Critical contextualisation and wearable technologies

Each of the following was chosen to give an overview of the fields that encompass fabrics, wearables and technologies and science. There are different kinds of information about textiles and technology studies available; some are in catalogue forms, showing culminations of various practitioners giving a brief description of the study. Other forms are like MIT’s courses in ‘High Low Tech’ ( MIT, High Low Tech) which have blog information available. The blog style approach doesn’t give details but shows more examples. MIT are one of the leading universities in this area of study, they also mediate work, which is very useful as some of this includes pieces that didn’t work at all, and this being recognised is very worthwhile.  Meaning if you can find this information you don’t have to make the same mistakes, you can think round the problem or see how it relates to personal projects, speeding up developments and enhancing quality. Several of these studies can be found on the New Textiles course site, lead by Leah Buechley creator of LilyPad, (Buechley, L. 2012, New Textiles). LilyPad ( LilyPad )is a collection of sewable electronic components, a prototyping platform like Arduino for testing concepts. This platform also gives room to test as to whether the individual could take active control over the use of their technology, e.g. If used within the glove the individual could use it to work out the best temperature reactions for themselves. I also believe giving the sufferer control over their condition improves their personal experience, therefor improving their well-being. MIT’s course ‘High Low Tech’ aims to take technology to a level where anyone in any cultural situation could connect up a circuit using traditional textile and material processes. Examples include: Pu Gong Ying Tu (Dandelion Painting),

Very simply if you blow at the dandelion flowers the seeds seemingly disperse and the flowers slowly grow back ready to be blown about as seeds again. The aim of the MIT group is certainly not complex technology but pieces that can be meaningful and can be looked after by anyone with any cultural background, whatever their knowledge of technology. This allows people to become involved with technology in a ‘hands-on’ way, communally, emotionally and culturally.

Our primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies by situating computation in new cultural and material contexts, and by developing tools that democratize engineering.

Buechley, 2012 ‘High Low Tech’

GLOVE- Conceptual developments

The materials chosen took research, testing and of course had to be available or within budget. I also strove to find materials with as much evidence as to their properties and testing as possible. Not all materials were well described, one in particular was described as a ‘thread’ and after some convincing the company sent me some samples, the material that arrived was a hard wire, though bendable not a useable material as a subtle heating element for fingers at all.


Another material, which I managed to obtain a sample of, offered even more than I expected, with the right circuit connections the thin, fine material could not only detect temperature but also warm up creating a thermal map of an area. This would be an ideal layer to the glove concept however the cost of further material and time testing and forming the thermal map would be great in finance and time. When I found this I knew not only would I be forming a concept and a prototype but my research would also form the outline of the optimum item. This could then be taken on as further research beyond the course and developed into a product, providing the concept was accepted and understood and that tests confirmed the advantages to be great enough to warrant its development.

The glove prototype would therefore have to evenly as possible warm the fingers and the technology would have to be simple to understand and alter details such as temperature sensed at which the glove reacts. This way the prototype would be able to most accurately prove the concept in medical advantage. However this is not the only concern, the glove also needs to be practical as well as aesthetic and these are 2 very important factors.

Part of the aesthetic comes in as with medical conditions we have a culture of Dr. patent confidentiality and I don’t see why this shouldn’t extend to any medical related clothing, therefore the glove should look like any other glove or not give away any of its medical intentions. This then leaves passing the knowledge on up to the wearer, although if the wearer were to shake someone’s hand whilst the glove is warm it may lead to questions, even then no medical condition could be mentioned just the fondness of warm hands.

The glove should also be desirable as an item to own from its looks, many medically related devices are perceived as clinical looking and cold, this should seem attractive and trustworthy so that the looks would not put off anyone who could benefit from the function. Also there are already gloves with a heat source within, these are large and chunky. During my case study my subject showed me what the NHS had given them, the glove was a designed for skiers and very chunky. As the subject is most affected at work these were unhelpful as the subject when wearing them would be unable to type. A this design aspect here is key, as long as the glove is fitted, preferable stretchy to an extent, the user would be able to conduct many day to day tasks whilst wearing them.

