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The Workability (and Washability) of Fashion Tech

We'll be talking about working with motors, lighting and biofeedback on the human body with MakeFashion

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Friday, January 19, 2018 12:00 pm PST - Friday, January 19, 2018 12:30 am PST Local time zone:
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HACK CHAT
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Join this Hack Chat by clicking on the JOIN HACK CHAT button. 

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Kathryn Blair and Shannon Hoover will be co-hosting the Hack Chat this week.

This Hack Chat is at noon PST, Friday, January 12th.

Time Zones got you down? Here's a handy count down timer!

MakeFashion has produced over 60 wearable tech garments showcased at over 40 international events since their launch in 2012. By introducing fashion designers to wearables through a series of hands-on workshops they are building a world where your clothes regulate your body temperature, monitor your vital signs, and your necklace begins to glow when the sun goes down.

With the StitchKit, MakeFashion is increasing wearable creation accessibility for students, hobbiest and designers alike. The Stitchkit has already exceeded its goal on Kickstarter with days to go yet.

Kathryn Blair is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts in Media Art and Technology at the University of Calgary. She has been working with wearable technology with Make Fashion since 2012, and her creations have been shown in Canada, the US, China and Ireland. Her work focuses on how humans interact with technology, and what our use of technology means for society.

Shannon Hoover is an innovator, technologist and leader in the Canadian Maker movement. He is the co-founder of Makefashion and of WearLabs, as well as Calgary Maker Faire and Fuse33 Makerspace. He is devoted to improving his community and world through subversive change and art directed engineering. Passions include wearable tech and augmented self projects for MakeFashion and collaborating internationally to leverage maker culture improve quality of life.

This chat is about Fashion Technology design and engineering. The risks and rewards of biofeedback tinkering, building motors & lighting around a human body, and what our tech can say about the world around it.

TL;DR

  • Biofeedback & Sensors: How far do you go when the documentation isn’t there?
  • What to know when working motors & lighting around a human body?
  • How do you design for washability?
  • What can our tech say (and do) about the world around us?

  • The Workability (& Washability) of Fashion Tech Hack Chat Transcript

    Stephen4 days ago 0 comments

    Sophi Kravitz says: HI everyone! We're going to get started here. We have two co-hosts, @Kath Blairand @Shannon Hoover!

    Shannon Hoover says: hello!

    Sophi Kravitz says: We'll be discussing Fashion Tech. Shannon and Kath, can you introduce yourselves?

    Sophi Kravitz says: oh wait- here's a link to  something they've been working on:http://www.stitchkit.io/

    Shannon Hoover says: Sure, I'm Shannon Hoover, co founder of MakeFashion  - we've been doing runway shows around the world and have developed over 200 fashion tech pieces

    Shannon Hoover says: also run a makerspace and have run several maker faires as well

    Kath Blair says: HI! I'm Kath, I'm one of the designers who's been working with Make Fashion since the first show in 2013

    Sophi Kravitz says: What is MakeFashion working on right now? Where is your studio -atelier?- located?

    Kath Blair says: I'm also currently working on my Master of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Calgary, working on art about Algorithms and Society, and I'm applying for a PhD program in Computational Media Design for the fall.

    Shannon Hoover says: To be clear, I assist designers with pieces and host the shows, people like Kath actually design and do most of the work

    we work with designers in many countries, so our base in Calgary is at the Fuse33 makerspace

    but we pop up in makerpaces and studios all over the place :)

    right now we are developing a fashion tech kit that is actually on kickstarter right now - stitchkit.io

    Kath Blair says: And we (designers) come there (to Fuse 33) to work a lot, get feedback and help, and work together

    I'm starting to work on a project I hope might be in a future Make Fashion show about controlling my mood via a wearable piece.

    Sophi Kravitz says: so first question! from @James Lewis : How can someone that only knows how to solder quickly learn to sew well enough to add things to clothing pieces?

    Kath Blair says: I can answer!

    I didn't actually know how to sew and my first Make Fashion piece was the first thing I'd ever sewn.

    I asked for a lot of help and tried to read the manual and go slow to use my sewing machine

    And I bought a reference piece of clothing to take apart instead of working from a pattern, so I could see how it had been put together.

    Shannon Hoover says: my sewing skills are really poor, but I can run a glue gun. Part of what makes MakeFashion work is building teams with a variety of expertise. We try and pair projects with volunteers that have a wide variety of skills

    Kath Blair says: And I bought a reference piece of clothing to take apart instead of working from a pattern, so I could see how it had been put together.

    Sophi Kravitz says: where do you find volunteers?

    Shannon Hoover says: MakeFashion puts a community call out and people join in to learn

    Kath Blair says: There's actually a great fashion school in town, I've worked with some people there too who joined up through Shannon's call

    Sophi Kravitz says: in Calgary or in all the places you are?

    Shannon Hoover says: We do it in all the places we go

    generally work with whoever is hosting the event to put the call out, then we step in and assist

    Sophi Kravitz says: Second question is from @Stephen : What power supplies and power supply designs have you found most (and least) effective for running wearable tech that can last a full evening or more?

    Nayeli says: What about chargers and connectors???

    What kind of them do you use?

    Shannon Hoover says: normally we do shows as part of a larger event like a Maker Faire or a fashion week

    Shannon Hoover says: chargers? Do you mean batteries?

    Kath Blair says: For chargers I use power banks if I can and just USB connectors

    Nayeli says: yes, batteries and connectors

    Shannon Hoover says: we have moved over mostly to power banks - when you fly with 20 fashion tech pieces, the airline will take away all of your lipo batteries

    Kath Blair says: I've had to use other batteries (12v RC batteries) if I need to run power hungry...

    Read more »

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Discussions

Stephen wrote 4 days ago point

What LED and LED strand type have you found works best on the body, or for which situations? Which have you found are easiest to power with the power banks you described?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen wrote 4 days ago point

Which biofeedback sensors have you had the most success and the most fun with? What would you suggest starting with for a first time biofeedback fashion tech designer?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Nemanja Stefanovic wrote 4 days ago point

Where do you like to source materials such as conductive thread/yarn and fabrics from? Are the conductive threads harder to work with or require special sewing machines?

  Are you sure? yes | no

James Lewis wrote 4 days ago point

any thoughts on the safety aspects of people “wearing” so many lithium batteries?

  Are you sure? yes | no

James Lewis wrote 4 days ago point

What’s a common wearable people don’t think of as a wearable? (Not meant to be a trick question!)

  Are you sure? yes | no

James Lewis wrote 4 days ago point

How can someone that only knows how to solder quickly learn to sew well enough to add things to clothing pieces?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Mary Etta West wrote 4 days ago point

Late to the party - I'm not a sewer, I'm a solderer and in my wearable projects I use hooks and eyes. I set the hook using a rivet setter and rivets on the clothing and a little jewelry glue on the hardware to place the eyes: https://www.macculloch-wallis.co.uk/p/9521/fastening-tapes/mw/riveted-alternating-hook-and-eye-tape

This way the project is modular, I can use the same hardware for multiple projects, and I don't have to worry about wash-ability. The individual pieces of hardware connect through flat flex cables so the hardware connections can also be easily removed. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen wrote 4 days ago point

What power supplies and power supply designs have you found most (and least) effective for running wearable tech that can last a full evening or more?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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