Viridian Note 00265: Silly Clothing

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts: air-filtering underwear, clothes made of grass, metallic self-folding shirts

Attention Conservation Notice: The couture series climaxes in an outburst of ludicrous whimsy.

Link: A New Viridian Individual Project!
From Joel Westerberg (^^^^**********) Joel Westerberg remarks: "During the hot summer my friends decided to shoot a short 32 second fake ad for 'Viridian Photovoltaic Fuel Cells.'"

Source: 1442000/1442057.stm

July 25, 02001

"Shirt rolls up its own sleeves

by Paul Marks

"A shirt which rolls up its own sleeves when you get too warm has been unveiled by a tech-savvy Italian fashion house. And what's more, its inventors say it will never need ironing.

"The fabric for the prototype shirt is woven from fibres of the shape-memory alloy nitinol, interspersed with nylon. The alloy can be deformed, and then returned to its original shape when heated to a certain temperature.

"It is this shape memory property that is key to how the 'memory metal shirt' works. 'The sleeve fabric is programmed to shorten as soon as the room temperature becomes a few degrees hotter,' says Susan Clowes, a spokeswoman for Corpo Nove of Florence, the shirt's developer. (((Oh for heaven's sake.... Nitinol isn't "programmed;" it just bends when it's heated and cooled, like a thermostat strip.)))

"'Even if the fabric is screwed up into a ball, pleated and creased, a blast from a hairdryer pops it back to its former shape,' Clowes says. (((Huh!))) This means the shirt can be 'ironed' as you are wearing it. 'It's a travellers' dream,' she says. (((Unless you're travelling in a lightning storm. Granted, though, even then, you'd probably be an entertaining spectacle.)))

"(...) it is also washable and non-allergenic.

"(...) The prototype shirt cost around L2500 to make, and is available in any colour you like == provided you have a tendency to wear metallic grey, that is. 'But it looks distinctly bronze-coloured in some lights,' says Clowes. (((For two and a half thousand pounds I hope it's tailored.)))


"Under-Ease are underwear for protection against bad human gas (malodorous flatus) and are made from a soft air-tight fabric (polyurethane-coated nylon)."

(((This is not crass Viridian schoolboy humor, ladies and gentlemen. This is about personal methane emissions.)))

"A triangular 'exit hole' for the flatus to be expelled is cut from the back of the air-tight underwear, near the bottom. This 'exit hole' is covered with a 'pocket'(...) This unique design forces all expelled gas (flatus) out through the 'pocket'.

"Inside the 'pocket' is a high-functioning, replaceable filter == the core of the technology. This multi-layered filter is made in a sandwich-style, and begins with the two outer layers of wool felt. The second two layers are made of non-woven polypropylene and spun glass materials. In the center of the filter is a single layer of activated carbon.

"The filter is then covered with soft ordinary material to allow for easy replacement in or out of the pocket. The underwear are washable and will last approximately a year depending on the frequency of use and laundering. Each filter will last from several weeks to several months depending on the frequency of use and laundering."

Source: ert.jpg

"I want to be a lawn"

December 15, 01998

"BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) == Forget your traditional Hawaiian skirts. A Belgian agri-design team has headed to greener pastures with clothing made of living grass.

"Agricultural technician Luc Mertes, a self-styled flower sculptor, came up with the idea of making == or , rather, growing == the skirts, dresses and tops.

"Mertes did it for fun. (((Well then.))) He says he has a passion for decorating anything == or anybody == with living flowers and plants. (((Come on, give a little, it's a harmless hobby.)))

"'Everybody wants to touch the grass clothes just to see if it is made of truly natural grass. The comments from most people aren't very kind. (((Oh dear.))) But it's a good laugh. People always want to see if it's real. Someone even took a bit of grass to taste it == just to check that it was real.'

"The grass is grown on jute matting, which substitutes for soil. It takes about 25 days for the 'material' to be ready for cutting, roots and all.

"Then fashion designer Christiane Libert takes over, 'Edward Scissorhands' style. She says there's nothing like these clothes.

"'I wear them myself. It feels very comfortable, very light and fresh because normally, the grass has been watered.'

"But the eco-garb is high-maintenance! If it isn't watered once a day, it dies. And a dress may need mowing every two weeks. Of course, a local horse may be available to help out in that department. (...) (((It's all downhill from there.)))

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