Technology fuses brilliantly with textiles in a smart display of functional materials TAIWAN IS internationally recognised in the textile industry as a leader in functional fabric technology. It will be displaying its most recent developments at the Taiwan pavilion. Functional fabrics are closely linked with lifestyle, and fall into four main categories: fashion and casual wear, sports and outdoors, health and protective wear. Fashion and casual wear functional textiles are designed to keep the wearer feeling and looking cool. Wrinkle-free cotton adds value by ensuring that minimal care is required. Sun-protective fabrics are expected to attract much interest, and will be tested during the fair. The material is treated with a specially developed ultraviolet protective barrier that offers partial protection. Companies producing the fabric say they will continue to develop the product until it offers total protection. Also of note will be a display of environmental textiles that are recycleable or biodegradable. Sports and outdoor fabrics include those that are wind-proof, down-proof, quick-drying, moisture-absorbent or anti-mosquito. The wind-proof function will be tested at the fair for the first time. The organiser expects a lot of interest from sportswear consumers. Buyers for Asian countries will be drawn to the anti-mosquito materials, which contain a low-toxic insect repellent suitable for sensitive skins. The fabric is mainly used for outdoor garments and workwear, and is also part of the health range. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, negative ion and far-infrared are all examples of functional textiles developed with health in mind. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal materials contain organic and inorganic anti-agents that offer resistance to mildew, rot and bacteria. These products are expected to be popular with buyers from hot and humid regions. The negative ion function is used in both anti-bacterial fabrics and those without this property. Developed using nanotechnology, negative ion material creates a magnetic field that inhibits the reproduction of bacteria and lowers the risk of skin infection or irritation. It is said to increase circulation and eliminate toxins from the blood by breaking them down, allowing for more restful sleep. The cloth is often used in underwear, upholstery, bedding and the interiors of cars and aircraft. Protective wear includes fabrics with built-in soil-release, oil-repellent, flame-resistant, anti-static, reflective, electromagnetic and abrasion-resistance features. The organiser believes the added value of functional fabrics will be especially interesting to both exhibitors and visitors.