Crushable spotlights

Forster Rohner – Textile Innovations have come here from their home in St. Gallen with several new products. A particular eye-catcher on their exhibition stand is the luminous, white après-ski jacket from Bogner. The lighting effects are created using conductive pathways and LEDs. Something that has been around for a long time, of course. But not in a washable form!

The jacket, designed for the Munich sportswear company by Forster Rohner, can be machine-washed at up to 60°C. Moreover, the jacket hangs and wears like one that has no LED textiles in it.

Textiles can be made to light up using e-broidery® technology. Textile conductivity, together with procedures and techniques for manufacturing and integrating LEDs have been specially developed for e-broidery® and incorporated into an industrial manufacturing process. The Forster Rohner LED textiles have already convinced fashion houses as far afield as Switzerland and Paris: Akris and Chanel have already had them embroidered into clothes and handbags. In the meantime, Forster Rohner are now offering their own collection in the form of interior soft furnishings, including curtains and fabrics.

New product number two is a heated jacket. With their e-Therm Flex technology – they are textile heating pads – you can not only turn the heat in an item of clothing on and off. It is also feasible to be able to continuously regulate the temperature. The whole thing is powered by batteries. But rechargeables can also be used; they could, for instance, be charged via the clothes hanger. The heating pads are available in three sizes and simply need incorporating into the garment as appropriate. Clothing fitted with the pads is also washable.

Heating pads for clothing

Turning from fashion and clothes to another topic: what do you do if there is no room in your bag for your spotlight? For professional photographers and would-be professionals, the Swiss company has devised folding and crushable spots, that are not harmed, even if you run over them. If that is not enough, Forster Rohner are exhibiting a medical product: the textile components of a chest strap record long-term ECG data, that can be used clinically, so that cardiologists receive data on the basis of which they can make a diagnosis.

And finally, another medical-type invention, that should be of interest to healthy people in their jobs, too. Using a sensor mat, the harassed office worker can monitor his posture on a display screen (e.g. an iPad) and thus infer directly what he or she needs to change. An invention which could represent a significant step in the right direction for people with back problems.

Kirsten Rein

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