This Dress Really Drops Leaves #WearableWednesday

Happy, happy, joy, joy! This is what happens whenever I discover that Birce Özkan has been designing more nature inspired wearable tech. You may remember her feather-iffic skirt inspired by migration. This time the theme is mimicking autumn leaves through the “deciduous moment of a garment”. This is such a fun idea, and it already reminds me of Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of breadcrumbs!



Birce starts by laser-cutting over 100 simple “leaves” from translucent paper. Then, she attaches them to a flexinol wire circuit using melted wax. You might guess how the magic of autumn happens now; the flexinol wire heats up and slowly releases the leaves, allowing for the random defoliation. In fact, Birce has named her fashion Defoliation Dress.

You may have noticed the sponge in the picture, and that’s actually a pressure sensor. Birce used two squares of sponge, and hollowed out the center of one slightly. Both have pieces of copper tape inside, leading to the wires. So, slight pressure activates the power for the circuit, which is coming from a 9V battery. For more details on her build, check out her Instructables.


Although this may not seem like the most practical dress, it is indicative of a yearning for harmony with nature. Sure, our clothing changes as we enter different seasons, because we make it so. However, what if our clothing could react to seasons and moments on its own? Birce is really exploring our love of change and the notion that our clothing reacts instinctively. As batteries and sensors get smaller, we will soon be experiencing clothing that will adapt more readily to our needs, whether they be based on climate or fashion. I’m looking forward to this future and I’m so glad that Birce is part of this exploration. If you find yourself interested in experimenting with this same idea, you should check out our FLORA Sensor Pack. Not only does it come with our super FLORA microcontroller, it has our favorite sensors for motion, direction, color, light, and touch. That should be enough to get your clothing doing something interesting. Don’t forget to send us a video of your awesome sensing creation!


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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