Regular fabrics either of natural or synthetic fibres are good for comfort and decorating and they are also capable of protecting us from the elements. But what if the wearer is exposed to extreme weather conditions and certain hazards and combat situations, extra protection is required. For that one needs functional clothes. Functional clothes are clothes specially engineered to meet the requirements where regular clothes fail. Functional clothes are made of innovative designing of the garments, by selecting fibres, inducing technology in clothes, and with the application of certain chemical finishes. The use of functional clothes has great potential and its very much visible in sports wears, workwear, space wears, medical, and uniforms for the army. Moreover, functional clothes are now making their way to daily fashion.
The latest advancements in nanotechnology and fabric finishes help the fabrics to be more functional. Some of them are as follows:
- Comfort and well being: Application of special silicone softeners to make the fabrics absorbent, ultra-soft, liquid finish, etc. The finishes for wrinkle-free clothes and finishes for easy care.
- Enrichment: enrichment of elasticity and recovery, better pilling, finishes for vitamin E enriched, Aloe Vera enriching, scents of different fragrances, color changing with temperatures and water contact, etc.
- Hygiene: Finishes like moisture management, quick-dry, dry fit, antimicrobial for odorless clothes.
- Protection: Protection from harmful U.V. rays with different sun protection factors SPF 20-50 are possible with different chemical finishes, finishes for fire retardation, finishes for water and oil repelling for work-wear. The finishes for mosquito repelling. Temperature control finishes etc.
- For gadgets/ Polishing and cleaning microfiber cloths with special finishes to clean lenses, screen, and monitors.
“Use only the dry polishing cloth that comes with your display,” reads the support page How to clean your Apple Pro Display XDR. “Never use any other cloths to clean the nano-texture glass.https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/11/apple-use-only-our-special-cloth-to-clean-the-1000-coating-on-our-5000-pro-display/
Self-healing: There are finishes that can make fabrics self-healing, the fabrics can repair itself when it is having a cut or damage. https://youtu.be/jepw1_SoPiM
Self-cleaning fabrics: Other than dirt and water repellent fabrics which require less laundry cycles, The something newer is, Finishing with certain finishes will make fabrics self-cleaning by just exposing to the Sun.