Fields of research

This section gives a comprehensive overview of research activities of GEMTEX groups their main achievements and collaborations among them.

The overall importance of scientific research is evident. All the objects, real and virtual, are made as result of research activities. Highly profitable and flourishing industrial sectors are those where the research efforts and investments were the strongest. The situation in the Textile Retail complex is different. Research activities supposed to bring higher added value to textile based objects and products are not satisfying. Despite of efforts, the number of high quality scientific articles is not significant all over the world and particularly in Europe, comparing to the number of jobs and the annual turnover of our industry. This situation should change. The promotion of research activities in the Textile Retail complex are the main objectives of the GEMTEX laboratory. This is also done through the organization of International Scientific Conferences and exhibitions involving GEMTEX members as scientific committees members or even Conference Chairmen.

The GEMTEX laboratory scientific excellence, together with the relevance to industry or to GEMTEX goals, should be achieved by the important research efforts in the field of textile processes and materials. The purpose of the report on GEMTEX research activities is to outline various scientific activities of research group.

Human Centred Design Research Group




Decision support system, modelling and optimization of products, processes and organizational systems, human factors: perception, cognition and man/material/environment interactions, instrumentation and control



Regrouping the skills of 11 permanent teachers/researchers of GEMTEX Laboratory, this research group aims at developing advanced computational tools and instrumental and human measuring methods for design of advanced materials, such as multifunctional and intelligent materials, as well as personalized garments. Characterization and modelling of human factors, including expert knowledge on products and processes, consumer's perception (fabric hand, textile appearance, comfort and well-being), fashion styles and body shapes, and control and optimization of man/material/environment interface, constitute the key issues in the proposed design processes for materials and finished products. Modelling with learning from experimental data, human cognition and physical lows is the main computational tool used in this group. In the frame of these activities, 5 PhD students defended their thesis in 2010 and 2011, and 9 PhD students are carrying out their research projects.

The activities of HCD group are realized in strong cooperation with MTP group (Multifunctional Textiles and Processes) and MTC (Mechanics Textile Composites), in the frame of Sustainable development-based design for materials and processes, sensory design of advanced materials, and design of smart textiles and also in structural health monitoring of composites using flexible fibrous sensors and adapted miniaturized electronic devices. About 50% PhD students working on the topics of HCD are supervised by researchers of these groups.




Our research group is working around the following topics:


1 - Personalized product design using virtual prototyping



This theme aims at developing a new design concept called « man/garment/environment interface»., which requires collaborations between different areas. Its main objective is to integrate virtual prototypes, sales elements, fashion styles and wearer's fitting comfort into the same design process by suitably applying garment CAD software and modelling textile structures and human bodies. 


2 - Sustainable development-based design for materials, processes and supply chain



This theme first aims at developing a number of multi-criteria decision support systems for evaluating textile processes, materials and organizations of the textile supply chain in terms of environment, human health and social impacts.


3 - Computerized design of advanced materials using decision support systems



This theme aims at optimizing multifunctional material design using decision support systems and intelligent techniques (fuzzy logic, neural network, genetic algorithms). In the activities of this theme, there exist strong collaborations with the group MTP (Multifunctional textiles and processes). The problems encountered in computerized design for materials mainly include modelling of processes and textile materials with insufficient data, formalization and analysis of human knowledge on processes and products, searching for optimal design of experiments with few tests.

For modelling textile materials, the research work is focused on

  • extract and select relevant structural features of materials using image analysis,
  • modelling the relation between structural features of materials and functional properties using neural network and data clustering,
  • developing decision support systems for material design with multi-criteria,
  • modelling and simulate pore structure of textile materials (yarns and nonwoven) using image analysis and fuzzy techniques




4 - Sensory design: integration of human perception and cognition into design processes



This theme aims at characterizing consumer's perception and cognition (sensory quality of textiles) and integrating them into the design process for textile materials and finished products (sensory design). The techniques of sensory and multi-sensory evaluation as well as advanced computing (fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, data fusion, clustering) are used in the developed methods.


