Active Textile Fabrics from Weaving Liquid Crystalline Elastomer Filaments

Pedro E.S. Silva, Xueyan Lin, Maija Vaara, Mithila Mohan, Jaana Vapaavuori*, Eugene M. Terentjev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Active fabrics, responding autonomously to environmental changes, are the “Holy Grail” of the 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 has not been possible to produce filaments from LCEs that will be suitable for standard textile production methods, such as weaving. Based on the recent development of LCE fibers, here, the crafting of active fabrics incorporating LCE yarn, woven on a standard loom, giving control over the weave density and structure, is presented. Two types of LCE yarns (soft and stiff) and their incorporation into several weaving patterns are tested, and the “champions” identified: the twill pattern with stiffer LCE yarn that shows the greatest blocking force of 1–2 N cm−1, and the weft rib pattern with over 10% reversible actuation strain on repeated heating cycles. Reversible 3D shape changes of active fabric utilize 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 new stimuli-responsive actuating textiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2210689
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number14
Early online date25 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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


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