Fashion Technology

Textile Inventions You Need To Be Acquainted With In 2022

Textile Inventions You Need To Be Acquainted With In 2022

(If You Are Not Already)


17. March 2022

The race to digitise the textile sector is expected to continue to gain momentum throughout 2022. However, with sustainability still a key theme, the good news is that game-changing innovations are helping a very traditional industry recognise business opportunities that push towards a fundamental shift in industry practices and any future developments.

Reimagining the Textiles System With a New Mindset

No longer held back by conventional processes, more and more textile manufacturers, suppliers, buyers, and designers are now transitioning towards a textile system that allows them to harness better economic, societal, and environmental outcomes. In addition, prioritising the application of new technologies has helped the textile industry take those first steps of progress towards adopting new business models, technological innovation, and radical collaboration.

“Our success depends not only on the work within our own value chain but on disruptive partnerships across a broader textile production and manufacturing ecosystem,” stated Cyrus Wadia, VP Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike, in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation report “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future”.

As technology continues to have a significant impact on the textile industry, in 2022, make sure you keep an eye on the following innovations from these three game-changing companies:

1. Kelp – One Of The Most Renewable Natural Resources: Algiknit

In the business to make textile production more environmentally conscious, Algiknit offers material options that perform as well as conventional materials.

“The yarn we’re producing today has the look and feel of the natural fibres consumers are familiar with, plus all the makings of a no-compromise conscious material,” said Aaron Nesser, co-founder and CTO of AlgiKnit, in a statement.

Staying ahead of the curve in fabric innovations, Algiknit could effectively bring kelp-based yarn into the mainstream. The startup is currently poised to scale the production of eco-conscious yarns for use by forward-thinking global fashion brands.

With Kelp considered one of the most renewable natural resources globally, the Brooklyn-based material-maker of carbon-neutral, toxic-free textiles has spent the past four years developing technology to produce yarns on a commercial scale. They hope that they will be able to scale production to a point where they will be able to meet growing material demand in time.

2. Freshwater-free Textile Fibres, The Next Alternative: SaltyCo

UK startup, SaltyCO, has come up with freshwater-free textile fibres. Hoping to establish an alternative to freshwater-intensive cotton cultivation, SaltyCO is on a mission to tackle the side effect of wasteful freshwater use by rethinking the system and installing a new category in sustainable textile production.

Acknowledging that there is no single solution to “sustainability”, SaltyCO’s vision is to build a planet-healing supply chain that begins with an approach to regenerative agriculture. Hoping to create the most impact by sourcing their plant material, the materials science company has so far found a suitable salt-tolerant plant for the textile supply chain. They are now researching regenerative cultivation techniques and textile products. The outcome has been BioPuff, a plant-based fibre fill produced in SaltyCO’s laboratory in Scotland.

An alternative to animal and petroleum-based products, BioPuff is made of pure cellulose and has been reported to reduce petroleum by 70% in every jacket impact and save up to 25 litres of fresh drinking water.

3. Built with Biology, Not Oil: Biofabricate

Do you know that we are at the dawn of a new age where we can biodesign and biofabricate? No longer confined to small-scale experiments, biomaterials have garnered interest from well-known brands, like Adidas and Hermès, looking for plant-based alternatives to petroleum.

Recognising the potential of ‘Living Factories’ like Mycelium, Bacteria, Yeast and Algae, is Biofabricate. They are a startup that believes that a sustainable material world is built with biology, not oil. Recognising that there are no shortcuts, Suzanne Lee, founder and CEO of Biofabricate, believes that patience and tenacity by the industry should be a requirement.

“This can be a struggle for many designers – who like fast outcomes. But unfortunately, biology doesn’t work like that”, explained Lee when interviewed by

As a new generation of biofabrication and cell agriculture startups continue to set the standard, Biofabricate has become the go-to for those looking to bridge design with biotech intelligently.

In the current landscape, textile inventions are setting the standard by driving the textile industry to understand the facts and participate in the solutions. But, in the end, material innovation is a constant journey, one you should already be on if you aren’t already.

Are you interested in more indepth facts and figures of the new textile economy?

Check out to follow the journey of the industry or read one of the following blog articles:

Antimicrobial Textiles, Hero or Hype?

Could IOT Be The Technology Solution That Drives More Fashion Businesses To Adopt A Circular Business Model?

The New Textiles Economy, A Catalyst For Transformation?


