Thursday, February 28, 2013


carrie underwood, fabrics, dress, Don o'Neill
Carrie Underwood performed beautifully at the last Grammy Awards, but it was her dress that was really amazing! The various patterns and colors projected on her Don O’Neill designed dress were visually stunning.
Is this something we will see in the future in fabrics? Actually, you will be amazed at what is happening now in textile design for fashion and the home!

carrie underwood, fabrics, dress, Don o'Neill
Visionary new fabrics are arriving in the market each year. Textile designers around the world are looking for new forms of eco/ethical/organic fibers from sustainable sources.  Natural fibers made from soy (from leftover waste in tofu production), bamboo, banana, corn, and even pineapple have been around for a number of years. The key is finding a comfortable price for the consumer. Polyester and cotton textile technology is evolving with more earth-friendly production methods. The future will bring beautiful and exciting fabrics using less water, energy and petro-chemicals.

textile, bamboo, banana, corn, polyester, cotton, weaving loom
Weaving techniques have evolved over the millennia from simple hand looms to today’s technical high speed power looms.  Though India is modernizing swiftly, there are still hundreds of thousands of hand weavers. Modern textiles are wonderful, but there is something very special and supremely unique about hand-woven silks from India’s artisans of the loom.  Modern textile designers are recreating the look of real silk with synthetic fibers.  I am buying beautifully embroidered faux silks as well as hand woven silks at Wesco Fabrics.

japan, modern loom, textiles, fiber material
Japan is at the forefront of new high-tech fibers and incredible weaving techniques.

Japan’s Teijin Textiles has created Morphotex, a fiber material that recreates the vibrant luminosity and iridescence of the Morpho butterfly.  They have produced a microscopic fiber that bounces and scatters light between the layers similar to a butterfly’s wing or a peacock feather. No dye is needed which cuts water and toxic chemical usage in production, and will never fade.

heimtextil, fabric, japanese, spider silk, nylon
At a trend exhibit at Frankfurt’s Heimtextil, I found this interesting fabric similar to a spider web. A Japanese company once wove fabric from spider silk! Imagine a fiber as light and fine as silk, stretchable like nylon and almost 30 times stronger than Kevlar? Arachnophobes don’t have to worry as production is not now commercially feasible, but I am sure we shall see variants in the future!

heimtextil, fabrics
Futuristic fabrics at the Heimtextil trend exhibit.

crystals, fabrics
Imagine modern fabrics which mimic the look of crystals. New techniques will yield exciting possibilities in surface appeal.

lumigram sarl, fabrics, fiber, woven
A French company, Lumigram Sarl, is at the forefront of light emitting fiber optic woven specialty fabrics. Just think of the WOW factor for this dress!

fabrics, draperies
They even weave fabrics that can be used for draperies, bedding and pillows.

lava lamp, fabrics
Just think of a bed that can be programmed to emit various colors at certain times.  This could be the future lava lamp! How about a bed programmed to light up in the morning?  A new alarm clock?

I love the use of luminous fabrics for special events. Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs will never be the same!

Now this is a party!

Light emitting clothing for safety and style at night. It’s all available now!

This store window at the Woodward and Lothrop department store in 1939 displayed new synthetic fabrics and their use in fashion. The world of textiles was changing quickly.  

Textiles are incredible now, and will evolve into more mind-boggling constructions in the future! I can see upholstery fabrics that will change temperature and keep our furniture warm and cool. New, thermochromic apparel fabrics, will advise parents if their child is too cold or hot by changing colors. Imagine super strong fabrics that will protect us from the elements, or even a bullet from an attacker, and still be soft and comfortable to wear. Energy producing fabrics will be main-stream as we recharge our devices from electricity produced as we move. Super strong textiles will be commonly used for building construction just like carbon fiber is used today. We will see fabrics that will change colors with our moods or desires for a new look at the window.
I wonder what Carrie Underwood will wear at an awards show in the future? I am sure it will be amazing!