Textiles & Costume

Textiles: where technology meets “you’ve got to be kidding me”

Due to the courses I teach, I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on technologically innovative textiles.

A lot of it is really neat, but also somewhat expected: making textiles lighter, stronger, or better at keeping you warm or cool.

Some of it is just neat, like invisibility cloaks, and knitted heart valves.

And then there is the stuff that is just…weird.

Like the Ebbra – an ’emergency bra’ that doubles as a face mask in the event that you get caught in a sandstorm, develop an infectious cough in a matter of minutes, find yourself surrounded by people with infectious coughs, or forget to leave your building when the exterminator tents it.

And the best part is, you have a second half to give to a friend.

The bra in action

It goes from this...

...to this - in a matter of minutes!

Then there is the Hug Shirt – a wired shirt that uses electronic impulses to give the sensation of a ‘hug’ whenever a friend with a bluetooth or an iphone uses their ‘Hug Shirt’ app to send you one.

The best/worst part?  It was voted one of the “Best Inventions of 2006” by Time Magazine.  Seriously?  The best thing anyone managed to invent in 2006 was another way to communicate without actually touching?!?

All this technology makes me feel like I need to retreat into my Luddite cave and do some hand sewing.


  1. Madame Ornata says

    Oh yes I remember reading about this “innovation” it would be a serious candidate only for an ignoble award in my opinion.
    If you followed the underwear as defensive wear thread you could have socks that filter contaminated water,bullet proof jock-staps and you turn all undies into hepafilters in case of possible bio attack. Just imagine in case of a serious threat you could just whip your undies off and put them on your head and keep those pesky viruses out.

    Chortle chortle what next….

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