Smart Textile Services

Designing and Selling 'Soft Product' - 'Valuable Service' systems (Smart Textile Services) was about the development of successful methods, platforms, guiding principles and the business models required to understand the multi-disciplinary opportunities and challenges of creating Smart Textile Product Service Systems.

Innovation in the form of the combination of soft materials with high technology has led to the development of so-called Smart Textiles. These are of strategic importance for the European textile industry to sustain their competitive edge and to counter threats from low-labour cost producers.

Smart Textiles can conduct light, heat or currents; i.e. the textile becomes an interactive product and can now become part of larger product service systems (PSS). This opens up a vast field of opportunities for textile developers and product and service designers to combine their disciplines in the application areas of well being and life style.

To develop these complex PSS solutions, manufacturers need to move away from their current fragmented, slow or non-existent knowledge exchange methods and team up with relevant partners. Initial investment in this field has led to the design and development of an inspirational test-bed, called ‘Wearable Senses’ at TU/e.

What questions were answered?
Teams from 3 universities and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

How can the application of user-centred design methods discover, exchange and combine the theoretical principles, strong traditions and best practices within the domain of textile, interactive product and service design?
What are the methods and criteria for the different stakeholders to pass the transitions from the Incubation, Nursery and Adoption phases?
How can the creative industry illicit awareness about the opportunities and challenges of Smart Textile PSS through co-creation and the use of inspirational Test-beds?

What have the teams achieved?
A methodology and tools for the creative industries to translate societal issues into opportunities for Smart Textile PSS’s. An ‘inspirational test-bed’ where proposals for these systems are realised and studied in context.

Timeframe and communication:
Smart Textile Services started in 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we published articles in journals and conference proceedings in the fields of industrial design, computer-human interaction, empirical aesthetics ad health and care research. Progress was published via this website and explored in workshops.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology, the Design Academy Eindhoven and Saxion University of Applied Sciences;
Industry and Societal partners: Audax Textiel Museum, V2_, Waag Society, Modint, Contact Groep Textiel, Unit040 Ontwerp, Metatronics en De Wever

Project leaders
Prof. dr. ir. Caroline Hummels, Eindhoven University of Technology
Dr. Oscar Tomico, Eindhoven University of Technology

Dr. ir. Stephan Wensveen, Eindhoven University of Technology (until 2011)
Prof. dr. Kees Overbeeke, Eindhoven University of Technology (until 2011)