Founding editor-in-chief of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology.

Muchaneta Kapfunde |

The New Textiles Economy

The New Textiles Economy, A Catalyst for Transformation?


25. October 2021
Credit: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Although textile businesses play a fundamental part in the global economy, future-proofing this somewhat rigid industry with new technologies is no small feat. The good news is that cutting-edge innovations now have more authority than ever before. No longer labelled as gimmicky, these actionable tech solutions represent a real-life potential to change the textile world’s processes, materials, and techniques for the better. Which brings us to the question, how can one become an active shaper in the new textiles economy?


A New Mindset Speeds up Implementation

With the pandemic still dictating how we do business, new technologies have become unlikely superheroes. Bringing about a new mindset to the fashion and textile industry, new innovations have been encouraging companies to seize the opportunity to shift their trajectory towards a new textiles economy. But what is the new textiles economy?

Driving positive change during these challenging times, the new textile economy promises long-term benefits built on the reuse, remake, and recycle models. Based on circular economy principles, Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s paper called ‘A new textiles economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future’, defines the new textile economy as “regenerative and restorative”. Designed to “phase out the use of non-renewable resources”, the new textiles economy can minimise the adverse impact by significantly reducing resource usage during the production, while in use, and after-use phases.

Credit: Ellen MacArthur Foundation

An excellent example of a company speeding up implementation with a new mindset is Nike. Committed to phasing out non-renewable resources, Nike adopted the ‘Rewire’ approach, which is a supply-chain strategy based on “integration, incentives, and innovation”. It was a change that helped Nike propel sustainability to the forefront of their business strategy.

A Shared Vision Sets New Industry Standards

As the new textiles economy ushers in a different system level, a shared vision is emerging. Encouraging rapid acceleration within the textiles industry, the shared vision represents an opportunity for textile businesses to commit to disruptive partnerships that enable a more effective system-wide progress. Collaborations have not only been playing a vital role in stimulating strategies, but they have also made it possible for textile businesses to test new models at scale.

Setting new industry standards are companies like Reverse Resources. Described as the Uber of textile waste, Reverse Resources is a tracking and trading platform for textile waste that brings manufacturers and buyers together. Providing 360-degree transparency of the waste flows, Reverse Resources is one of many innovative companies taking critical action in supporting the new textiles economy by being an active shaper bringing about a systemic fix that supports structural change.

A Catalyst for Transformation?

Is the new textiles economy a catalyst for transformation? The answer is yes. The transformation of the textile industry is steering businesses towards a new textiles economy that is economically and environmentally better for everyone. Built on a shared vision and fueled by new technologies, the new textiles economy is excitingly ushering in a long-overdue evolutionary change of the linear system, which has been ripe for disruption for a very long time.


Founding editor-in-chief of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology.

Muchaneta Kapfunde |

5 Tech Trends Reshaping Apparel Manufacturing



9. August 2021

Transforming textile manufacturing and reshaping how the industry does business, new technologies are not only being adopted; they are trending. With various innovations on offer, here are the top five tech trends that have proven popular in helping apparel manufacturers create greater efficiency and build better relationships between producers, suppliers and customers.


1. Digitisation

It seems that digitisation in manufacturing really could be the perfect match. Defined by Gartner as “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities”, digitisation is shifting manufacturing towards becoming a digital business.

Changing how products are designed, created, utilised and sustained, the digitisation of manufacturing has proven, to transform the operations, processes, and energy footprint of factories and supply chains while increasing opportunities in efficiency, productivity and accuracy in the textile industry.


2. Fashion on Demand

Yes technology can finally support the need for fashion on demand. Technology is revolutionising what  fashion on demand means. Once regarded as uneconomical, on demand fashion was once seen as impossible to achieve on a larger scale. The good news is that this is no longer the case since technology is now at a level that can support the rise of made-to-order and made-to-measure.

Therefore, fashion and textile businesses that want to create an on-demand supply chain can turn to new software, like the one provided by companies like Unmade, a London based startup that has worked with the likes of Christopher Raeburn and Avery Dennison. Offering convenience, fashion on-demand has also proven beneficial for fashion brands like New York-based Prabal Gurung, who have made the shift and now 25% of all their orders are now made-to-order.

