Smart fabrics were developed in the late 1990s, as a technique that allows designers to embed electrical circuits into garments so that they can become interactive to the users. As smart fabrics are in direct contact with the skin of the user, it accurately senses the body moves of the customer. Weaving electronics into clothing requires that the electronic component is small, lightweight and flexible like a fiber. To be durable, it must be embedded into the fabric at the first stage of the process.
Smart fabrics are used by designers to add light colors to the apparel, and as a tool to monitor the health of the users, as it can track the users’ vitals such as the heart rate, the breathing and walking pattern, among others. Many technology companies[which?] are planning to embed their electronics into clothing to create smart fabrics.
3D printing offers alternative advantages that regular apparel does not, such as customization, unique structure and patterns, sustainability, lower price, convenience and less lead time.