washability

Washability stands for the ability of a (textile) product to withstand a specified washing process for a number of cycles corresponding to the intended use of the product, without functional impairment, safety hazards or damage to the utility value. The washing process aims to restore the serviceability of a textile after a use phase through the removal of soil, odour, and germs. Any washing process depends on the four interdependent factors time, chemistry, mechanical action, and temperature. The challenge is to avoid secondary washing effects like shape or colour changes. Additionally, washing damage to electronic textiles can lead to customer safety issues.

With a wide range of possible applications, many smart textiles are designed to be wearable, worn close to or on the body. The ideal wearable is a sustainable, easy to use and operate, highly comfortable and machine washable product. This product has excellent computing capabilities and data security-standards. These requirements are much higher than the ones that either electronics or textiles need to fulfil. Therefore, most e-textiles on the market do not meet all of them completely. Smart Textiles integrate the electronic components in a way that maintains the substrate’s textile-typical properties. Professional opinions consider washability as the key aspect for wide-ranging acceptance and the success of textiles.

IZM’S IN, DIRT’S OUT: HOW TO WASH YOUR E-TEXTILES

E-Textiles have been under development for almost two decades, but still have not reached a wide market. One of the reasons is their deficient usability which leads to a low user acceptance. Especially for textile-integrated conductor tracks, which exhibit a…