Another great example is the knitwear company, Ministry of Supply. They have reportedly tested 3D printing knitted blazers and dresses and allowed their customers to choose different styles and colours. Within two days, the items were ‘printed’ and sent to customers. So again, innovation could mean that a fashion on-demand product could be delivered in the same amount of time as most fast-fashion labels, now that is progress.

3. Robotics

Want to implement robotics into your textile manufacturing process? Then read on. Groundbreaking advancements in recent years have allowed robotics in the textile industry to progress to the point where development has become highly advantageous for textile manufacturers. Ripe for transformation, robotics are becoming less of an obstacle and more of a technology that can positively transform the textile industry for the better.

As the automation wave continues to take over textile manufacturing, companies like Sewbo provide innovative solutions that support the automation of apparel manufacturing. Sewbo’s solution has been created to allow manufacturers to create higher-quality clothing at lower costs while shortening supply chains and lessening the long lead times that hamper the fashion and apparel industries. By helping to reduce the complexity of today’s intricate global supply network, the great thing about Sewbo’s technology is that it is suitable for a wide range of manufacturing applications.

©Ministry of Supply
©The Manufactuerer

4. Machine Learning

A McKinsey report once stated that machine learning would reduce supply chain forecasting errors by 50% while also reducing lost sales by 65%. These numbers confirm that machine learning impacts textile manufacturing, especially in these three areas of business — operations, production, and post-production. Other great benefits of machine learning in manufacturing include improving product development, quality control, security and supply chain management.

Although some still argue that the technology is still in its infancy, those who have chosen to utilise machine learning fully have reduced their manufacturing costs and drastically improved product quality. Therefore, it is clear that using AI-powered systems in one’s manufacturing processes demonstrates that machine learning could bring numerous opportunities to enhance nearly every aspect of your business.

©Ganit Goldstein

5. 3D Printing

Could 3D Printing be suitable for mass customisation? Well, some experts believe that 3D printing has the potential to help fashion and textile businesses who are looking to switch to an alternative customisable production method. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this type of tech tool is that it allows customisation choices to be implemented within the 3D file straight away before production.

If you are wondering whether there are any illustrative examples of fashion brands riding the mass customisation wave with 3D printing, the excellent news is that there is. Showing the way was the collaboration between Stratasys x Ganit Goldstein. Their partnership explored the melding of the traditional method with the latest 3D printing technology. “This is still a relatively new domain; we need to challenge ourselves to envision the next steps and to embrace this new design freedom to open up its true frontiers,” explained Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art, Design and Fashion at Stratasys.


Founding editor-in-chief of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology.

Muchaneta Kapfunde |

Inclusive Sizing Technology

Inclusive Sizing Technology, Helping the Fashion Industry Represent the Underserved


10. June 2021

With as many unique sizes as there are people on the planet, does it make good business sense for the fashion industry to continue to mass-produce 3 or 4 standard sizes? Yes, it is cost-saving, but with the new wave of body positivity breaking the sizing mould of yesteryear, maybe the time has come to move with the times. It is a positive thing to see the movement forcing fashion brands and retailers to turn to technology to meet most body shape needs and offer more than just standard basic styles.

Sizing Technologies, Worth the Investment?

Inclusive sizing technology is nothing new. Several solutions have been trying to correct the distorted and outdated image-standard designed to exclude plus-size consumers for a while now. Most famously was the ZOZOSUIT, a skin-hugging, high-tech bodysuit created to help shoppers purchase clothes, guaranteed the perfect fit every time. Now fast forward to 2021, and although sizing technology has advanced even further, shoppers are still struggling with common-fit issues. This begs the question, can fit technology fix fashions biggest demons, sizing and fit?

According to Narvar Inc, size and fit are among the top reasons customers return online orders. The e-commerce software company believes that this obstacle “further erodes retailers’ already thin profit margins”. Although it is a complicated problem, sizing technologies that offer a solution are being communicated to fashion businesses. One of those is 3D technology.

Zozosuit. Credit: Zozo Meausrement Technology
Credit: Fit Analytics

Revolutionising the fashion industry one label at a time, 3D technology is capable of helping fashion brands understand their consumer’s body shape so they can develop more accurate garments. One of those startups offering this type of innovation is CLO. On a mission to help the industry understand how ‘fit can build loyalty to a brand’, CLO 3D Simulation software feature allows brands to solve the question mark of their customer’s shape. Primarily built for cut-and-sew garments, CLO brags features like an API that enables customers to input their measurements to receive fit maps and view draped garments.