To surmise, to fully test the concept the prototype must show fitted fingered gloves for functionality, an aesthetically pleasing design with discretionary technology so the wearers able to access but not necessarily have on show and operate accurately.

The initial prototype showed that it is possible to monitor the temperature


This gave me the opportunity to further the project with a positive result, knowing the temperature sensing works gave me the opportunity to focus on materials and pin pointing the concept and how the project will communicate this to the public and to those with a more academic interest. (Explaining things simply for anyone to understand or explaining the work in more detail to get more detailed points made clearly.)

I then researched various materials for the main glove to see if there’s any particularly good material or blend for flexibility and maximum movement of hands as well as keeping warm for the thickness. Often if a particular material works its used widely for that application, and in keeping warm wool is one of the best materials for a thin, yet flexible and fitted glove outcome. This lead to what would work with the wool, the researched pointed towards gloves recommended for Raynaud’s as similarly with wool there are basic materials that have been used and trusted and more recently put to scientific testing to give further evidence as to why the material is good.

From here I began researching warming methods that could be utilized on a glove and in ways that benefit Raynaud’s sufferers. This took a lot of research, as I want to be careful not to burn anyone and to work in the concept. As this piece has a direct interaction to the wearer I would like it to be as safe as possible.

Heating element wise out of about 50 companies I contacted by phone and email that in some way advertised around 5-10 got back to me in some way, 1 offered samples, 1 I was able to get a sample from after multiple emails over a month or so, most of the companies were un able to send anything or described the item in enough detail so I could work out that it was not the right material.

After testing would I could get a hold of the main 2 one was not as described and one although would be very good would also be very complex, able to sense temperature and heat up within the fine mesh.

Eventually I went back to a warm clothing company I had come across to try find something more specific, however after searching all I was able to find would be a special order and very expensive, so for the purpose of this concept to out put a prototype to show the points listed above I purchased an item sold by the warming clothing company and unravelled the relevant section to be able to show a working piece and conduct user tests. I have since spoken to more experienced people in the field of technology and textiles and they agreed that it is the best way to go as when it comes to making the product its self you would have your own, in this case ‘thread’ made.

Collaborations happen very often, I have found that if I talk to others in the Culture Lab about any problem I am having eventually there’s a chance I will meet someone able to help me. The main people who have been helping me have gone through various codes or physics with me, explained how this works and made suggestions. In the case of my glove code I have had direct help from several people who have typed parts in and pointed out issues. For example I forgot to add a safety feature to the glove code and circuit so that if the battery was dead or the sensors didn’t work for any reason the glove would inform the wearer rather than the wearer believing the glove is looking after them when it is not.

As I am less confident with code I get as much advice and help as possible but each time the code is changed, I then spend time going through the code to make sure I know what each part is doing and have notes within the code just encase I forget what any one part does so if something needs altering I am able to alter it my self as easily as possible.

GLOVE for Raynaud’s, is there a need?

Raynaud’s effects 3-20% of the adult population worldwide, in the UK it may effect as many as 1 in every 9 women and 1 in every 12 men.

The blood vessels tighten and the supply is cut off, to re establish the supply a the best method is slow warming, if this can begin soon as possible following the on set of Raynaud’s, and well, there will be no pain or damage.

Blood vessels

Blood vessels are the tubes in which blood travels to and from parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are veins, arteries and capillaries.

Many treatments are available for Raynaud’s phenomenon. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and for those with a mild condition practical measures such as using hand warmers, thermal gloves and hats help to alleviate symptoms

If the condition is severe the GP can advise on the different types of drugs available, which include vasodilators – drugs which open up the small blood vessels. Patients often have to try several before they find one that works.

