Feel this fabric

Spain (Bilbao)

A picture paints a thousand words – but when it comes to fashion, there’s a lot more to say. Texture is everything: we love our clothes for being soft or silky, fluffy or fuzzy, and for how they feel against our skin. But in a digital world, we can’t feel fabrics before we buy them. Senstile is here to change this, with technology that captures information about fabrics’ sensory properties.

Senstile have developed a special sensor that ‘reads’ textiles – their visual properties (colour, pattern, shape) as well as their chemical composition, structure, and differences in quality that may not be visible or touchable. AI algorithms are trained to understand the fabrics’ mechanics, and the information is then translated into a file called a CGSA (computer-generated sense attributes). This data is attached to the material and carried with it through its journey. Today Senstile is focused on bringing to the market their powerful search engine that filters fabric options based on their ‘touch and feel’ properties.

Zhanna Naymankhanova, founder of Senstile, explains that, “unfortunately, due to fast fashion and digital media, the materials we use lost their importance. With fashion in crisis, it is critical to pay attention to materials, for both professionals and consumers.” 

Senstile’s data can change how the fashion supply chain operates, affecting the way people make, sell, buy and discard clothes. The main goal is transparency: it gives complete and objective data about a garment’s quality. Senstile’s ambitions are to develop the solution to the level where it can indicate recyclability as well as how much the garment has been used – a gamechanger for the second-hand clothing market.

“The online world gives us unlimited possibilities for product searches,” Zhanna adds “but offline we get more information on the product and therefore can match our expectations and be more critical. I have created Senstile to balance these two worlds, taking the best from both physical and digital.” 

AtlasAction:  Textile digitisation is a new field with much to explore. Join Senstile in this exciting journey and change the way we think about materials for a better world.

Written by

Becca Warner (28 September 2020)

Project leader

Zhanna Naymankhanova


Senstile are finalists in 2020’s European Social Innovation Competition, which is organised by the European Commission, with the support of a consortium of organisations. The consortium is led by Nesta Challenges and includes Kennisland, Ashoka Spain, the European Network of Living Labs, and Scholz & Friends. ‘Reimagine Fashion: Changing behaviours for sustainable fashion’ calls on applicants to find new, creative ways to reduce the overall environmental footprint and improve the societal impact of the fashion market, so that we can bring the joy back into fashion, without the harm.

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