Technology has propelled the growth of human society in innumerable ways. From the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter to advanced robotics and health care, technology has rapidly assumed the status of an arguably indispensable and highly effective tool in the modern era. Clothing has always been both a necessity with regard to human civilization and a means of showcasing ones culture and interests. Social status, religious leanings, cultural diversity and professional status can all be amply reflected by ones clothes. A wide array of different styles of clothing is now possible, aided by powerful technological tools that supplement and shape the creative ideas of fabric designers.
Evolution of Fabric Design
In accordance with Darwinian principles, man is a remarkable example of adaptability. And a look at the way clothes have evolved only goes to illustrate this. In addition, the progress of mans concept of fashion has also transformed over the ages. Starting from merely covering ones body with natural fur to protect it from the vagaries of the natural elements in ancient periods of human existence to designing special suits and fabrics woven out of exotic materials to meet adverse environment requirements like space and desert surroundings, man has always shown ingenious capability to engineer requisite changes in the fabrics. The concept of fashion too has seen a marked shift with the variety of choices available in the present times. Of course, technology is a major driving force behind fashion trends.
The Role of Technology in Fabric Design and Fashion
One of the most significant outcomes of the famed Industrial Revolution was the mechanization of textile manufacture. The power loom and the mechanized cotton mill resulted in a huge increase in the quantum of production by shortening the time required for production manifold. In the more recent times, there has been a proliferation of novel materials designed, and this has enhanced both the quality and adaptability of fabrics. The so-called smart materials enable the production of clever fabrics, with high-end technology like atomic force microscopy and polymeric nanofibres going into the design, manufacturing and testing of these fabrics. Ranging from special applications like the design of suits for space travel, swimsuits and suits for military purposes to the usage of more durable and adaptable garments for daily use, these methods have proved to be extremely effective. Several research centres have sprung up to investigate these exciting possibilities. The role of computers is unarguably prominent in fashion technology. The visualization of the final design right at the conceptualization stage, down to the finest detail, making suitable modifications if so desired, automating several stages in the manufacturing process and, finally, executing quality control procedures – all of them involve computing at various levels of complexity. Be it creating an eye-catching design using CAD or running the computerized knitting and weaving machinery, automation is fast becoming the buzzword. Fashion courses nowadays invariably include a major technological thrust in the curriculum to enable prospective designers to be abreast with the latest trends.
Exciting Possibilities and Trends
How about having a single garment that one can use both in the summer and winter one that would change texture, colour and even shape in response to external environments? All these are gradually transcending from being mere fantasies to reality. Digital clothing that incorporates sensors in the very clothing that one wears and other fascinating possibilities lie in store – courtesy the largely interdisciplinary explorations into the field of fabric and fashion technology. At a more mundane level, one could most definitely be pleased by the thoughts of having clothes made to precise specifications at a much faster rate and with several times more durability. Technology is scaling tremendous heights and with it, so are all its applications. Textile and fashion design have in store lots of promises and continue to be a standing example of the prowess of technology. As Mark Twain puts it, the finest clothing ever made is a person’s skin, but of course, society demands something more. So the quest for better clothing, better fabric and trendier garments continues unabated aided by technological advancements.