A new method turns natural silk fibres into a comfortable conductive material
Spotted: Japanese company AI Silk has turned raw silk into an electricity-conducting wearable fabric. The material, which is primarily for the health and medical fields, can act as an electrode to collect medical information or to help people recover from injury or illness.
Made by a special dyeing technique, the fabric is durable and non-irritating, according to the company. AI Silk says the fabric doesn’t deteriorate with washing. It is also comfortable because it reduces the tingling sensation often caused by electrical stimulation of the muscles in medical treatments. The silk fibre is highly absorbent, which means it is less affected by sweat, which can lower conductivity.
Using a separate technique, the company is also able to create textiles that are only conductive in some areas, by printing electricity-conducting polymers onto fabric. The techniques are not limited to silk, but can be applied to other natural fibres, according to the company.