  • Interview with Marina Toeters Interview on smart fabrics conference
  • A designerly approach to enable organizations to deliver product service systems. Lille, CSH de, Roscam Abbing, E & Kleinsmann, MS Suggestions for professionals that wish to shift from a product-centered approach towards delivering product service systems Download
  • Crafting smart textiles: a meaningful way towards societal sustainability in the fashion field? Kuusk, K., Tomico Plasencia, O., Langereis, G.R. & Wensveen, S.A.G. A discussion of the role of craftsmanship and skills in developing materials with interactive properties in relation to the possibilities for societal sustainability. Download
  • Designing Smart Textile Services through value networks, team mental models and shared ownership. Bhomer, M. ten, Tomico Plasencia, O., Kleinsmann, M.S., Kuusk, K. & Wensveen, S.A.G. The contribution of this paper is to describe the initiation of a bottom-up approach aiming to co-design Smart Textile Services in collaboration with partners from the Dutch textile and technology industry, service providers, creative hubs and academic institutes Download
  • Research through design: a way to drive innovative solutions in the field of smart textiles. Toeters, M.J., Bhomer, M. ten, Bottenberg, E., Tomico Plasencia, O. & Brinks, G. The aim is to explore the opportunities and challenges of smart textiles. Download
  • The social fabric: Adopting the social value of craftsmanship for service design Baggerman, M., Kuusk, K., Arets, D., Raijmakers, B., Tomico Plasencia, O. The paper addresses the social component of craftsmanship in relation to service-design. The social aspects of learning craftsmanship are discussed in the light of how they could benefit the design of Product Service Systems. Download
  • Analysis of parallel collaboration assignments in smart textile design Toeters, M., & Brinks, G. Overlook at different projects and their collaboration within STS Download
  • Bedtime stories: Weaving traditions into digital technologies. Proceedings of the Nordic Design Research Conference 2013 Kuusk, K., Langereis, G., Tomico Plasencia, O. Download
  • Smart Textile Products and Services in Sustainability Context. Conference Paper: Proceedings of the Ambience Kuusk, K., Niinimki, K., Wensveen, S., Tomico, O. Download
  • Crafting Qualities in Designing QR coded. Embroidery and Bedtime —Stories. Kuusk, K., Wensveen, S., Tomico, O. Download
  • Making it real: successful service innovation through integrated service implementation Beck, C., Calabretta, G., De Lille, C., Van der Veen, O. This paper contributes to addressing how companies integrate service innovation in their organisational processes, structures, and value delivering systems. Inductive case study approach is used to characterize optimal service implementation and identify success factors in service implementation.  Download
  • From products to services: reflections on the challenges in designing for services Bhomer, M. ten, De Lille, C, Tomico Plasencia, O., Kleinsmann, M. This paper points to implications for designers who support organizations in the transition process from products to services based business models.  Download
  • Designing for Societal and Commercial Adoption of Smart Textile Applications Bhomer, M. ten Download
  • Imagining the prototype Brouwer, C. E. & Bhomer, M. ten Download
  • Interactive prototypes in the participatory development of product service systems Bhomer, M. ten, Brouwer, C. E., Tomico Plasencia, O. & Wensveen, S.A.G. Download
  • Vigour: smart textile services to support rehabilitation Bhomer, M. ten, Tomico Plasencia, O. & Hummels, C.C.M. Download
  • Growth plan for an inspirational test bed of smart textile services Wensveen, S., Tomico, O., ten Bhomer, M., & Kuusk, K. Download
  • Crafting Wearables: Interaction Design Meets Fashion Design Tomico, O., Zijverden, M. van, Fejer, T., Chen, Y., Lubbers, E., Heuvelings, M., Aissaoui, S., Schepperheyn, V. Describes Loom, part of a set of wearables [1] that explored the boundaries between the human body, its movement and the technological possibilities. The goal was to blend Phenomenology [2],
    interaction design, and fashion design in order to create new design practices.

    For a short movie, see:
  • Designers initiating open innovation with multi-stakeholder through co-reflection sessions. Tomico Plasencia, O., Lu, Y., Baha, S.E., Lehto, P. & Hivikoski, T. Download


  • BB Suit

    The BB.Suit showcases a new way of 3D knitting by embedding copper yarns for connecting Wifi and GPS technology inside
  • Unlace

    interactive lace lingerie garment which allows partners to connect by becoming more aware of touch, time and warmth.
  • Social Fabric

    Pieces of knowledge with and from people with relevant experience for future smart-textile applications were literally stitched together and connected while contemplating and discussing how all these pieces relate to each other and what ‘smart’ things we can do with them. 
  • Tactile Dialogues - Aesthetic

    Tactile Dialogues is a textile object in the form of a pillow with integrated vibration elements that react to touch. 
  • Vigour v2

    Vigour is a knitted long sleeve shirt with integrated stretch sensors made of conductive yarn,
     which monitors the movements of the upper body
  • Conductive Thermochromic crochet

    Thermochromic dyed textiles for developing smart textiles and body interaction
  • TexTales

    Augmented reality tailored storytelling
  • QR-coded traditions

  • Vibe-ing

    Vibration therapy care tool
  • Tender

    Light actuators within sensing knit
  • Print Dress (Test One)

    This dress is made out of textiles and 3D printed PLA. It tests the possibility to combine the 3D print techniques in combination with textile parts.
  • Spine Warming Dress

    This dress tests the functionalities of a newly developed conductive material applied to fashion.