Puolustuspuku – Defensive Dress

We (Emmi, Matti & Markus) are planning on creating a dress that changes shape and color when the wearer feels threatened. Normally, the dress would appear as any other black dress, but by squeezing the sleeves the dress goes into a defensive mode, where a protective/threatening fin-like collar rises up that also changes its color from black to red.

 

Inspiration

We were inspired by animals that change shape or color to intimidate predators, such as the frill-necked lizard:

And this octopus:

Technology

The movement of the dress is going to be done with shape memory wire (flexinol/nitinol/muscle wire). It is a material that “remembers” its original shape. The wire returns to this shape (or contracts) when heated.

We still have to do a lot of testing with this once we get the wire. We are not quite sure how much movement we can actually achieve with this technology.

A small example from xslabs:

The change in color is achieved with thermochromic inks that change color when heated. We are planning on weaving a material that combines threads dyed with thermochromic pigments and resistance wire for heating it.

A video of our initial testing with threads dyed with thermochromic ink.:

Materials/Shopping List (not final):