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 technology, 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 materials!

The most important research areas of the SFT research group are

Sustainable textile

The research program Sustainable Textiles examines the opportunities and challenges for a systemic transition to a circular textile industry. This means closing a total value chain from the collection of used textile “waste”, through sorting, fiber production and spinning of regenerated fiber to weaving of new products that are also designed for recyclability.

The focus is on this 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 SFT research group and now an independent company. The SaXcell process converts cotton waste textiles into new high-quality textile fibers.

Other important research areas within the research program Sustainable Textiles are local production of textiles, biomaterials and a transparent value chain (traceability).


Responsive smart textiles

Responsive smart textiles are textiles that respond to changes in the environment. Think of the integration of electronics in textiles, which makes it possible to measure body functions such as heart rate and temperature. The integration of sensors and actuators in textiles enables us to design an exoskeleton of textiles that can provide support in walking. Research is also being done into clothing or tents with integrated flexible solar cells to generate sustainable and off-grid energy. Below, you can read more about the current projects within the research track "responsive smart textiles"


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