5 - Smart and multifunctional textiles



In this section the concept of intelligent textiles and apparel developed in our laboratory is introduced.

The term intelligent textiles and apparel describes a class of textile structures that has active functions, in addition to the traditional properties of clothing. These novel functions, or properties, are obtained by utilizing special textiles or electronic devices, or with a combination of the two. Thus, a sweater that changes colour under the effect of heat could be regarded as intelligent clothing, as could a bracelet that records the heart rate of an athlete while he/she is exercising.

There are three categories in which intelligent clothing can be classified:

  • Clothing assistants that have a memory, store information and carry out complex calculations;
  • Clothing monitors that record the behaviour or the health of the person;
  • Regulative clothing that adjusts certain parameters, such as temperature or ventilation.




Multifunctional Textiles and Processes Research Group




Surface functions, Interfaces, Sensors Actuators, Smart textiles


The scientific themes developed in the group "Multifunctional Textiles and Processes" have globally for ambition to confer to textile structures (fibres, woven and knitted fabrics, nonwovens) new functional properties, to contribute to the sustainable development of the textile materials, and at last to understand and master the relationships between the manufacturing processes and the properties of materials.





The topics are :


1 - Nanostructuration of textile materials



The basic constitutive element of a textile structure remains fundamentally the fibre. With the development of technical textiles and the idea to give to the textile material a strong added value, the strategy consisting in functionalizing the material in order to offer him original properties has gradually emerged. Whether it is of natural, artificial or synthetic origin, the fibre became the object of numerous transformations, either in bulk or on its surface. Moreover, the exploitation of nanotechnologies applied to textile since a dozen years, as well as the development of smart textiles allowed a very important development of this kind of materials and their applications.


2 - Surface treatments of textile structures



Technical textiles are more and more extensively used in the field of medical applications. Since 2007, GEMTEX laboratory develops activities concerning the functionalization of textile structures which will be in contact with a living environment (bacteria, proteins,...), either for antibacterial purposes or for the delivery of drugs and medicines.



3 - Relationships between processes and textile products properties Environmental quantification



The functional properties of a textile product are given by the application field. In order to enhance the main property, to get new properties, or to go to multifunctional textiles, the process needs to be fully understood. The main parameters for the design of new products concern the use of new fibres, and the development of structures with different fibres association, multilayered or with different organization. This has been studied in the field of yarn spinning, knitted fabrics and mostly nonwoven fabrics. The different applications of textile structures include structural composites, thermal and acoustical isolation, filtration and separation, liquid management, biological applications and non-structural mechanical properties. From an environmental point of view, improvements may be provided by the use of new raw materials, which in turn will change the process, or by the use of best available technologies, which have to be developed.


 Mechanics Textile composites Research Group




Modelling, simulation, structural parts, aeronautics, armour, ballistic



The MTC research group focuses on two main fields of application of textile composite structures: Ballistics and Composite structural parts. In the first part of this section research activities related to ballistics and weaving of textile structures able to stop projectiles and debris. Second part is dedicated to novel approaches enabling the design and manufacturing of structural composite parts mainly for aeronautics applications.


The group topics are : 


1- Ballistics


Based on the development of specific dobby weaving loom adapted for multi-layer woven fabrics, different 3D warp interlock structures have been defined, optimized and produced to give, first, a better knowledge of the final geometry of multi-layer fabrics and, second, a new solution to protective material against ballistic impacts with different velocities and threats.


2 - Textile reinforced composites


Working since 1999 in collaboration with Airbus, EADS and other industrial partners, our team proposed several solutions for new composite carbon parts. In 2002, stitching and tufting (PhD, Ms) combined with braiding or weaving lead to stiffeners reinforcements. In 2006, weaving interlocks structures; we study for interlaminated shearing, were a good answer for low speed impact resistance of composite parts.

Our research team is also involved in design and conception of novel textile machines and structures as the Corner Fitting (ALCAS 6th FP) which leads to 9 patents in collaboration with Airbus Company.



- back to top -