A few steps ahead

Innovations are essential for a sector to get ahead quickly. As at previous editions of the fair, this year’s ‘Techtextil Innovation Award’ once again put the spotlight on some of the many new textile developments.

“Intelligent technologies don’t stop at the entrance to the hospital ward”, said the Award jury honouring an intelligent knee bandage design to speed up the healing and recovery process after a complete knee-replacement operation. Naturally, ‘intelligent’ does not imply that the bandage would be good at maths. Rather, it is means that it can measure the angle of the patient’s knee exactly thanks to a textile stretch sensor that sends the data collected to a mobile device by Bluetooth.

The result is that physiotherapists have a better overview of the patient’s rehabilitation process – and, via an app, can even send personalised exercise programmes to the patient’s smartphone: Peep, Peep – what’s up? “We have tested the bandage successfully on a handful of patients”, says Malte von Krshiwoblozki of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Micro-integration IZM, which is involved in the project. Soon, the clever bandage will be tested on over 50 patients. “We aim to make the bandage and the associated device even smaller, to increase the level of patient comfort”, adds Krshiwoblozki.

Other projects honoured include a load-securing net with joining points for the belts, which are warp-knitted instead of sewn, the functionalisation of textiles without the use of solvents, a shade net that can be used to control the amount of light entering, for example, a greenhouse. Naturally, this tech-textile-trendy blog has already reported on the award-winning pullover made of volcanic rock and the textile cycle lock.

Did you know? This is no fishing line but a highly chemical-resistant polyester yarn singled out for a Techtextil Innovation Award

Happy anticipation: Although the vegetable plants at the ‘Living in Space’ exhibition have not won an award, they are certainly very pleased about the new shade net for greenhouses

Ronny Eckert

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