Continued Experiments and Prototyping

The next Coco Chanel will be a coder - Federico Marchetti CEO YOOX Net-A-Porter



At the beginning of the day we had a great conversation with Lisa Yang of ThePowerHouse. She sees the future of fashion incorporating smart textiles and garments with more functionality allowing them to be more adaptable and customizable. This will ultimately lead to more sustainable habits, as we will require fewer individual garments.


The rest of the day we did further experiments for our design and worked on a basic prototype to demonstrate the functionality of our textile.


We ran into many problems today, with all of the elements of our prototype.


We were developing a textile that incorporated stretch in the weft, but found that without non-stretch weft yarns at intervals throughout the textile, it looses shape and integrity. We had done a smaller sample which was successful, but it had been place between other samples which we did realize had the effect of keeping the textile flat.


Another issue we ran into both yesterday and today is the translucent nature of the therm-chromic ink. Yesterday we found that it would not cover the pattern we were working on. Today we realized it does not create a particularly dramatic change within our textile sample.


I created a simple sample to demonstrate the concept of our idea. What this actually demonstrated was many of the issues we were running into. I made a pleated sample printed with thermochromic ink to demonstrate the different changes within the peaks and valleys of our fabric. The first issue is that the thread used to heat the peaks of the sample did not create a very large change, making it hard to detect. I tried to solve that issue by using wider conductive tape. The wider tape did change a larger area of the ink, but the base fabric is so light that the dark tape can be seen through it, negating the color change. I have painted another darker layer of therm-chromic ink on top of the sample. We will see if this remedied the issue tomorrow.


Another challenge we are working on is using a stretch sensor as a switch for the conductive threads. When the garment is stretched a certain amount, the conductive threads heat, causing the color change in the ink. This required a bit of experimentation, to see how the stretch sensor registered change in resistance and translating this to the threads through Arduino. After much testing, we have set a threshold for the stretch. Once we get the therm-chromic ink to create a visible change on the sample, this should work. We will see tomorrow.

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