Silicones in Textile Applications

Last month, pop artist Doja Cat performed at Coachella - you may think, where is this going? Well, she was actually covered head to toe in silicone! The futurist and eye-catching outfit she wore led us to think about how much silicone is used within the Textiles and Fashion industry. In the year 2024, many fashion brands are taking costume design to the next level. As you can see with the outfit Doja Cat wore (image below) made by Natasha Zinko.

Why is Silicone being used more often within Textiles?

Silicone in general has many benefits, especially when used in the textile industry. Without thinking of the manufacturing uses silicone can have in a textile factory (like sewing thread lubrication, foam control agents during textile pretreatment and dyeing process). It can also be used for the clothing itself. Not only is it heat resistant and water repellent, but it can be emulsified to create a softer finish, as well as having the ability to stretch or become a more breathable fabric.

So, is it good that Silicone has a more prominent stance in the textile industry?

Absolutely! Adding silicone into the creation and manufacturing process massively improves the quality of fabric being used by being more durable, this has a positive effect on both the manufacturer and customer.

“Consumers are benefited with silicone based textiles as it gives long lasting comfort and performance. Moreover, silicone technology is also capable of facing the harsh industrial challenges.

Today, if one goes to buy denim, one can be sure to find denim that will give the feel of absolute comfort and fit, such is the effect of silicone on textiles." - Fibre2Fashion

Earlier this year, Natalie Portman was also pictured wearing an outfit completely constructed from silicone at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards, inspired by Pierre Balmain’s ‘signature flower’. (image right)

Silicone 3D Printing has also had a surge in recent years, seeing both the textile and 3d printing industries merge to create this garment is very interesting, and shows what innovations can be created using silicone.

As industry experts explore the vast possibilities of silicone in textiles, it's evident that this trend is set to reshape the future of fashion. The fusion of silicone technology with 3D printing further shows potential for revolutionary advancements in fashion.

Discover the latest advancements in silicone technology at Silicone Expo USA, co-located with the International Elastomer Conference, Rubber Division, ACS this September 10-12th in Pittsburgh. Explore exhibitors such as Elkem ASA, specializing in silicone for textile applications, and gain insights from experts at the Technical Conference!