In order to stimulate the progress in smart textiles, emerging developments need to be identified and selectively strengthened. Hence, this issue reports on a three-dimensional roadmap on smart textiles. It aims at contributing to set future actions in research, education and technology development. Research activities and technological developments are mapped, barriers and drivers of technological, strategic and societal and economical origins are identified. Finally, recommendations are phrased on how to overcome barriers and to progress in the field of smart textiles.