There are two types of Raynaud’s. It can either be:

  • primary: when the condition develops by itself (this is the most common type)
  • secondary: when it develops in association with another health condition

The causes of primary Raynaud’s are unclear. However 1 in 10 people with primary Raynaud’s will go on to develop a condition associated with secondary Raynaud’s such as lupus.

As well as other conditions causing this medications for various conditions can also cause Raynaud’s and as the drugs for severe cases are as above ones that may include vasodilators they can react with other medications, inter reacting medications is a specific concern for the elderly as they are often on a variety of medications. A couple advantages to a wearable solution are: the side effects, the consumable medications would come with various side effects that could impair life, whereas the external effect is direct and only has a negative possibility of working when not needed or not working when needed, the other is the cost, it takes 2 weeks to test a medication then 1 week break then another Dr.’s appointment to trial another drug, the cost comes in the time taken with the Dr and the cost of each drug, this would very quickly amount to much more than the cost of a technology enhanced glove.

With a body of stats and info I then began discussions, with such high numbers of people with Raynaud’s I was bound to know one. Once I had spoken to a few people and the word had begun to spread I found I knew a lot of people with some form of the condition, primary or secondary or who knew family and/or close friends with the conditions and were able to discuss their own or the person they knows concerns and issues. With this in mind I conducted a case study, a Raynaud’s sufferer volunteered to help me, filling in some questionnaires about their experience with the condition day-to-day and season-to-season. I also formed a more detailed booklet to see the differences between bare hands, normal gloves that the subject would usually use, gloves recommended for Raynaud’s sufferers and finally heating gloves. This would show weather the gloves of my design make a perceivable difference to day-to-day life. If the result is that there is no improvement with heated gloves compared to the subjects usual methods then the result would teach a great deal about the subjects condition. However various research does seem to point to gloves heating to particular temperatures being advantageous to the sufferer.

GLOVE – critical contextualisation

There are some clothes designed for heating that utilize materials and technology. WarmX are a German company who make clothing using a silver coated polyamide for a heating element. (WarmX, 2012). There are also several safety certificates and an “faq” that includes questions such as:

Can I burn myself while wearing the warmX-underwear?“ (WarmX, 2012, FAQ)

The products are aimed but not limited to, a middle aged plus market, which is reflected in their photographs and prices, I think their target group is important as when aimed at the younger generation the whole theme of the advertisement and information for heated clothing drastically changes.

Rip Curl, a surfing company, (RipCurl, 2012, H-Bomb) have developed a heated wet suit and rather than reassuring their clients merely with certificates they show videos of the battery cases being tested. This includes having metal rod thrust at the batteries to ensure any large impact would not cause any problems to the batteries as they are very closely attached to the wearer. Whereas with WarmX the battery pack was in an easily reached pocket attached with poppers so you could remove it at any time the heated wet suit is securely fixed in place. The power supply can only be removed when you are not wearing the wet suit

HAT- sun awareness, is there a need?

Sun exposure is something that everyone has to be aware of at some point, over exposure can go from burns to more serious issues such as cancer, under exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency.

( )

Avoiding sunburn can be very difficult. Unfortunately, getting sunburned is much more common that it ought to be. In a recent, survey conducted in partnership with iVillage, The Skin Cancer Foundation discovered that 42 percent of people polled get a sunburn at least once a year. ( )

Sun exposure is the main cause of malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

In the UK around 11,100 cases of malignant melanoma each year are linked to excessive exposure to sunlight and use of sunbeds.

( )

Issues of sun burn and skin cancer have been known for a long time, In 1918, Norman Paul of Sydney, Australia, first made the link between sun exposure and skin cancer in print with his book, The Influence of Sunlight in the Production of Cancer of the Skin. Many media campaigns have been made to try and remind the masses to be aware and take care in the sun, yet thousands still get sunburns that cause/develop into cancer. As technologies develop there are various ways we could monitor the UV intake. Although it must be said that there are those who use sunbeds knowing the risks they cause and still use them on a regular basis, showing that not all find skin cancer a concern over various trends and impulses.

