In her exploration of e-textiles, one N.C. State student has crafted an illuminating necklace dress powered by FLORA.
Victoria Rind, a Maker studying textile engineering at North Carolina State University, recently devised an interactive dress with one goal in mind: to stand out. How’d she do it, you ask? Using an Adafruit FLORA and NeoPixels to light up its attached necklace.
“People want to be able to customize their style and clothing,” Rind explains. “What’s more customizable than a programmable dress?”
The idea for the dress was first conceived after witnessing other garments with built-in necklaces. Channelling her inner DIY spirit, Rind went out and bought a basic shift dress pattern and beads to create the dress, along with an FLORA (ATmega32U4) wearable MCU, four RGB NeoPixels and some conductive thread.
Once satisfied with the NeoPixels output, the Maker sewed the circuit to the dress beginning with conductive thread, and finishing it off with normal fiber to prevent a short happening in between the wiring.
“Without the extra layer of thread, the lines of conductive thread would constantly touch, and the light pattern would be glitchy and inconsistent,” Rind adds.
So what’s next for the engineering student? In five years, she aspires to bring functionality to textiles.
“I would consider my work a success if I could create clothing that adapted to changes in the environment,” she concludes.