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.



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

And this octopus:


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):