While the Fitbit and Apple Watch initially led the way in wearable tech, today, high-tech fashions are making their way into the mainstream. According to reports, the future of these innovations hinges on how willing the public is to embrace the fusion of clothing and technology.

Enter electronic textiles, or e-textiles, which are reshaping the capabilities of clothing. Picture feeling underdressed and instantly changing the color of a dress to be a little more formal or wearing yoga pants that guide you on how long to hold a pose. The possibilities with e-textiles are limitless, with the key lying in creating items that cater to specific needs. Ahead, we explore the pioneers making strides in this space.


Researchers have developed the first smart fabric in the UK that can change shape and color when exposed to heat and electricity. This innovative fabric not only adapts its color and form but also returns to its original state once the external stimuli are removed.Using a device resembling a traditional loom, the researchers combined polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and thermochromic microcapsules (TMC) on the weft and blended yarns made of stainless-steel fibers and PET on the warp. The stainless-steel fibers give the fabric its electrical properties, while the PET contributes to its shape memory. As a standalone wearable material, it holds vast potential in AI, robotics, and virtual reality, offering a more immersive experience in the virtual world.


To address Gen Zs growing anxieties about climate change and environmental impact, fashion companies are adopting strategies to minimize waste through reduction, reuse, and recycling—or a combination of these approaches. Among the unconventional solutions being explored is the development of color-changing fabrics, where external stimuli can temporarily alter the fabric's state, resulting in a change of color.

Anrealage, a Japanese company, is at the forefront of this innovation, creating clothing with chameleon-like qualities. They utilize a material that responds to ultraviolet light, showcased at Beyoncé's inaugural show for her Renaissance World Tour.


Meanwhile, joining the color-changing textile trend, Adobe, traditionally recognized for its cutting-edge creative software suites, unveiled a surprising project at the 2023 Adobe MAX conference. A presenter graced the stage wearing what seemed like an ordinary dress, only to wow the audience as the dress transformed colors, crafting distinctive patterns that allowed the wearer to dynamically change their attire in real-time. Named Project Primrose, this interactive dress utilizes 'Reflective Light-Diffuser Modules' to create Non-Emissive Flexible Display Systems developed with Adobe Firefly, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Stock, and Adobe Illustrator. By integrating this technology into diverse surfaces such as clothing and furniture, Adobe hopes that designers can explore limitless possibilities in terms of style.