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This morning we were discussing how hot a roomful of 30 people doing tap get in the summer (not a theoretical discussion but a pressing one after a very hot tap class). Another person in the class had a cooling towel which was as cool as if it had been in the fridge. Here at Thread, a casual morning question of ‘how was your evening?’ can quickly descend into discussion of evaporative cooling, thermal conduction, absorptive properties of different textiles and potential surface treatments to alter the perceived temperature of a fabric.
Most of us would rather not consider the possibility of sustaining a serious burn and in that situation the last place we would expect a medical professional to look for a treatment option would be food waste but sometimes the most valuable things are in the oddest places. The skin of the Tilapia fish has been trialed as a dressing for 2nd and 3rd degree burns at the IJF (Institute Doctor José Frota) Hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil. The research was instigated by Marcelo Borges, a plastic surgeon who had spent three decades working on burn wounds. He read an article about the use of Tilapia skin in handcrafted products that mentioned that the other 99% that wasn’t used was a worthless waste product. Human and pig skins are already in use as a treatment in certain burns cases but these specially prepared, sterilised and stored skins are not available in high enough volumes to treat Brazillian burns victims. So Borges decided to investigate if Tilapia skin would be a viable alternative and it turned out in some ways to be superior with twice the amount of collagen type 1 and 3 (important in healing and scarring) and in some cases a single application of Tilapia skin can remain on the patient until scarring and healing occur which removes the painful changing of dressing required with a cream and gauze approach.
“I cut it a little roomy for the free movement, the fabric is comfortable for sensitive skin… [a sheet of flame erupts in front of the suit] And it can also withstand a temperature of over 1000 degrees. Completely bulletproof… [four heavy machine guns appear and open fire on the suit, without effect] And machine washable, darling. That’s a new feature.”
Thread Loves Edna Mode in The Incredibles.
Assuming you’re happy that yeast is definitely not an animal (it’s a fungus….I double-checked) then Zoa is an animal-free alternative to leather. as far as I understand it there’s a bit of DNA cut-and-shut which is re-homed into little yeast cell factorys which grow the Zoa. No animals so no expensive feeding of animals and no expensive and ethically-open-to-discussion killing animals. It’s been in development for years and is finally being tweaked and embodied into products as we speak. Sadly not by us (yet) but we hope to get our hands on some soon. We’re always looking for more materials to add to our library.
2017 has been a great year for Thread – we’ve welcomed two new members to the team! Georgie as a textile prototyper and Elora as a junior deisgner. Here’s to 2018!
This morning I was looking at the Pantone website as we want to update our colour reference materials. My eye was caught by their skin matching books which claim to provide “a comprehensive visual reference of human skin tones”. The front cover appears to show a fair range but how they’ve fanned out the sample book seems to reinforce the default of ‘skin’ colour meaning caucasian skin colour. This is an assumption we came across when we worked on prosthesis cosmeses (covers for prosthetic limbs) that have a ‘skin’ colour stocking over the top. It’s interesting to note that truly inclusive design needs to start the second we open our mouths, at the very start of any discussion.
We’re delighted that the GoBag 2 Kickstarter campaign has launched and already exceeded its £10,000 goal and is heading up.
This month we’re back in Thailand, finalising the production set-up for a product launching later this year. We’ve been developing the product with our client for four years and we can’t say much until it’s launched but here’s a photo of a bit of cardboard engineering (while we wait for a component to arrive) helping to feed some binding tape flat into a sewing machine.
I find saddle points (or hyperbolic paraboloids as they’re mathematically known) a deeply pleasing shape. This little hook was developed as part of a large project we’ve been collaborating on. It’s strong and safe as it has no sharp edges.
For more hyperbolic paraboloid and origami joy pop down the rabbit hole that is the website of Erik Demaine
Website by Chesapeake