RFID implementation gives us new opportunities to track the entire course of a product’s existence. The textile industry and fashion garments have been proved too early adopters of RFID. Revolutionizing all aspects of fashion logistics from manufacturing through distribution and retail-based on effective item level identification of textiles and garments. The technology is expected to save billions of dollars by providing quick and accurate data of different textiles located in different locations at any point in time. The concept of RFID-Tex is typically a textile product that’s getting equipped with additional electrical/electronic components.
The primary objective of implementing RFID-Tex components is to perform an automatic identification function in an RFID system. Then further enhancements such as sensors, indicators, storage of producer or seller data can be added later based on the needs and requirements. The major barrier for automatic identification into different stages of the product life cycle (i.e., production, logistic, storage, shipping, trade, service, usage, maintenance, utilization, etc.) lies in its cost of implementation. RFID systems are dedicated to applying a single stage in a product cycle aren’t economically feasible in such implementation. Therefore, to have a uniform construction that could meet all expectations, the concept of RFID-Tex transponders evolved.
RFID-Tex antennas are fabricated using newly developed conductive materials or modern textile processing and production processes, such as sewing, embroidering, coating, weaving, knitting, spinning, laminating, printing, and chemical treatments. The most common method used is sewing conductive thread on the fabric materials. This method allows full control and map shapes of antenna structures; then, the chip is attached to the antenna circuit by gluing or soldering to the pads. These UHF tags operate in the frequency range from 860 MHz to 960 MHz and selected frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
The RFID-Tex can be used in all sectors of the economy wherever textiles are used like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, services, etc. These tags are excellent supporters of the world of the Internet of Textile Things (IoTT) as these are intended to be used in the whole lifecycle of an object or product. Generally, the RFID tags aren’t washable, and barcodes cannot be used in dry cleaning and washing. Technological advancements have overturned this scenario by stitching the RFID tags to the fabric of the garment that can hold up for multiple washing cycles and even withstand higher temperatures, even up to 40 to 60 degrees, with the help of flexible labels.
The current trend indicates that the RFID market will grow fast in the coming years, rising to $13 Bn. by 2022. It’s also projected that RFID will continue to be adopted for apparel applications alone, with demand over 10Bn. RFID labels as of 2019. Thus, the world will be very different once readers and tags are everywhere, thereby revealing its benefits to businesses and consumers.
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