Technology impact on Sportswear Development


Technology impact on Sportswear Development
Technology impact on Sportswear Development
Li Wen Chang
Parsons The New School For Design
MFA in Design and Technology
New York, United States
[email protected]
Looking back on the history of sportswear evolution, it is
easy to find the emphasis on the development. Not only
athletes but also average sportsmen are
searching for wearable clothes that enable them to elevate
their body strength and present their entire potential. This
desire evokes scientists’ endeavor to research human
physical structure and also produce the most suitable
sportswear to our needs. The development research in this
paper is divided into different categories to examine what
should be improved and enhanced. Technology makes a
huge impact on the result and we can reference these
innovative example projects to evaluate whether it is
necessary to implement such technical attachment to our
cloth and body.
sportswear companies to offer new technology that help
them to run fast and play harder. The sponsorship therefore
established to prolong this commercial negotiation. It is
also clear to explain the reasons that why technology in
sportswear is easier to be accepted by consumers. For
professionals, they are always looking for better products
that help them to do better in competitions. For regular
people, as ling as we see great results from our favorite
athletes, it will be cool to have the same clothes as they do.
For example, the Nike Flyknit technology (Figure 1) is
emphasizing the knitting technology by manufacturing with
only one thread that makes the total weight much lighter. A
lot of professional runners has already adopted this
footwear in their gears and also brought up a huge marjet
Sportswear, Technology, Human Body, Textile,
Functionality, Aesthetics
The innovation of sportswear is very exciting to the fashion
industry. Not only because sportswear offers a more
commercial and down to earth approach of wearable clothes
but also it allows a wild experimental implementation to the
development of wearable itself. Here to summarize the
focuses of research in 3 domains: purpose, technology and
The main reason of elevating technology in fashion is to
enhance human body’s possibilities. We have always
wanted to become super human that can jump 10 feet high,
run as fast as horses or with strong muscle that can break
walls. However, it can hardly be achieved according to our
physical constrains. Thus scientists stared to look for a
method that can help human race to pursue our dreams.
Various ways are tried and now we are coming to the field
of wearable technology. This world “Fashionable
Technology” might be relatively new to scientific
evolution, but the growth within these 10 years has been
lively booming. Particular about sportswear, the innovative
endeavor from scientists, designers, entrepreneurs are all
get their full hands together on hoping to create a better
clothing that maximize human power. This effort
undoubtedly has begun immediately in the sportswear
innovation. Professional athletes are expecting big
Figure 1. Nike FlyKnit Collection
From Columbia’s Omni Shield Textile innovation (Figure
2), the functionality orientation is perfectly executed. There
are two main problems people who love outdoor life always
encounter: rain and temperature. To avoid them, Columbia
develops this new textile that resist water molecule to stay
on the fabric and also dry the coat extremely fast after a
heavy rainstorm. It also protects the textile to be less easy
being stained that makes outdoor activists to move more
Figure 2. Columbia Omni Shield Textile
It is also very interesting to develop sportswear in an
emotional approach. In the research of Sato Tetsya and his
colleges, emotions are also assessed by color manipulation.
This might not be a high-tech movement, it is still very
valuable to see how color become am essential element of
wearable construction.
Different knitting techniques are also important to
sportswear. In the research paper of A Review of New
Directions in Shingosen and Synthetic-fiber Textiles for
Sportswear it is stated that with different knitting skills can
give garments more power to support body with more
pressure. The stretchable fabric and textile can add on to
that as well.
Evaluation process can be very difficult to assess the value
of these implementations of technology into wearable
items. Although invention and innovation are promoted in
this open era, there should still be a principle of how are we
going to grade these blue-sky ideas. Some of the technology
used in garments is extremely functional, for instance the
space wear new material development of Toray from Japan
(Figure 3). We know the transformation from space wear to
regular clothes seems vey bizarre, but which parts from
space wear are going to be selected and embed into the
everyday life garments are highly discussable. If we are
able to evaluate the final product by market and strictly test
its functionality, we are able to comment on this
implementation about its success.
However, there are times the value of the garment itself can
hardly be reviewed, take the Speedo Challenge (Figure 4)
as an example. This swimsuit design is not a traditional
fashion design but to use swimsuit textile to create a more
diverse functional garment. The winning team did a
fantastic job by changing the functionality essence
thoroughly into an elegant and sophisticated day and night
dress. The main focus here is to rethink the value of
swimwear. It is also an emphasis that using the swimsuits
materials not needed and making them a new wearable
garment. The sustainability is seriously concerned.
Therefore if we only assess the value of swimsuit, it is
meaningless. But to put this new concept as an additional
plus, it is well structured and valuable.
Figure 4. Speedo Swimsuits Challenge
When technology is taken as a plus to the wearable textile,
we should always ask why. In the modern times there is no
place without technology or it will be viewed as outdated.
That is also the reason that thinking about mechanics is
such an important preparation before constructing a
garment these days. As described in Fashionable
Technology, clothing with embedded technologies is
evident in the realms of sport, work wear, healthcare and
rehabilitation, rescue services, elderly care, and security.
Therefore examining the purpose and the methodology of
implementation can be crucial to both users and designers.
It is obvious that functionality is the first consideration in
sportswear, such as Nike Flyknit and Toray space wear. But
aesthetic design is also important to be taken into deep
discussion, and the swimsuits reproduction from Speedo is
a very good example. Whether which one is going to be
more emphasized, the fact that bridging fashion industry
and technology is still a very promising act that brings us
into a next phase of social cultural outcome.
Figure 3. Toray Turn Spacewear Into Sportswear
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