Medical or healthcare textiles are textile structures designed and produced for use in any of a variety of medical applications, including implantable applications.
Advanced medical textiles developments include wound healing and controlled release, bandaging and pressure garments, implantable (medical) devices, and smart textile products. The major societal changes such as the growing world population and ageing, hazards related to transport, chemicals, sports or climate change will increase the demand of effective and high performant medical textiles.
Innovations in fibre and manufacturing technologies for yarns, fabrics and composites result in new application areas for medical and high-tech protective textiles.
Textile developments in this field aim at enhancing security, comfort, user-friendliness and the e-monitoring of vital functions. The properties of textiles, including porosity, suppleness, flexibility combined with mechanical resistance and the enormous choice of materials (polymers, composite materials), forms (fibre, yarn, woven, knitted, braided, non-woven…) and functionalities (surface treatment, coating, compounding…) have turned them into the most appropriate material to answer the needs of patients, medical staff, athletes and of professionals exposed to risks.
Medical and safety-related technical textiles offer a major opportunity in product diversification and the creation of niche products with a high added value to textile manufactures.