Monitoring UV and comparing this to skin tone is a possibility yet technology like the sun has its side effects such as positive ions released form technology causing depression. With this in mind I wanted to look at a more personal awareness method that may spark up interest in the UK’s fast paced culture. Here I decided to look at materials that react to environment, some fabrics shrink 10% or stiffen with an electric current, some respond to temperatures. I chose to use Nitinol, or NiTi, an alloy of nickel and titanium. This alloy can be bendable by hand when below its transformation temperature, when it reaches the transformation temperature the wire will move into a pre designated shape. The transformation temperature is decided by the exact percentage of nickel to titanium in the wire, 50.5%nickel would be around a 25-30 degree transformation temperature and 48% nickel would be around 60-70 degrees transformation temperature. Although this is a simple equation finding this to purchase at lower temperatures

Many are unsure of sun exposures and not all will ask or search for answers and technology is helping in this such as mums net conducting a Q&A with a Dr. however there will still be a large number who would not think to consult ‘mumsnet’ about this issue even if they were a member of ‘mumsnet’.

These studies show how each concept could improve the well-being of many, those both with and without conditions of heightened sensitivity to UV or cold temperatures.

HAT  Critical contextualisation

Fashion Designer Hussein Chalayan in collaboration with Swarovski on their 111th anniversary created a collection inspired by the last 111years, wars, revolutions, political and social changes, all that shaped fashion (Chalayan, 2011). Chalayan used these to create a show called One Hundred and Eleven where the clothes morphed from high-necked Victorian through decades to today with 6 dresses. One Hundred and Eleven took place in 2006 for the spring/summer 2007. Here 2 of the outfits include hats. As all of the pieces were mechanically controlled the hats were no exception, one pulled the dress worn by the model into its brim and out of site, leaving the model naked, apart from the hat. These outfits most certainly for catwalk purposes showed aesthetics and thought, but do not show any sort of practical functionality, perhaps there is a functional reason for a hat holding the wearers dress, however this in not mentioned on any of the publications.

HAT – developments

From the GLOVE research in identifying a working prototype to show the concept and outline the optimum product I realised this would also be the best course for the HAT project.

Within the HAT project I also researched and tested a variety of materials, as the concept here is about awareness I wanted the visual to be powerful as well as the ‘function’. For this I researched both materials that react to various inputs and dye’s that react to various inputs, such as Ultra sound fabric. For the prototype using temperature based reactions showed the most promise. This way a prototype could be created that moves and changes colours/pattern for shows such as; gallery and catwalk. The movement and changes will be eye catching and memerable and the awareness angle then reminds and/or informs the public of issues surrounding sun exposure. Also the researched gained throughout the study looks at formulation of an ideal personal awareness system for sun exposure

Thermal dye and Nitinol test video.

1. colour test, 2. nitinol in fabric mini test (with thermal dye), 3. nitinol spring test, 4. 2nd nitinol in fabric test (without dye) 4. Nitinol in hot water, fast powerful reactions.

This led me to testing various forms of NiTi, the most common form that is used in orthodontic work. Even after researching places to get NiTi and the information about each piece when tested in person the results may not be as expected. This occurred for me in two ways, first the thickness of wire not as described, though this was in one case a miss read on my part. Second the temperature it reacts at, some materials need direct contact with the highest temperature to move, some will begin to react at a much lower temperature. Those that react at a lower temperature and move slowly are most useful, these show a gradual start then tend to spring into their predefine shape quickly.

Also it is possible to cause nitinol to move with electricity or power from a battery, I have made a point of not using any kind of electrical technology in the HAT. First reasons are weight and aesthetics, second is that electrical devices give off positive ions which have been seen to cause depression, particularly when on the body for prolonged periods. I wanted to specifically look at chemical ways to get round these issues and see if the public deems the concept to be of interest.

