Thursday, 20 November 2008

Techno Threads

Highlights from the Techno Threads exhibition

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Joanna Berzowska - Kukkia & Vilkas: kinetic electronic garments

From seed to Saf

This is the journey of the cotton that is used to create all of Saf's clothing. They are an ethical Organic clothing brand. Michael Conway, managing director of Saf, says,

'The clothing industry is pretty nasty - 20 000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning. Cotton uses 3 per cent of the world's arable land and 25 per cent of pesticides. We are producing a sustainable, organic product that also doesn't use child labour.'

A Cotton Field
A cotton field

Cotton Seed
Cotton seeds

Cotton Bales
Cotton bales

Spinning Cotton

Spinnning cotton

Cones of Cotton
Cones of cotton

The Knitting Machine
The knitting machine

<span class=
Greige rolls of fabric


For more information on Saf 'Socially aware fashion' see the Design Week's website:)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The gadget show on textiles

Love the protective clothing idea, also the computer keyboard... could this be a viable option for reducing wastage due to production and upgrading of existing computers...?

Heat sensitive fabric

Possibility, adapt this technology for my main study for interchangeable images on a garment...

How can this be taken further...?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Optical Technology

The future of textile printing...?

Microsoft touch light... what could the possibilities be of using this technology to project images onto a garment. Always moving and changing...

Leads me back to the idea of temporary printing by Random International...

Any desirable image or text could be printed for a short time... what would be the limitations on colour choice? Provides a vast flexibility for the user and promotes individuality. People can create their own image and identity.

Philips light emitting textiles... another possibility in the development of wearable technology to enhance personal identity and uniqueness. Any image could be displayed and changed with ease depending on mood, circumstance etc...

Re-use your old clothes

Kathleen Mclaughlin a innovative product designer has come up with a concept to re-use your favorite tired old garments that you don't want to throw away, by giving them a new lease of life and bringing them back as contemporary candelabra lights.

I think this is a fantastic idea as we all have old favorites that we don't want to part with but no longer wear. This idea has great scope and can be a framework for a variety of customising or re-incarnation if you like services.

There are sites such as Thread Banger offering step by step tips and tricks to update and customise your existing wardrobe... the one below is one of my favorite:)


**Jumper Skirt Tutorial**


1 XL (Extra Large) T-shirt

1 pair of scissors

1 sewing machine
1 good sewing hand

1 set of straight pins
1 set of glass tipped straight pins (recommended)

1 Iron

1 Yard stick, ruler or measuring tape

1 piece of tailor chalk, crayon or water soluble pencil (in a contrasting color)

1 Seam ripper, nail scissors, or cuticle remover

Depending on your experience, this project should take from one to two hours at the most.

NOTE!!*** Each step that instructs you to "sew" use a number 2 zig-zag stitch to retain stretch in the T-shirt. ***
Okay lay out your shirt, we are going to divide the shirt into three pieces: the skirt, the straps and the waistband.

The straps will be the first to be cut.

First, you will need to remove the stitches from the bottom hem of the shirt. Do this by using either your scissors or seam ripper

Once you have removed all the stitches, it will look like this.

Press open the unstitched hem with your iron.

Measure and mark 5" from the bottom of the newly opened hem and measure and mark 14" across.

Cut this rectangle out from both sides of the shirt.

Do not cut the fold.

Fold in half, pin, and cut.

Now fold each piece in half, pin and sew raw edges together.

When finished cut off the excess.

With the straps you can do one of three things:
1 You can leave them as they are and not turn them inside out.
2 Press the straps with the hem in the middle
3 Turn the straps inside-out and press seam on one side.

If you decide to turn the straps inside-out:
Attach a safety pin to one end of the straps.
Guide the safety pin inside of the strap as if it were a casing for elastic.
Keep guiding it through until the entire strap has the seam on the inside.

Pin down with glass tipped pins and press flat with iron (starch is recommended) with seam on one side.

Right now your shirt bottom should look something like this:

Next is the waistband.

You cut two separate parts from the shirt, one from the bottom of the shirt, another from the top of the shirt.

First measure and mark a 5"x10" (the 10" should be what is left of the bottom).

Cut that square off, do not cut the fold.

After the cut you should have a 5"x20" rectangle.

For the skirt measure and mark an 18"x21" rectangle from the new bottom of shirt, cut.

Reverse the rectangle and pin only the sides together.

Sew the pinned sides.

For the waistband, cut off sleeves from the leftover of shirt, open at seam.

Lay your first waistband piece on top, pin and cut around.

*Each person's size is different so "pinch and pin" sides of waistband to get desired fit, mark and sew.*

Pleat the skirt to the waistband, remember to pin the side seams of the waistband and skirt together first, to get an even match of pleats.

Pin pleats, and sew.

To finish the raw edges, sew a 1/2" hem at both ends (bottom of skirt, and top of waistband)

Attach straps to waistband: about 3" from side seam at the front.

Adjust the strap length to your desired fit, pin straps ends to the back of waist band 3" from side seam, pin.

Sew each strap end at top of waistband seam with a box stitch (a continuous stitch that creates a box with and X on the inside)

Try on, make and size adjustments (since this is made from a T-shirt, there should still be stretch when fitting on the jumper skirt, if not, adjust waistband with an elastic band or a zipper)

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Jan Chipchase: Our cell phones, ourselves

Ethical Fashion Fair

People and Planet are organising an ethical fashion fair in Mono (downstairs in Dundee Students Union) on Sunday the 16th of November from 6pm. Come along and see whats on offer, there will be some charity shop stalls where you can buy second hand clothes and a swap shop as well. So if you have any clothes, shoes or accessories you no longer want why not bring them along and see what you can exchange them for:) Alternately you can just donate some of your old clothes for the event to People and Planet and whats left at the end will be shared between the charity shops.
There will also be a fashion show at 7pm and you can dress up in your clothes purchased on the day to win a prize for the best shopped charity shop outfit:)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Recycle more

I have found this website that describes itself as a 'one-stop recycling information centre'.

