Woven Light: An Investigation of Woven Photonic Textiles

  • Lan Ge
  • Jeanne TanEmail author
  • Richard Sorger
  • Ziqian Bai
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 849)


Textile materials, which have been widely used in apparel, interior design, health care, automobile, and infrastructure, play a fundamental role and exhibit a close relationship to human’s daily life. For the past few decades, smart textile materials with new performance, functionality, and design values have been developed through the integration of advanced technologies [1]. This study aims to review and examine current approaches to realize photonic textiles, including LED-embedded, photoluminescent, and polymeric optical fiber (POF) textiles. This work also reviews examples of woven interactive textiles and discusses how weave parameters can affect POF textiles. POF textiles, which exhibit the advantage of directly incorporating functional fibers during the fabrication process, have the potential to serve as a flexible textile display. In addition, this material provides high design values due to its dynamic visual appearance. One of the fabrication methods used to produce POF textiles is the weaving technique. The properties of smart textiles, including hand feel, elasticity, flexibility, and drapability, can be considerably changed through the interplay among weaving variables, such as fiber content, patterns, weave structures, fabric construction, and finishing techniques. Complex woven structures can be designed to simplify the production process; novel yarns can be used to provide variety to textile appearance and tactility. However, few studies have been conducted on the fabrication process of smart textiles through weaving. Tan and Bai developed prototypes of interactive cushions using POF textiles integrated with touch sensors [2, 3]. The design process of these prototypes focuses on the integration of electronic components and interactivity instead of on the textile fabrication method. A literature review indicates that research on the weaving structures of POF textiles is lacking. The use of weaving techniques to create innovations for smart textiles to enhance their appearance, performance, and functionality demonstrates potential.


Interactive photonic textile Weaving Textile design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lan Ge
    • 1
  • Jeanne Tan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard Sorger
    • 2
  • Ziqian Bai
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Textiles and ClothingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  2. 2.School of Design, Kingston School of ArtLondonUK

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