Textiles these days are providing intelligent solutions with avant garde technologies. Clothes with sensors and LEDs are changing the way we define clothing. This has also brought new innovations in the field of home textiles and furnishings too. Traditionally, carpets or rugs were used to cover the floor, or beautify the interiors of a room, but today's smart carpets can monitor a person's activity, and even send signals to computers.


Carpets are the most prone to stains and dirt, whether used in commercial places or in residences. A premium carpet company from South Africa has developed a carpet that not only reduces stains, but also is anti-microbial and anti-allergenic. They use special fibres in making the carpet, which are treated with polypropylene. These Carpets are made by injecting pigments into nylon polymers while they are still in the molten stage, which help protecting the rugs from colorfastness, fading from excess light, and resist staining.


We spend a majority of our time staying indoors. Hence the air we breathe needs to be free from microbes and minute germs. This is where a smart carpet, which can capture and retain these harmful dust particles, and can reduce the concentration of fine particles by as much as eight times compared to hard floors, and regular carpets are of great use. This technology in carpets has helped in the treatment of asthma. The unique structure and design of these carpets makes sure dust is released while vacuuming.


Smart fabrics are now being used to make carpets that can detect the motion, temperature, pressure, and vibration. A Munich based research team has developed a carpet embedded with computer chips that can be used to monitor buildings, and give directions in case of emergency.


These carpets outfitted with LEDs can be used to provide directions in a building. It can further be used in the construction industry, where these fabrics can be wrapped around walls or are spread on floors of a newly constructed surface; and can detect faults in the concrete structure and prevent damage at an early stage.


Adapting a similar sensor technology, researchers from UK have come up with a carpet that can detect mobility problems. The carpet has an underlying layer of optical fibres, which bends when an individual steps on it, and helps map the person's walking pattern.


The small electronics that are attached at the edges of the carpet function as sensors and send signals to a computer. The signals then show images of different footprints that can be used to analyze gradual changes, in the pattern of walking of different people. The carpets are equipped to predict a fall or a sudden incident from the patterns of walking.