Fit Analytics is another solution. It is a technology that provides a “Fit Score” generated by response comparisons. CEO of Fit Analytics Sebastian Schulze believes that fashion brands cannot simply scale existing apparel specifications to create plus-size garments; they need fit technology to help them empower consumers and fix a decades-old problem.


Also worthy of mention is the digital fit solution app MySizeID. The direct to retailer technology helps consumers assess a garment’s sizing. Denim brand Boyish Jeans partnered up with MySize and saw a reduction of more than 30 per cent in two months. How? Well, the app’s AI-driven technology works by analysing user-entered data, like weight, gender or height, and then MySize’s proprietary machine learning database calculates the appropriate size. On their technology, Ronen Luzon, MySize CEO and founder told Sourcing Journal:

“Our app was designed specifically to take the guesswork out of sizing and make things as convenient as possible for online shoppers, so enabling customers to utilise our sizing recommendations and navigate directly from our app to retailers’ sites is a natural step for us when it comes to working directly with the consumer”.

Looking ahead, MySize is hoping to offer the same solution it does to the apparel industry to the footwear industry.

Credit: ASOS

Yes, Fit Technology Has Gone Mainstream

When Lizzo, Ashley Graham and Meghan Trainor brought the inclusive sizing movement to the mainstream, fashion brands began to understand that they were walking away from profit by underserving a specific demographic. One of those brands was ASOS. Last year, in 2020, the British online fashion and cosmetic retailer trialed an augmented reality tool in collaboration with Israeli augmented reality (AR) company Zeekit to expand their offerings. “See My Fit” allowed ASOS customers to view 800 dresses on 16 different models, sizes 4 to 18, which heralding the online retailer as being at the forefront of fashion inclusivity. When released, Tim Carey, senior content manager at ASOS Studios, told NBC News:

“With this trial of See My Fit, we’re using the latest in AR technology to put the power in our customers’ hands, so they can choose to view a dress on the model that they most identify with, in a way that wouldn’t be possible using traditional model-shooting techniques.”

H&M Lab X ZyseMe. Credit: H&M

Then there is Vero Moda, a fashion brand that worked with Presize. It is a fit solution that can be integrated with zero IT capacity. After applying the technology to its online store, the fashion brand saw an increase in its online revenue.

When it comes to reliability, Presize states on their website that a study conducted with 255 participants found that the startup showed greater body measurement accuracy for 90% of all subjects and scored a mean average error 55% lower than that of the second most accurate solution in the benchmarking.

Empowering fashion brands to offer a more personalised sizing experience is ZyseMe, a Germany based startup driven by a desire never to allow customers to compromise on fit. It is a solution that has been successfully cutting overproduction, waste and returns. In 2021 they partnered up with H&M. Together, the two companies offered on-demand production of men’s shirts with H&M LAB. Using AI algorithms, they generated a unique pattern for a shirt produced on demand and sent directly to the consumer. ZyseMe is now expanding to partner with several other retailers and brands.

Finding The Perfect Fit,  A Sign of Changing Times

Doesn’t it make good business sense for fashion brands in this challenging market to not alienate the next generation of consumers? Fit-related innovation has proved to be the best way to meet the demand for size “ideals’ that do not skew towards smaller products while also fighting the growing number of returns and unnecessary overproduction.

Yes, fit technology might not have cracked the code to the perfect fit, but you should believe the hype because as the technology evolves, it is coming closer to promising “perfection and personalisation” than ever before. Acknowledging the existence of inclusive sizing solutions is no longer enough; adopting, adapting and executing them is.


Founding editor-in-chief of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology.

Muchaneta Kapfunde |

Towards 3D Digital Innovation

3D Digital Innovation: Transitioning From Physical to Digital


6. May 2021

As business practices in various sectors adjust to accommodate digital innovation, the textile industry has also started to shift direction. Driven by the growing need to rethink the industry’s approach to design, development and manufacturing, the textile business has finally started to turn to digital technology to help solve some of its industry-specific difficulties and complexities.

Under pressure to innovate, I am excited to witness 3D digitalisation finally taking centre stage in the textile industry. Propelled forward by the brand-new digital wave, textile businesses are setting new standards to future-proof the sector. Rethinking how they operate, more and more textile businesses are becoming less afraid to explore the benefits of transitioning from physical to digital. The majority are doing this by examining the advantages of merging textiles with digital experimentation. So, what exactly is 3D digital technology offering an industry notorious for being resistant to change?