Research and testing altered and strengthened my concept and design, the research showing bad results of materials were just as useful to further design and research as the good results.

Main working developments

Nitinol tests

Early hat shape test, simple shape, effective look

The hair dryer simulated the heat needed for the nitinol to react. The circle shape is fixed with a hair clip and rolled up, reaction causes the test hat to cover the face.

Black daisy style

As apposed to a brim of nitinol I wanted to test how it would work as a series of nitinol petals.

The lamp creates enough heat for the wire to react, this allows the petal to open out.

The new reel of nitinol ordered came un baked, so I needed to raise its temperature to 500degrees then drop it quickly, this can be done with a hot air gun or as I am using a cooks blow torch outside, the ground and air cool down the wire after being heated.

The newer nitinol reacts much slower and at a much higher temperature, this may cause problems within fabric. However unlike the nitinol I had previously its does not have a super elastic quality.

The making of final HAT

In making the final hat I chose to sew the brim separately to first test the fabric works well with the nitinol, light enough and tight enough of a circle to open out fully and hold.

Using a patterned fabric meant aligning the patterns at the brim connection.

The pattern was chosen to show off the thermal dye, the shape and colour/ pattern change as well as to keep an eye catching image.

Summary and background

Summary and background
The aim of this project is to show potential of technologies that can be wearable and explain the concepts of each clearly. The 2 pieces in development show examples of this; a glove for temperature sensitivity such as Raynaud’s and a hat for awareness of the balance of sun exposure.
Background: Art, Science and Technology.
Previously my studies have looked at the divide between art and science, and how together the amalgamation of disciplines has promise. In many cases combining practises seen as very different have aided one another in very crucial ways. For example,… . 
In an email interview with James L. Acord, nuclear artist, I asked about what he thought of art and science:
“Currently art and science are largely divorced from each other.  We live in such a complex and specialized time that that a Leonardo da Vinci, simultaneously on the leading edge of both art and science, is imposable.  Although there may be as many artists on the planet as there are scientists the amount of societal support for science dwarfs art.  We live in the age of science and in most nations art has lost its prestigious role as a parallel giver of understanding. 
I would like to see a common and regular integration of artists and scientists working with and helping each other.  I would like to see every scientific panel and committee having an artist seated on it and every artist with a scientific need finding an open door.  And I would especially like to see artists and scientists collaborate on joint projects. My collaborations with scientists have enriched us both in unexpected ways.” (2010)
From the many studies reviewed I think this is a very clear understanding, there will of course always be discipline specialism but there is the opportunity now to close the divide. In David Dufty’s book ‘Loosing the head of Philip K Dick’ he describes the process of  creating the robot and how  artists were used to work on the physical head but also how this connects up to bring the facial features and expression into motion. Here Dufty remarks that what the artist Hanson does is particularly great as he takes an artist’s view on an engineering problem and solves it in a very efficient way. The collaboration between artist, scientists, engineers and mathematicians was only possible by  the scientists and the artist remaining open minded in their approach to the collaboration and project outcomes. Though Dufty doesn’t see this being a common collaboration as others in the sciences are very closed minded about how an artist, untrained in their specialism could be beneficial in any way.
A recent talk on TED showed how astronomy and its software have been able to first map some scans and information only previously seen as 2D/flat in medical procedures.
Also Golesworthy outlines some of the barriers he had to face in developing a new treatment for a heart condition as he used his engineering skills to repair his own heart and many others.
These specific barriers may not come with every combination of studies but it is also important to acknowledge discipline specific  language barriers as a a difficulty in combining arts and science with  acronyms taking on different meanings in difference disciplines. Therefore unless time is taken to ensure clarity misunderstandings will be commonplace.
In the field of art Eduardo Kac used genetics to engineer a glow in the dark rabbit. This is one of many art science works and shows a great moral debate of genetic modification of living beings. Seen as such a great issue in one rabbit yet scientists look into how genetics can be tested to ensure a male or female baby, or to even alter how the brain will develop. Showing how in what seems like a relatively small project looks at so much more, although that doesn’t mean the media understood what Kac did.
Material technology research continues combining various areas, so examples of this in arts and science will aid the theory for textiles futures research. However this is a relatively closed field with little research being published in order to protect copyright.  This reason was cited by many  when asking those involved in the industry at ISWC. This lead to my decision to not document my developments online as I tested and developed but to wait until I have a wider view of my work so I am able to both blog my work with a wider understanding.
At the International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) 2012 various attendants and speakers spoke about the father of wearable computing being Steve Mann, born in 1962 and with a PhD in 1997 from wearable computing work. Although there are previous wearable technologies such as this heated jacket from 1931
The field of soft wearable technologies for well-being purposes uses various fields of study such as science, art, engineering and design, often highly specialised and divided as an amalgamation.
This amalgamation creates a new formation of research rather than being seen as separate specialisms working together; holistically beneficial and observed as individual and not carrying the adversity held by mergers of such fields as art and scienceIn an email interview with Nuclear Artist James L Acord I asked ‘4. what do you think art science is currently?
Currently art and science are largely divorced from each other.  We live in such a complex and specialized time that that a Leonardo da Vinci, simultaneously on the leading edge of both art and science, is imposable. 
   Acord,J. 2010, email interview
My project:
The aim of this project is to show potential of technologies that can be wearable, the 2 pieces in development show examples of this.
To help promote and assist with ambient well-being the two prototypes focus on contemporary use of materials and technology in their design to be both aesthetically pleasing & functional.
GLOVE Raynaud’s is a condition mainly triggered by low temperatures resulting in loss of blood supply to the fingers.
The GLOVE is aimed at Raynaud’s sufferers and helps to stabilise temperature in the wearer’s fingers. It monitors the temperature of fingers & environment, heating when needed.
HAT Some sunlight is needed to help the body synthesize vitamin D whereas too much can be damaging to skin and cause burns. To enhance awareness of exposure to sunlight the HAT rim opens out shading the wearer’s face, dynamically changing in relation to environment.

