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Active Textile Fabrics from Weaving Liquid Crystalline Elastomer Filaments.

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Silva, Pedro ES 
Lin, Xueyan 
Vaara, Maija 
Mohan, Mithila 
Vapaavuori, Jaana 


Active fabrics, responding autonomously to environmental changes, are the "Holy Grail" of current development of smart textiles. Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) promise to be the base materials for large-stroke reversible actuation. The mechanical behavior of LCEs matches almost exactly the human muscle. Yet, it was not possible to produce filaments from LCEs that would be suitable for standard textile production methods, such as weaving. Based on our recent development of next-generation LCE fibers, here we present the crafting of active fabrics incorporating LCE yarn, woven on a standard loom, giving us control over the weave density and structure. We test two types of LCE yarns (soft and stiff) and their incorporation into several weaving patterns, and identify our "champions": the twill pattern with stiffer LCE yarn that shows the greatest blocking force of 1-2 N/cm, and the weft rib pattern that shows over 10% reversible actuation strain on repeated heating cycles. We also demonstrate reversible 3D shape changes of active fabric by utilizing the circular weaving patterns that lead to cone shapes upon heating. The seamless combination of active LCE yarns into the rich portfolio of existing passive yarns can be transformative in creating a new type of stimuli-responsive actuating textiles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



elastic yarns, elastomers, liquid crystals, smart textiles, soft matter, weaving

Journal Title

Adv Mater

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Volume Title


European Research Council (786659)