7th September 2001 at 01:00
TEXTILE INNOVATION, TRADITIONAL, MODERN AND SMART TEXTILES. By Ros Hibbert pound;35 plus pound;3 postage. Line (Ridgewell Press) 27 Westcombe park Road London SE3 7REE-mail: textile.innovation@binternet.com

This exciting book is targeted at students on key stage 4, AS and A-level Textile Technology courses and focuses on the development of the wide range of fibres and materials becoming available.

The first of the three chapters gives an overview of traditional fibres and fabrics, looking not just at performance but also at the environment - sustainable raw materials and environmentally friendly wastage and recycling processes. This is a welcome feature throughout the book.

Chapter two covers non-traditional fibre sources - a huge range from peat to paper, metal to nano and bio fibres - and looks at the way textiles engineering has made this diversity available to us.

The final chapter, New Properties and Finishes, gives a fascinating insight into the future.

Advances in textiles are already with us in Gore-Tex clothing, shoes, thermal wear, high-performance sports clothing and club wear. But what next? Smart and inter-active textiles are designed to respond to the wearer's environment. Thermochromic and photochromic dyes allow fabrics to change colour in response to temperature or light.

Conductive fibres make wearable electronics or computers possible. Why carry a personal stereo when it could be an integral part of your high fashion outfit? No wires, no weight, just sound. This is exciting stuff.

This book is a very well designed and clearly written photocopiable resource, giving all the technical information students will need to cover the requirements of the new syllabuses.

The attractive page layouts include bulleted margin notes and question boxes and there are more than 100 useful website addresses and an extensive list of teachers' resources at the back. It is a must for teachers of post-14 Textile Technology courses.

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