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Solar Powered Rain Shirt

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

I've been fascinated with things that light up all my life. I love neon, video projections against unexpected surfaces, reflective surfaces, prisms and sparkly things of all kinds. A few years ago I had the opportunity to write for an industrial textile magazine about a wonderful new "fabric" called media mesh. It was, as the name suggests, an architectural metal mesh that was medialized - programmable for graphics and moving images. In the process of researching my article I learned about illuminated fabrics used in garment manufacture for a wide variety of uses from night club wear to safety and medical uses. I bought a yard of luminescent vinyl that glowed a soft aqua blue when charged by the sun, and stored it with my other fabrics.

This spring, as I work my way through Parsons' Fashion Essentials Program, #parsonsxteenvogue I took the fabric out and, in response to one of the assignments, used it to create a top/shirt from one yard of fabric. I masked part of the fabric with an old lace tablecloth to create the pattern, and used a small flashlight to create the big glowing dots. The glow fades slowly over a couple of hours.

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