There is a growing selection of high-tech clothing that serves multiple purposes, from keeping you warm to keeping your personal information secure.
The Titan collection from Vollebak has just been released, and it include a down jacket, pants, and a hat. NASA parachute fabric, military materials created for the British Special Forces, and insulation generated from recycled plastic bottles all find their way into the garments.
Vollebak CEO Steve Tidball told Lifewire in an email interview that the Titan Puffer’s lining is one of the most technically inventive textiles they’ve ever worked with. “The lining of the Titan Puffer is one of the most technically innovative materials we’ve ever worked with,” he said.
It was used in the landing of the Cassini-Huygens probe on Titan and the Perseverance Rover on Mars, and it will be used again in 2026 when NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft begins its mission to Titan.
Titan, Saturn’s icy moon, served as inspiration for the brand’s clothing line of the same name. The Titan puffer jacket was tested in a facility equipped with a liquid nitrogen testing chamber to determine how well the Titan range performs in subzero temperatures.
The electrical components of missiles, for example, need to be able to operate in sub-zero temperatures at a very high altitude, hence this chamber is typically filled with liquid nitrogen for testing purposes, as explained by Tidball. It was the first time this method had been used on an article of clothing when we tested the Titan puffer.
Innovations in high technology aren’t limited to the Titan range. An Italian company known as Cap able design has patented a method of mixing textiles, fashion, and engineering that allows clothing to confuse facial recognition systems. Meeting a computer scientist sparked the idea for this style of clothing for the company’s lead designer, Rachele Didero. They talked about how they may create privacy-protecting fabrics using AI algorithms.
The firm asserts that these garments can successfully fool shape-recognition systems. Wearing one of these outfits renders your facial biometric data either undetectable or incorrectly categorised, as in a “animal” rather than a “human.”
New technologies are also allowing manufacturers to create garments with enhanced fit. Robert Felder, CEO of Bearbottom, said in an email interview that the company is using new types of 3D garment rendering software to produce new garments and speed up the sample process.
Businesses have benefited from the programme since it allows them to test more concepts and designs without the delays caused by the traditional sampling procedure, such as the need to ship samples around the world.
The software “can display how different outfits and textiles will fit on all different bodies,” he explained. “In the coming decade, it is likely that you will be able to visualise how each product will fit on your body with software like this when shopping online, rather than viewing a snapshot of a product on a model.”
More Efficient Technology Means Less Unnecessary Byproducts
Scientists are looking to technology to find a solution to the problem of clothing waste, despite the fact that the vast majority of clothing research focuses on improving the production of clothing. Annually, the United States generates 11 million metric tonnes of textile waste.
A textile engineering, chemistry, and science professor at North Carolina State University, Sonja Salmon is looking on a method of disentangling blended fabrics into their individual threads for reuse in recycling or composting.
Salmon stated in a press statement that two materials, or polymers, account for the vast majority of textile waste. At the yarn level, the fibres are tightly twisted together, making disassembly and reuse problematic. To unravel the threads, Salmon is developing a chemical process.
Salmon explained that enzymes are used in the recycling process to remove the cotton fibres and produce clean polyester. “The digested cotton produces a fine fibre material that may be pumped into a compost pile using a liquid spray. In addition to being a waste, these microscopic strands can be composted and potentially turned into something helpful.”