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Would You Wear Your Charger?

Will solar fashions ever become mainstream?

That is the question many designers are playing with.

Though there are becoming many available options for solar gear, clothing  that incorporates portable, wearable charging by way of the sun hasn’t taken off as readily as real world equipment pieces. Many style inclined are trying to find the balance between function and fashion, but are they succeeding?

One example of a presumably practical concept is the solar necktie and jacket. A concept model for the tie was developed by researchers at Iowa State University. The necktie design was made by adhering small solar panels with special stitch glue and by fusing a circuitry system on the tie.

Would You Wear Your Charger?

Image source: tx.ncsu.edu/jtatm/volume4issue3/digital_printing.htm

As discussed in their project findings, integrating sun power into clothing is not without its challenges. One of the problems with solar garments is that the cells need to be fully displayed for the best energy gathering. This design was made with a thin layered digital film scan that was printed onto the cotton sateen fabric that was used for the tie. By examining how to best display digital textile printing designs to decrease the obvious look of the solar cells on clothing, the tie was created with a digital pattern to help blend in the panels.

As pointed out by the researchers, the effectiveness of the product’s staying power on the market is dependent on what the consumer’s notion of the fashion should be. Being a technologically advanced wearable isn’t enough, but the style must also be a fit.

Another clothing article that has tried to find a way to showcase the panels yet still stay in sync with the fabric form has been done by a designer from Studio 5050. This solar powered dress confidently displays the photovoltaic cells as part of the solar style technique.

Would You Wear Your Charger?

Image source: ecouterre.com/solar-powered-dress-is-techie-flapper-chic

Another dress concept that attempts to more discretely hide its power source is made from cotton threads that are capable of producing electrical currents. Along with specifically placed panels, the sketch also shows a USB charger electronic circuit built into the belt buckle’s standard quarters.  Gadgets can be powered up while the wearer collects sunlight and exudes a little fashion sense.

Would You Wear Your Charger?

Image source: ubergizmo.com/2010/04/solar-dress-to-juice-up-gizmos

Those in the clothing industry may have their work cut out for them in trying to find the right way to manufacture smart wear, but a whole slew of onlookers with a flair for the fashion forward and tech savvy are eager observers.

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