped with a proactive coating, yielding capsules for countless applications. In simple terms, a capsule is a miniature container that protects its contents from evaporation, oxidation and contamination until its release is triggered by gentle rubbing or shaking, for example.
SPT™ on textiles can withstand washing machines or can be applied as part of a cleaning regime for flooring in hotels, airports, railways or any other public space, where its long-lasting properties make it ideal as an air-enhancing system.
Each application will offer one benefit, such as freshness or caring smell, moisturiser, anti-tobacco or insect repellent.
Where the benefit is a smell, this will act as a very subtle “refresher” that would not overpower personal perfumes.
The first company in its field to develop this area, Quest will use its vast expertise and research to select and create the sensory solution for each application.
Early commercial trials have proved an outstanding success with many global apparel companies interested in a host of products from moisturisers and deodorisers to signature scents.
SPT™ could make a significant impact on the fashion industry by eliminating the opportunity to counterfeit clothing.
SPT™ is a partnership by Quest International and The Woolmark Company. Companies interested in SPT™ should contact The Woolmark Company for details and technical advice.