developing research

What’s changed

–      My work initially leant on the idea of aiding malady’s in some way. From this point I have stretched out to include other areas by researching materials and seeing where development leads through speculative research.

–       Originally I solely focused on the glove for Raynaud’s concept, however I have now expanded with speculative research to include further materials and artistic or fashion representations of ideas/research as further pieces.

–       Research continues to include various technology and materials; both new and recently broadened to be available to the public and the archaic.

Theory had looked at the divide between art and science, how together they have shown great promise and in many cases combining practises seen as very different have aided one another. A recent talk on TED[ Michelle Borkin: Can astronomers help doctors?] showed how astronomy and its software have been able to first map some scans and information only previously seen as 2D/flat in medical procedures. In the field of art Eduardo Kac [ Alba the fluorescent bunny] used genetics to engineer a glow in the dark rabbit. Material technology research continues combining various areas, so examples of this in arts and science will aid the theory for textiles futures research.







[Above left image shows silver glove alongside prototype, right shows a close up of the silver glove showing the silver strands, image below shows an early hat design illustration. Click on images to enlarge.]

So far . . .

My overall plan is to research various materials and from those acquire the ones with the most interesting potential. The following has been what I have covered so far . . .


–       Prototype developed and tested previously

–       Silver ordered, received and tested

–       Design developed to include a leather outer for heat and comfort reasons

–       Circuitry development, lily pad to be used as to printed, printed not being feasible for the time constraint.

