Category: Biomimicry

Attachment styles with fabric!

I wanted to research other methods and ways to attach different fabric types. As I was using an array of fabrics wit different properties i.e pleather- thick, tulle- thin dainty, I wanted to look at the best way to attach these without just coating and trapping them in fabric, as maintaining the delicate feeling was essential.

I looked at this really interesting blog. Something I was interested in was bondaweb/ fusible web, this is something I have used before in previous projects, the webbing acts like a glue and sticks the fabric onto another using heat. This is something i’m exploring as it fits the brief “fuse” perfectly. Fabric glue is also something i’ve never used before so its something i want to explore and experiment with. The article also looks at hot glue however for this project I don’t feel it would work as well.  

I thought about using stitch however because its for a burn, using stitch would leave tiny spaces for bacterial to pass through and get into the stitch marks- there also a risk that the stitching comes undone.

I decided to use fabric glue to fuse together. The pleather didn’t work with the bondaweb. I also really liked that the fabric glue didn’t disturb the fabric, it stuck all the shapes on perfectly without puncturing the fabric.


Material experiment- Fusing!

“Fusing” the idea of joining two things together.

Looking at smart materials we looked into non-traditional ways of textile design i.e innovative fabrics. Using materials that favour function over aesthetic.

We were given a list of materials and this is what I used to start of the concept of fusing.I started off with fusing flat contrasting materials like the cotton and the spaced mesh, fused using an iron and melting between the plastic. This has a lot of positive attributes like it now being waterproof and easily cleaned.

I then wondered what it would be like with something chunky like a knit. would it trap? how would the plastic melt with the knit? how could this benefit the arm? I choose a thin base and layered this under the cut out pleather. The idea of this overlapping came from the cells under the microscope, the chaotic energy clashing with the more open circular structure and I’ve tried to keep this element throughout all the sampling, then having the crazy loopy knit on top again adds to the really small overlapping cells taking charge of the larger structures. Encased within the plastic did work however it didn’t stick to the knit as much as id hoped leaving just a large lump in the middle of the sample, this meant it wouldn’t benefit the wound or body but instead apply pressure.


I then played around with melting and heat transfer. I choose to cut out circular heat transfers to mimic the cells under the scope, I used the iron to apply heat and i feel it worked well, as I love print it was essential to have at least one printed element within a sample. I also used heat to melt little circular fabric pieces, as they were meltable i was able to melt them into circles, this was perfect as it embodied the cells irregular structure and membrane wall. I layered these on top snd was able to tramp within a sheet of fabric combining all the techniques into one fabric.


Working with silicone!

Working with silicone has been really interesting however its came with a lot of challenges. When looking at Lucy Simpson’s work I thought it would be easy to manipulate and mark make into but I was wrong.

I started off getting to grips with the silicone on cardboard, this gave me some time to get use to working with the medium. I wanted to incorporate my skillset into this by using my mark-making techniques, I looked at my reference images and started to be reminded about the lines within the microscopic structures and how this juxtaposes with the small circular clusters.

Looking at this in regards to mark-making I thought about creating lines. I used a ruler to score through the silicone whilst it was wet and allowing to dry for an hour, this created a really cool texture on the cardboard. I also played around with spreading the silicone really thin across some of the fabric, to change the texture of it. The smooth almost rubber texture resembles the cellulose within the plant cell, relating my project even more towards my intended brief.

I also played around with smoothing out the silicone and using an object to morph a pattern into it which sounded like a good idea but in reality just turned out terrible! the object got stuck, it was all different layers and just a disaster!

Moving onto fabric i decided to look at both of the techniques combined as the dragging method was successful in changing the feeling but adding some mark-making gave the piece a more interesting feel. Looking back at my original images i really liked the structures alignment of the cells which also related to the lines within the mark-making.

I decided to use the mesh material as I was curious if I could create this cellulose opacity. Would the silicone sink through? would it create a pattern? would it not work at all?

I feel the silicone worked really well! it gave the fabric a new texture but also body! the mark-making also replicated the cell structure and having the small elements of pattern conveyed the clusters. I also feel the piece although using a heavy material still looks delicate and weightless which fits really well with the opacity and texture of the cell!

Biomimicry- repairing skin tissue using plant cells!

When looking at biomedical engineering using the plant cells I stumbled across this article, theres evidence to believe that a plant cell can actually help grow back tissue and bones in humans. this is through a process entitled tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Biomedical engineering could open up a whole world os possibilities.

Scaffolds- scaffolds are used to treat cells in the body. It’s a material that works with the biological systems to look at everything from evaluating the problem to treating it effectivly. Scaffolds are templates when healing, they are almost like designers, they look at the problem and look at the most effective form of fixing it.

The structure of the scaffolds is really similar to the structure of the plant cells under the microscope. Theres a repetitive structure that really open and linear, its important to take this into textiles as its such a prominant structure. Relating to burn healing the wide open structure would allow the burn to heal, allowing oxygen to promote burn healing. taking this into textiles could I find a material thats really similar to this?




Adding in other materials!

We were given a fabric pack in which had a lot of interesting fabric.

The fabric pack materials where very close textured and as i was looking at cell structures I wanted to introduce some loose textures more structured fabric. With this in mind I still wanted the fabric to be breathable and open. This contrast would work really well as the cells under the microscope are very chaotic and hurdled together were as if you look at the structures theres lots of lines and open spaces with a more structured pattern.


