The shape-memory material is a term used to describe a type of materials/fabrics that return to a specific shape, after being exposed to specific temperatures. This process of changing can be repeated several times and therefore are materials capable of remembering their original shape. They can be regarded what is called intelligent textiles. Shape-memory alloys (e.g. Cu–Zn–Al, Fe–Ni–Al, Ti–Ni alloys) are already in use in biomedical applications; guidewires, orthodontic wires as cardiovascular stents. The shape-memory effect of these materials is based on a martensitic phase transformation. Shape memory alloys, such as nickel–titanium, are used to provide increased protection against sources of (extreme) heat.
The material properties get activated by variations in temperature, below or above or two-way activation, and therefore a reversible variation of the shape is possible, which is a necessary condition for protection purposes in textiles used to resist changeable weather conditions. In products, a shape-memory alloy is usually in the shape of a spring, Incorporated in layers so that materials above it might change shape closer to body temperature. For clothing applications, the desirable temperatures for the shape-memory effect to occur will be close to body temperature. Established applications for shape-memory alloys also include domestic appliances (e.g. shower mixer valves, coffee makers and rice cookers) and utility applications (e.g. safety shut-off valves for fuel lines in the event of a fire, and air-conditioning systems).
See an example of textiles working with such technologies Di Mainstone – Haute Couture with a touch of Tech
Check out a cool site for people that are into shape memory materials and fashion: Hello Materials Blog
ECO-FASHION-DENIM AND DIAGRAMS DICTIONARIES OVERVIEW