Enhancing The Functionality of Traditional Interior Textiles with Integration of Optical Fibers

Zi qian Bai, Jeanne Tan, Clare Johnston, Xiao ming Tao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The colors of traditional interior textiles cannot be changed. With the development of hi-tech textiles, interior textiles and furnishings with changeable colors are now possible with the integration of optical fibers. In this article, a study on the design of optical fiber integrated photonic interior furnishings is presented. First, the applications of polymeric optical fibers (POFs) in textiles are reviewed. It is observed that although there have been a wide variety in applications of POFs in textiles, research on the application of POFs in interior furnishing is rarely reported. The gap between technology and design handicaps the usability of photonic products. In order to design user-friendly photonic soft furnishings, a new design method is explored. Both technical and design aspects are considered in the development of photonic soft furnishings. A prototype of photonic fabrics and soft furnishings is successfully created. A usability test is undertaken to evaluate the performance of the prototype. The result of the usability test reveals that most of the subjects are satisfied with the overall performance of the prototype. They believe that photonic interior furnishings with changeable colors can enhance the environment. These usability test results are fed back to the design framework, and can provide a good source of reference for the improvement of photonic soft furnishing in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalResearch Journal of Textile and Apparel
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Illumination
  • Photonic Soft Furnishing
  • Polymeric Optical Fiber Fabric
  • Textile Design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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