Nanoengineered functional textiles are going to revolutionize the clothing that we'll wear. The potential of nanotechnology in the development of new materials in the textile industry is considerable. It could make possible the manufacture of textiles with entirely new properties or the combination of different functions in one textile material.

The first generation of nano-enhanced textiles benefitted from nano finishing: coating the surface of textiles and clothing with nanoparticles is an approach to the production of highly active surfaces to have UV-blocking, antimicrobial, antistatic, flame retardant, water and oil repellent, wrinkle — resistant, and self-cleaning properties. One stubborn hurdle that prevents nanomaterial-enhanced textiles from becoming more of a commercial reality is the insufficient durability of nanocoatings on textile fibers or the stability of various properties endowed by nanoparticles. Quite simply put, the 'smart' comes off during washing.

While antimicrobial properties are exerted by nano-silver, UV blocking, self-cleaning and flame-retardant properties are imparted by nano-metal oxide coatings. Zinc oxide nanoparticles embedded in polymer matrices like soluble starch are a good example of functional nanostructures with potential for applications such as UV-protection ability in textiles and sunscreens, and antibacterial finishes in medical textiles and inner wears.

Published a review paper on  February 26, 2016, online edition of ACS Nano («Nanotechnology in Textiles») discusses electronic and photonic nanotechnologies that are integrated with textiles and shows their applications in displays, sensing, and drug release within the context of performance, durability, and connectivity.

In these smart clothes,  the textile structures themselves perform electronic or electric functions. Ideally, the nanoelectronic components will be completely fused with the textile material, resulting in that textile and non-textile components cannot be differentiated and 'foreign particles' can no longer be seen or felt.

Based on Nanowerk Spotlight, 2019