–       New fabric may prove beneficial

Material focus


Along with other precious metals silver has special properties, on top of its electrical conductivity and use in photography silver also has various medical benefits, some of which are explained in this daily mail article:

Silver gloves and information regarding them

WarmX, a company that produce battery heated clothing

My glove design quite simply combines the silver glove with mobile heated textiles, such as warmx’s pieces, and connecting it with the user directly utilizing costume and waterproof arduino technology such as lily pad. The aim of the overall look will be effortless as a lot may be going on under the seams yet still with a stylish design and as much if not more comfort than any designer glove on the market.

To do / next

–       Test new fabric

–       Order lily pad

–       Email for connectors and components, such as thermal sensor

–       Work out battery power

–       Connect all parts


–       Ordered nitinol

–       Tested nitinol with ‘radiator’ heat and hot water

–       Tested in circles, issue, if a touching circle the nitinol would break through the fabric, solution, double the wire for a few cm.

Material focus


This recording is quite clearly reasonably old however shows nitinol’s properties clearly

The following is Jacque Fresco talking about cars of the future and how the ideal material for a car to be made from so if there ever was a collision, any dents could be repaired with a hot air gun.

From research and testing nitinol itself I began seeing a series of ways where nitinol could be used in everyday clothes, fashion items and specific wear. The additional information

To do/ next

–       Locate a manufacturer of varying ratios of nickel to titanium and obtain minimum of 2-3 meters

–       Test large nitinol bands

–       Contrive whether baking the nitinol to a circular to Pringle shape would be better or worse than the nitinol endeavouring to straighten when heated.

I am continuing to research further materials and develop ideas however they are at early stages, I will post about them once I have reasoned as to there use in my work.

The following is an idea chart I made to try and explain my ideas and their development. One of the important parts of this project is the time management, I am eager to have a strong collection and wish to ensure the pieces formations.

[click on image to enlarge]

This is a fantastic TED talk and shows the kind of idea that I am really fond of, something practice and just seems to make sense in several ways and with benefits to mankind that you wouldn’t think about, such as chemical pollution from various procedures.

Links +


I have been collecting links to smart textiles and textiles technology so the following is going to be the main sites of interest with a brief description and any particular sections that interested me. Rather than making a new post each time I find new sites I will just keep this post updated.

This site speaks of medical designs for new medical devices, the page above directs to ‘An Introduction to Designing With Nitinol’.

Medical design directs to this site for manufacture.

An interesting exploration into the idea of ‘difference’ and ‘same’, the theory being to understand difference you must study what is same to know what is different. Experiment compiled from marathon monks and the hat they wear when taking their ‘same’ route.



A more recently discovered material, strong, electrically conductive and with a multitude of interesting properties..

A good short piece describing the form of graphene that’s antibacterial paper able to be mass produced.

Part of a study about the antibacterial strength of graphene

Cuts up text and re orders it, could be interesting.

RFID chips in jeans watching your movements

BBC article on above.




A good blog I put in the bracket of ‘weeklies’ as I try and check them often.

future textiles!

It uses 40 litres of glycerol and over kilometres of plastic tubing.

Colours pulse through the tubes at different speeds giving the appearance of a dynamic skin that breathes and pulses across the landscape of the body.

robots and such

3D printer group

This site is full of buyable materials and some sample packs, its aimed at schools and colleges and has some very interesting materials. Amongst the interesting ones are the temperature sensitive fabrics and wires. Almost every item has a youtube video embedded on the page to show you the item in use.

-I have ordered some sample packs and thermal dye and will comment further once Iv experimented.

Solar active thread could be good.

Metalized thread on this link, however the site specialises in threads, finishes and surfaces. The materials sound good yet to obtain and test.(try to get free samples!)

^ Has moved to plug and wear.

Various textiles tech bits n pieces, lilly pad, conductive fabrics, lights etc. also has some tutorials for getting started with the items they sell.

Wearable technology Italy, small site.

This link goes to the textile circuit’s page, there are 4 interesting textile with integrated technology fabrics, a few that are very relevant to my glove project, however because of the designs they could be complex to integrate with the silver. However I will look into this further.

