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09/07/2018 – Cutecircuit — auf Deutsch lesen

Illuminating, sparkling and communicative

Smart wearables are a highly promising sector of the textile industry. CuteCircuit is one of the first suppliers of electrically networked clothing.

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The Graphene Dress: light, transparent and strong © Cutecircuit

 

 The London-based company’s launch 14 years ago, however, was anything but easy. Any fashion can bring a touch of glitz and glamour into daily life. CuteCircuit fashion takes this literally: its clothes can light up at the flick of a switch. More than that, indeed – the fabrics react to warmth, sound waves and even to Twitter messages.

 The early years were anything but easy for the London-based company: CuteCircuit was simply ahead of its time. It produced sensational samples and prototypes for companies – electrically illuminated thread, for example, and wired-up handbags – but they remained individual pieces and never went into mass production. Nonetheless, its Hug Shirt was named one of the Best Inventions of 2006 by Time magazine: a tight-fitting top with sensors allowing it to reproduce hugs sent over the internet.

 The Galaxy Dress presented in 2008 (today forming part of the collection of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry) boasts the largest wearable light display in the world, an almost hypnotic piece of clothing.

 With LED-lit clothing such as this, special effects are part of the deal! As a result, Katy Perry quite literally lit up the red carpet at the 2010 MET Gala in New York. She was wearing a CuteCircuit one-shoulder couture dress in flowing silk chiffon, decorated with over 3000 micro-LED lights that glowed in the colours of the rainbow. New York Magazine called it “the most exciting part of the evening”.

 The same year, CuteCircuit brought out a technologically equipped ready-to-wear line at Selfridges in London. Using integral – and indeed washable at 30 degrees – LED lights, ‘Twirkle-tees’ light up whenever the wearer moves.

Read the complete article by Ulinka Wagner in our printed Issue textile network 7-8 2018, published on 28th July 2018.