Red Dress featuring illuminated Electronic Yarn

Picture showing the process of incorporating and testing the E-yarn

The Red Dress – featuring illuminated Electronic Yarn

AIM: To advance the development of Smart Textiles

Electronic-yarn (E-yarn) contains light-emitting diodes (LEDs), sensors or more complex circuitry within a textile core. The yarn is flexible, so can be incorporated within textiles whilst maintaining the natural drape of the fabrics. Manufacturing of E-yarn is being developed in the Functional Electronic Textiles (FETT) project: a joint venture between Nottingham Trent University and Southampton University.

Bonnie Binary brought in as a research partner on the FETT project, with industry partner Stretchline to complement and strengthen existing expertise. The Bonnie Binary team was set a brief to create a dress incorporating LED E-yarns to showcase this unique technology.

Our objective has been to test methods of incorporating E-yarns into garments whilst maintaining the yarn’s unique qualities of flexibility and drapeability.  This collaborative partnership has resulted in the creation of “The Red Dress” with E-yarns integral to the decorative surface embroidery.

Our inspiration for The Red Dress 

We wanted to create a design with a strong, beautiful, life-affirming feel, which also demonstrated the unique flexible qualities of the E-yarn. We took some inspiration by imagining a female Dr Who gaining empowerment by wearing it. We have used flounces of organza to play with the quality of light to create a dress full of movement. The embroidery patterns echo sound waves to deliver an ethereal, contemporary sensation.

Many thanks to the following creative team who have been working with Bonnie Binary to create the Red Dress

Electronics by The Invent Hive

Dress Design by Andrew Richards

Digital Embroidery by Jacky Puzey

Pattern cutting by Jessica Charleston

Embellishments by Beatrice Mayfield

The electronic yarn was made by the Advanced Textiles Research Group at Nottingham Trent University. The yarn patent is WO2016/038342 A1 Electronically Functional Yarns

I am most grateful to:

Dorothy Hardy, Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University and member of the Advanced Textiles Research Group for her guidance throughout the project.

John Tudor, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton:

Many thanks for funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of the project: Novel Manufacturing methods for functional electronic textiles (EP/MO15149/1) that has enabled us to work on this exciting project and to industry partner Stretchline for their support.

It has been a pleasure working with you all. Thank you