Smart Functional Materials

Sustainable & Functional Textiles

Sustainable & Functional Textiles are everywhere and are becoming increasingly durable, smarter and more functional. The textile industry is able to innovate thanks to new technologies, smart materials and durable processes.

Society faces complex issues. Smart and functional materials can help address these issues. The digitisation of production networks is making it possible to rapidly introduce innovations on the market. The research group Sustainable & Functional Textiles (SFT) develops innovative concepts and products by way of practice-oriented research in collaboration with companies, researchers and students.

The future of fashion and textiles is functional and sustainable!

The most important research areas of the SFT research group are

Sustainable textile

In the research program Sustainable Textiles, the opportunities and challenges for a circular textile industry are investigated. For example, collecting of used textile “waste”, sorting, fiber production, but also spinning and weaving of new products. The focus of the research is both on the design process (design for reuse) and on textile recycling with innovative technologies based on mechanical and chemical processes. SaXcell® (Saxion and cellulose) is an example of an innovative chemical recycling process, developed by the research group SFT and now an independent company. In addition, local production of textiles, biomaterials and a transparent value chain (traceability) are important research areas in this line of research.


Functional textiles

Functional textiles have been around for centuries: dye-stuff and pigments are well-known functionalities that provide color and patterns, but also products such as (bees)wax to make fabrics waterproof or to print in “batik”style. Nowadays, all kinds of coatings, films, sprays, for instance to improve anti-fouling or water repellency to textiles, and post-treatments such as plasma, digital and conductive patterns can be printed with high resolution. The latter make it possible to integrate sensors, actuators and other “electronics” (such as flexible solar cells) into the textile. Applications for this can be found in medical, sports & fitness, but also textile architecture.


Know more?

Today textile is much more than just producing fabrics. You will discover this for yourself in our unique laboratory. For example, we test how quickly a fabric starts to pill. And we investigate the materials from which a fabric is made.

Textile lab

Collaboration with research group Sustainable & Functional Textiles

Thanks to multidisciplinary collaboration between business, research groups and education, innovative concepts and products are being developed. Collaboration takes place at the regional, national and international level.

The research group is connected to the following programmes:

Studenten overleggen samen

News from this research group

Research group

Visiting adress

Saxion, Sustainable & Functional Textiles
Van Galenstraat 19
7511 JL Enschede

Postal adres

Academie ACT / Sustainable & Functional Textiles
PO Box 70000
7500 KB Enschede

Events of this reseachgroup