I found this incredible open fabric, i’m not even sure what the name is. Its delicate but open and extremely structured. I really love how open it is as you can layer it over different fabrics exposing colours and other patterns without the piece getting too clustered. I also really loved this white tulle. The tulle is really lightweight, its flexible and if you look closely its hundreds of little holes, linking really well to the microscopic cells.

These fabrics allow me to push my experimentation further by layering, trapping e.c.t How would they look on hard materials like the wood? could they provide a tactile element on the leatherette?


Innovative Designers!

For this project I have been researching into Lucy Simpson, IIse Crawford and Thomas Widdershoven.

IIse Crawford and Thomas Widdershoven “touch base”

The way this collaboration approached design is really fascinating to me. “Touch Base” was focused around the idea of touch. They look in-depth that the actual sensation of touch being a human necessity, this combined with the idea of objectivity and technology made a fascinatingly interesting innovative world.  “Touch base” was showcased during the Milan Design week and was inspired by students own approaches to design through innovative practices.

As you can see from above, the project is very tactile, its simplistic nature combined with the complex materials mixed patterns is truly fascinating. To me this these pieces almost resemble skin. This got me thinking about the project and how I could incorporate materials not just fabric based but silicone based or combining them all. These textiles could also act as plasters- the smooth flat surface area allows room to put cream on- its easily washable and will not stain either, ideal for burn treatment.

Lucy Simpson

Lucy Simpsons silicone designs really interested me. Not just the incorporation of silicone but how she was able to incorporate pattern and mark making. The small tactile elements really stand out against the linen backgrounds. Looking at this further I would love to create tactile elements within this project, looking at silicone but also other materials. How could you create a tactile surface using fabric alone? Although the tactile element has me thinking i also feel inspired by her use of pattern, especially in spaced out areas. Could i find interesting, breathable, waterproof fabric that would mimic this effect? Whilst still conveying this tactile element?

Client research!

For this brief we are working with Smith and Nephew, Loop ph and researching medical burn coverings.




Smith and Nephew are a British based company who specialises medical equiptment. Their ethos is “restoring peoples bodies and self belief” looking at how they can make living with certain thing easier and more bearable! The company wants to prolong life, looking at any approaches to do so.




Loop Ph 

loop Ph is a London based company who specialises in innovative design and architecture using science. Their innovative thinking always keeps them looking ahead for new approached to design, looking at thew world through futuristic eyes. They probe into future using a combination of environmental, social and scientific research. They prize them selfs of emulating environmental structures but with a modern, technology approach


the picture above shows loop ph growing algae within a lab. The idea of the algae being an environmental process however growing this in a controlled environment in a lab allows them to look at the properties and really break down thew algae to use within scientific research.

Another example above is loop ph creating Lace but with an advanced scientific approach.

Biomimicry- deconstructing the plant cell!

Biomimicry- deconstructing the plant cell

I have taken the theme “structured pattern” and started to look at breaking down and reconstructing microscopic plant cells. This topic to me was interesting, it looks at biomimicry in depth and allows me to really see how nature works and how I could use this information to create my textile. What I found fascinating was the texture of the layers, plant cells are well known but are the texture within well known?

In relation to the breakdown of plant cells I want to look at each layer, how its structured i.e what pattern does this create?  and what the function is, in relation to the texture of i.e membrane, it’s jelly like what does this do and how can you communicate this through textiles? This should provide me with a lot of textures and pattern in which I can start looking for fabric types and which techniques I can use to mimic the structures.

What drew me in to the plant cell structure was the amazing pattern it creates on a microscopic level. It becomes almost abstracted completely with a very psychedelic feel. The textures are highlighted faintly when their close-up, the contrast between the open loose structure compared to the chaotic and busy almost clusters.

In relation to the burn I really want to look at how a burn heals, after time the burn will start looking like a scar- how can we help this scar heal? After doing some research small thin silicone patches are used to help heal, the silicone provides a space for gel or cream meaning they can apply the gel easily and its also easily cleaned as silicone is a smooth and durable material, so for me the silicone is essential.

In the slide above I started to look at the basic plant cell structure. As i was looking at the cells on a microscopic level I knew it was important to look at the anatomy of the plant cell. The cell structure is the image on the right is the breakdown of the cell structure, I found this interesting as theres so many interesting structures to the cells could I incorporate them all? possibly contrasting?

In this slide I’m looking at the difference cellulose textures. Theres some really beautiful textures as well as lots of interesting structures, you have the tights compact structure which contrasts to the open jelly like structure. This will really help when looking at materials, especially incorporating something like silicone.

I have started collecting some images of things that could relate to the project. i really love the plastic and rubber material exploration above, using something like this would be amazing for the arm, its versatile, easy to clean and aesthetically interesting. Bruce Raily’s resin and paint paintings really resemble the microscopic cells, they create a really interesting psychedelic feel, the layers could be symbolism for different fabrics, the way they overlap on the body, even presented in an interesting way with small details of silicone.

similarly to the way that Lucy Simpson works so too does the cells, the way she clusters using silicone is really beautiful, i also really admire the way she mark makes with the silicone. its simplistic detail, possibly combining this with a contrasting more open structure would be really interesting.



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