Tech Post

‘Smart Textile is expanding and has a lot of promise’

Published : 18 Oct 2022 08:25 PM

Globally the market for smart textiles is expanding and has a lot of promise. The market proportion of e-textiles consumption compared to traditional fabrics is growing in developing nations. Bangladesh is the hub of the textile industry in the world. Different renowned brands of the world get their garments made from Bangladesh.

The Smart textile products are still under development and the development and production processes are not the same as conventional textile but even though it’s a great opportunity for Bangladesh to utilize its skill sets and resources on textiles to become the global hub for Smart Textiles in the coming future.

Maruf Khan is a Mechanical Engineer started his textile career in 2007 in Bangladesh and worked till 2016. During this period, he experienced the complete transition of the Bangladesh knitting industry from manual to fully computerized knitting. To support this huge industrial transition Maruf Khan was actively involved in training for knitting programmers, machine technicians and operators as well.

He earned a vast knowledge and expertise on high volume production and R&D for fashion garments in Bangladesh. In 2016 Maruf Khan moved to New York, USA and started exploring the field of Technical textile, which includes automobile, computing textile, medical apparel, bio sensing textile, furniture, compression garments, functional apparels, 3D knitting etc. During this time period he was involved to provide knitting programming support to various clients in the US, work on product development for technical applications, carry out update training programs for clients etc. In 2018 Maruf was relocated to Canada to provide onsite support to Canada based clients specifically on Smart Textile.

Maruf Khan explained the concept of Smart Textiles and his role to develop Smart textile solutions as - Smart fabrics are intelligent systems that can observe or communicate ambient circumstances and detect and process the wearer’s state. They can use electrical, thermal, mechanical, chemical, magnetic, and other inputs and outputs. Smart or intelligent textiles are created in collaboration with various research disciplines such as nanotechnology, materials science, garment design, electronics, and computer engineering.  However, as a Senior Knitwear Engineer, my main focus is to develop / create computer generated programs for computerized knitting machines to integrate different functional elements / sensors within the knitted fabrics. During the development and production process I also have to review, monitor and report on new product plans and recommend materials based on design objectives, such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost as well.

In response to a question related to “Automation of Knitwear industry of Bangladesh”, Maruf khan mentioned that automation is very important not only to increase the production capacity of a factory or industry but also it offers full control over the production to shipment, which includes computerized and systematic production cycle, easy reproduction, minimizing wastage percentage, accurate production planning and implementation etc. All these factors are very crucial to gain the confidence of buyers. As a result Bangladesh is now the second largest knitwear manufacturer in the world and still gaining more and more market share globally.