Developing smart, natural textiles in Lapland

In Finland, an ERDF-funded project is attempting to develop new non-toxic, natural and smart materials to reduce the use of chemicals in the textile industry.

Today, the textile industry uses a multitude of chemicals which may be harmful to both humans and the environment. In response, an ERDF-funded project entitled Future Bio-Arctic Design (F.BAD) is aiming to research, test and develop different manufacturing techniques and materials for smart textiles.

Northern and Arctic plant extracts and fibres in particular have natural anti-mould, ultra-violet protection and insect-repellent properties which could be used for innovative smart textiles. By developing innovative materials and promoting new product concepts, the project is hoping to support the creation of new start-ups in the industry.

Ultimately, the project consortium hopes to achieve non-toxic, plant-, tree-, or berry-based smart textiles by inviting local craft companies to supply the project with their own materials for testing and weaving. After research and testing, the most appropriate samples will then be used to manufacture prototypes of sustainable and smart textiles.