Contemporary Design for Wearable Electronic Fashions with Thermal Regulation

Dr. Li Li

Associate Professor

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


As a result of rapid technological developments, we are now surrounded by advanced technology in our everyday lives. The combination of electronics and textiles has gained the attention and interest of many researchers and has become one of the major directions of development in the textile industry.

However, although market analysts predict that the “wearable technology” sector is set to become a multi-billion-dollar market within the coming decade, the actual growth of this emerging market in terms of consumer products has been relatively slow. Many issues must yet be addressed and overcome before any progress can be made toward the next stage of commercializing this technology as products for potential end users. The market’s slow growth is attributed to consumer factors such as the acceptance of wearable technology and concerns that products may have “technical” rather than “fashionable” appeal.

This research topics of interest are highly multidisciplinary, spanning fashion design, technical design and fundamental textile studies. The primary focus of our research team is the application of conductive yarn in various fabrics and their applications in fashion, medicine and healthcare. We have conducted theoretical research on predicting the resistance of wearable electronic textiles using a model of contact resistance and length resistance. This series of studies and publications led to the design of complex and elastic conductive fabric structures. The developed method offers a means of efficient design for guiding the industrialization and commercialization of wearable electronic textiles under optimal conditions, i.e., in a precise and controllable way, to achieve maximum convenience and a high level of comfort without sacrificing aesthetic appeal attractiveness.

Figure1: Thermal garment for the relief of menstrual pain: a) prototype; b) as seen by an infrared camera; c) fashion sketch; d) technical drawing

Figure 2: Thermal garment: a) garment details; b) prototype; c) thermal garment with a heating function on the neck for heating to below 43 °C (as detected by an infrared camera) to treat neck aches