What started as a curious video ended up being the rabbit hole of imaginative textiles. Interwoven Design Studio partnered with Versalume to produce a knit textile fabric intertwined with light. Here’s their description of their first prototype:
“3D Waves of Light” is a sculptural sensory enabled light-embedded knitted fabric. Possible uses include wall surfaces, acoustical tiles, automotive interiors, lighting effects for health and well-being, and smart clothing. We also envision spatial design installations which are engaging and playful.
The fabric reminds me of a cross between pinch-pleat curtains and origami folds creating the beautiful wave effect. At first I thought the light strands were EL wire, but they just seemed more delicate. Turns out Versalume is using Corning’s Fibrance® glass optical fiber, which allows continuous light while remaining highly flexible. Interwoven used a Shima Seiki computerized machine to create the knitted fabric embedded with the fiber.
Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is the founder and principal at the studio and continues to explore the sculptural and sensing possibilities of these smart textiles. If you would like to experiment with light pipes or fiber in your work, check out our learning guide for Circuit Playground and Fiber Optics. You’ll discover the tips you need to incorporate strands of light into your costume or project. What will you design?
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