4 leading future technologies for functional clothing


Which innovations will sportswear and functional clothing contain in five years’ time? In modern functional clothing you are protected from wind and weather and enjoy a pleasant wearing comfort. In order to produce functional clothing for the future, work is carried out in many places.

Figure: In modern functional clothing wearer is protected from wind and weather and enjoy a pleasant wearing comfort. 

Nanospinning: the north face futurelight membrane

How does a cyclist protect himself from environmental influences such as rain and wind? Waterproof and breathable membrane fabrics are essential components of both outdoor and urban functional clothing.

The decisive factor here is to find the right balance between the two characteristics for the respective use and situation. Does The North Face achieve this balance with the new Futurelight membrane?

Permeable to air and steam

Using nanospinning technology, a variant of electrospinning, The North Face produces very thin polyurethane fibers. The polymer solution is accelerated away from an electrode by means of an electric field, so that the smallest fibers attach themselves to the counter electrode like a fleece.

Nylon and polyester layers from recycled raw materials

The Futurelight membrane is supported by lamination with nylon and polyester layers that protect against abrasion and can be manufactured from recycled raw materials. The water-repellent coating, which helps maintain breathability in the rain, consists of PFC-free hydrocarbons and is incorporated directly into the fiber, allowing it to retain its functionality for up to 80 washes – longer than conventional coatings.

 4D printing by GRDXKN

Can membrane jackets protect against injuries in the event of a fall from a bicycle? The ingredient brand GRDXKN (pronounced: grid-skin) wants to make this possible soon.

In 4D printing processes, materials are 3D-printed that can be changed over time or environmental influences. In the GRDXKN process, cross-linked polygons of dyed polyurethane are printed on textiles, which are thermoformed during the printing process and form a three-dimensional structure.