Credit -
Credit - Swatchbook

The Digitisation of Fabrics, A Powerful Asset?

Modern technologies are proving to be an influential asset when it comes to playing an integral part in changing the dynamics of the textile industry. With the potential to give textile businesses a competitive edge, we are starting to see 3D digital innovations being highlighted at textile trade shows, which, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction.

Digital Fabric Lab, Keyhouse 2019

This is an opinion formed while frequenting various textile trade shows. As a regular visitor I am familiar with physical swatches. Now imagine if I, as a visitor (or customer), could access the digital twin of a piece of fabric along with its physical swatches. This concept was introduced at Munich Fabric Start (MFS) trade show during their 2019 edition of KEYHOUSE.

The Munich based trade show showcased fabric suppliers offering a digital twin alongside physical swatches. Partnering up with Digital Fabric Lab, they demonstrated the individual steps of fabric digitisation and how textile businesses can create a realistic image of digital fabric samples. The key takeaway was that physical no longer needs to be the master copy. More recently, in 2021, MFS invited attendees to indulge in 3D digital fabrics and trend inspirations showcased at their DIGITAL TREND SPACE.


Another digital platform making it possible to digitise fabric is Esmetex. “We aim to simplify the fabric development process; no more looking through swatch boxes and shipping swatches back and forth“, said the founder of Esmetex, Victor Chao, to Adding:

It is not practical for a designer to search through 18,000 fabric swatches when Frontier® can search based on whatever criteria the user is interested in and return all relevant fabric information on one page. This can be done on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone by accessing our website or by installing our app.”

Chao is not alone in trying to help the textile industry move with the times. Emily Croneberger, manager marketing and industry programs, Cotton Inc, said in an interview:

Digitising the fabrics is our first step in keeping cotton in a digital landscape”. She continued: “We have committed to creating an online digital library of our fabrics, free for download and use by brands, mills and accounts. We plan to move forward in promoting and expanding our digital assets.”

Although it is unlikely that physical samples will become a thing of the past anytime soon, the digital twin of fabric offers some advantages, like storing all fabric data in one central place. It is also worth taking note that solutions offered by digital material platforms like Swatchbook, also make it easier to verify the physical textiles’ authentication. For those attending shows, this type of tech solution makes viewing the fabrics more effortless while helping textile businesses be less wasteful when it comes to physical material samples and swatches.

Credit - Substance Magazine

The Wonder Of Digitally Transformed Fabric

As industries transform to meet global changes, we have seen a rise in the adoption of newly emerging technologies. It is these genius ideas that have allowed the textile industry to take material digitisation to the next level. By hybridising the physical world with the digital one, textile companies that once relied on physical meetings at trade shows are now turning to innovative textile technologies to help them digitally transform their fabric during the global pandemic. One of these solutions is Scanatic™ Nuno Fabric Scanner provided by tg3ds.

Digitally powering the textile industry, the tg3ds studio uses an intelligent imagery processing engine to capture 3D texture display properties of fabrics in the smallest digital footprints. Another solution provider is Twinbru. They have made a name for themselves by setting an industry standard when it comes to making it possible for digital fabrics to be used in all virtual settings, like AR, VR and even game design.

Credit - Quality Textiles
Credit - tg3ds

Ready for Limitless Possibilities?

When the world of “all things digital” merges with one of the oldest industries, you know it’s time to stand up and take notice. If you are a fabric mill, a garment manufacturer, or a textile brand, now is the time to leave outdated methods behind and transition your product from physical to digital. For example with help from companies like CLO Virtual Fashion, who can accurately emulate drape-sensitive fabrics such as lightweight wovens and jerseys with various material properties, more on this here. Yes, there are still imperfect kinks to the technology, like not being able to mimic complex behaviour of materials, but that does not make innovations like 3D Digital plan B; it should always be ‘the plan’.

So why embrace digital transformation? If you want to become faster, more relevant and more cost-efficient, now is the time to capitalise on all the possibilities that digitalisation offers. Yes, some might argue that the technology is not industry-ready enough to replace physical samples with virtual ones, but we can all agree that a new textiles economy is arising, and it makes sense to be a part of it.


Founding editor-in-chief of, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology.

Muchaneta Kapfunde |