Seems to be in the research area and keeping up with it,

Blog contains interesting pieces, some of which I havnt come across before.

magazine about new materials

culture magazine

NEWS UPDATE: The Materials Library is expanding its remit to become the Institute of Making…’

‘fresh works from leading creative professionals’

Various materials

The Bureau of



Art & Design




interactive printed items

CRG Industries is a manufacturing company for commercial, defense, medical, and industrial markets.

liquid crystal polymer fiber

solar panels


A global industrial manufacturer of high quality precision coated films and blended liquids for use in the printing, automotive and electronics industries.

(English section under construction)

I hope they make glasses squeak when they hit ppl…



Page 59, temperatures effect on skin, factoring wind chill, eg.

this goes on to freezing skin temps and materials effect in %.

another smart clothing book

Article on tagging jeans and more


COPPER, medical side

proposal and final project outset

The Arduino project piece, based on the idea of aiding those with Raynaud’s phenomena was the beginning of my medical textile technology research. I used this to explore in a relatively short space of time the issues behind creating a piece to work with medicine.

Some of these include; the amount of human testing you would have to do in order to say on paper that the device would help those with this condition, and until then all I can do is suggest it may help those, with, in this case colder hands as the gloves warm your hands when needed. There will be many barriers that arise after these tests such as the volunteer’s thoughts on the piece, whether they would prefer to turn the warming on and off rather than it being decided by the technology. This area is quite open to altering the project however the course of the work will be kept using planning and time lines.

Although intuitive technology seems to be the direction that technology is moving in there is still a notion lingering that its better for the persons mind if they have full control of the devise.

Although I have considered compiling further research to form a concept for another medical textile technology piece I decided in the end it would be best to continue my work and research into Raynaud’s. From this I can build up my prototype into the desired final outcome and expect a fully finished product as well start to accumulate ideas for further projects and learn more about the work to be done in getting textile technology into a market, preferably a medical market.

Feasibility study

Through research into various textiles technology I have found many working examples of heating fabric and communicating information through sensors.

I have only tested the main technology component of my concept in a textiles technology workshop. Heating thermo chromic dye to change the colour using conductive strips, I am confident this will be possible to creat the ideal outcome over the allotted period of time. A company in Germany called WarmX currently sell’s heated trousers, tops and tights, advertised for some sports and walking. Looking at their technology I feel confident in doing similar.

Throughout out the year I have tried and tested various technologies from this work, for this specific project a mixture between Max MSP and Arduino, though I understand the possibility that Max MSP will not be required for the final piece.

Arduino and Max will be used as a platform between the user and the physical technology. I wish to assemble the physical parts either from a bespoke maker such as within the Culture Lab or learn how to make such a piece, e.g., the temperature sensor.

Meanwhile I have been conversing with Raymond Oliver at Northumbria University and Northumbria University London and the speakers he brought in for talks throughout the past the past year. Much of the work is on very similar lines and even crosses over. Such as the Phillips dress, which has galvanic skin response built in, which is essentially a very similar idea as to what my previous designs and prototype encompass. There is also the scent dress by Jenny Tillotson, which is to react to mood and effect the wellbeing of the user, increasing their comfort. I will keep in contact with these people and ensure to discuss this project for further points and any assistance be it verbal or mechanical, such as knitting machines.

If my studies into the medical benefits of warming gloves and socks do not come out positive I will still be able to maintain the piece/s have well being and comfort benefits from being kept at a pleasant temperature at your extremities in cold weather. As far as testing the medical benefits go I have contacted the head of disability for Newcastle University and have been told they can send an email out to all Raynaud’s sufferers throughout the University asking for volunteer’s and to be able to send out questionnaires to these also. Additionally I have a family member who has Raynaud’s syndrome who I will likely perform preliminary tests upon. With all the work in mind to get the concept to final product stage I feel I have all the resources and enough time to get the piece to a very high standard within the final project.