British soldiers’ uniforms could soon use electrically conducting yarn woven directly into the clothing, replacing cumbersome batteries and cabling. The “e-textiles” could provide uniforms with a single, central power source.
This would allow soldiers to recharge one battery instead of many and cut the number of cables required in their kit. Surrey-based Intelligent Textiles showcased the lightweight uniform at an event organised by theCentre for Defence Enterprise (CDE).
The company has patented a number of techniques for weaving complex conductive fabrics. “We have built-in conductive yarns that then take power and data to where it needs to be,” Asha Thompson, director of Intelligent Textiles, told BBC News.