Myant’s Skiin underwear reinvents the most universal of garments, embedding boxers, briefs and leggings with a broad range of fitness and health functions. There is yarn being spooled out by equipment on the factory floor at Myant Inc.’s 80,000-square-foot facility near Pearson Airport in Toronto. There are knitting machines, with ready-to-wear garments emerging from them.
But you’ll find no rows of workers at sewing machines or scraps of fabric or many other trappings of a conventional textile factory. Which is how the company’s executives want it, because Myant’s mission isn’t to make clothes but to build the world’s first textile-based computing platform.
Much of the innovative genius in Myant’s approach to textile manufacturing is in the details you can’t readily see.
The company’s first clothing brand, for example, is an underwear line called Skiin, which is made of yarn that comes not from spun cotton or the wool of a sheep but from conductive polymers produced in a process akin to 3-D printing. This yarn is embedded with nanoparticles –microscopic sensors that allow the resulting textile to send and receive information, detect the body’s vital signs and deliver heat and pressure, like a knitted Fitbit.