How ethical are Topshop...?

According to this advert for Kate Moss's range at topshop they are saying that they are a fairtrade retailer... They do have an ever growing people tree range but how ethical are topshop?

Monday, 3 November 2008

Thread Banger

Found this really interesting website giving tips and tutorials on how to customise and re-use old clothes. I especially liked the video below showing how to make a dress out of an old pair of trousers. Cleaver and relatively simple:)

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Electric Textiles

Georgia Tech researchers have taken an important step toward creating fabrics that could generate power from the wearer’s walking, breathing, and heartbeats. The researchers, led by materials-science professor Zhong Lin Wang, have made a flexible fiber coated with zinc oxide nanowires that can convert mechanical energy into electricity. The fibers, the researchers say, should be able to harvest any kind of vibration or motion for electric current…

By the researchers’ calculations, a square meter of fabric made from the fibers could put out as much as 80 milliwatts–enough to power portable electronics. The development could make shirts and shoes that power iPods and medical implants, curtains that generate power when they flap in the wind, and tents that power portable electronics devices.

MIT Technology Review

This is truly amazing technology, the possibility that you would be able to generate all the power you needed as you went about your life:)

see Layers of Meaning

Next Nature

Next Nature

How can we get to next nature...? What needs to change and how will we go about implementing such changes? Think possibly it is a cycle as demonstrated above. We have to learn from our mistakes and possibly return to older practices of eating seasonal foods, and growing our own. Not so long ago everything was natural and organic, seems strange we now pay premium prices for things the way they should be...

Light Reactive Printing...?

Ever since seeing the DYMO label printer in the summer I have been wondering how this technology works and if it could be used on a larger scale... really want to understand more about this technology and how it could possibly be adapted to suit what I would like to use it for.

Have found this video on YouTube, the image is only visible for 45 seconds or so, I'm wondering if their is a way to make it more permanent...


the possibilities are really encouraging in the step towards a more sustainable future. Think of a long lasting well made piece of clothing that could be exposed time and time again to show different patterns and colours for the changing seasons. Images would be printed with UV light not inks or dyes. This could be a great compromise to 'fast-fashion' without all the endless waste going into landfills. Less resources would be getting utilised for the clothing industry as well as their would be less garments being produced and shipped. The environmental factors would have to be addressed as I'm not sure how this technology works and the energy/chemicals needed to produce these results. It does seem like a fantastic opportunity though.

Random International

How it works:
Inside the wall is a Roland DPX-3300 plotter connected to a computer. With a soldering iron the plotter draws on a canvas which is layered with thermochromatic ink. The canvas is heated partially and changes its color. After the heat diminishes the color changes back to its original state.
With this alternative display it is possible to write w
ords or draw simple illustrations. An interface was developed in processing to record the drawings of the cursor.
Video of El Muro.
(we make money not art, 01.11.08)

What about this, people could design the look of their own clothes with a technology such as this...

Perhaps people would feel more connected to their clothes if they were able to express themselves as individuals and show who they are with their clothes. Could decide for themselves the exact shade or patterning etc instead of having it dictated to them...?

Other possibilities...

Above Digital Dawn, a light reactive window blind by Loop.pH a design company which use electroluminescent technology, colour and light in their design and Research.

Above is Blumen's electronic wallpaper display "The wallpaper is built up from a number of addressable cells forming a repeating pattern across the surface. Each cell can be addressed individually and when connected to sensors Blumen becomes an animated pattern, emerging and altering in response to its environment. Temporal Light takes a similar approach, embedding the electroluminescent material into tiles which act as pixels in the display."
(Mr Watson, 01.11.08)

Kathy Schicker textile designer who weaves with light.

'How does it work? Her light reactive textiles using new and smart yarns that emit, reflect or react to light, including reflective, phosflurescent and photochromic yarns.'
(talk to my shirt, 01.11.08)

'These fabrics are white until they are exposed to sunlight, when colour and pattern is magically revealed. The sunlight also charges the textile, so it glows in the dark.

A brilliant idea using sunlight to bring textiles to life. Sun light is working for us already as energy provider via soft solar panels in bags and clothing. This Solar reactive textiles convert the solar energy to transform the textile patterns without the need of electrical power or wires.

This is to most environmental friendliest use of solar energy I have seen.'

(talk to my shirt, 01.11.08)

Christine Keller a weaver, researcher and tutor uses Retroglo a reflective yarn in her work. She is "especially interested in the perspective the clash of tradition and newest technology gives us"

"Retroglo high luminescent yarns are high reflective yarns used at present mainly in safety equipment. Produced in a newly developed jacquard technique, these pieces respond to light in unexpected and unknown ways. The viewer experiences a space where images appear and disappear on the structures through illuminations of various kinds. Due to the properties of Retroglo yarns two layers of visual appearance, alternately visible, are integrated in one fabric."

(, 01.11.2008)

'Shimmering Flower (above) deploys a simple technology for nonemissive, color-change textiles. It functions as a woven animated display, constructed with conductive yarns and thermochromic inks together with custom electronics components. The textile is woven on a Jacquard loom, which allows the creation of beautiful and complex imagery. The flower image was created with custom drawing software.'

(Joanna Berzowska, 2004)

Retroglo as well as Uni-Glo is a phosphorescent yarn, may offer some possible usable technologies in light reflecting textiles.