We’re stepping a bit outside of the usual Gear Threads box this month to bring you something that’s not exactly machine embroidery (yet), but could have big implications for the future of textiles and technology: Google’s Project Jacquard.
Introduced in 2015, Project Jacquard is exploring the possibilities of textiles that respond to touch like your smartphone. The mission: to develop conductive yarns that can be used on standard industrial looms throughout the world, and the platform developers can use to make these smart fabrics interact with the outside world. Get a glimpse of the project in Google’s video:
What could smart clothes do? A prototype jacket allows the wearer to swipe the sleeve to, say, answer or dismiss a phone call. Google’s not going to be making clothing — it’s up to manufacturers and designers to discover their own best ways to apply this technology. Project Jacquard has partnered with Levi Strauss, and Fast Company reports that we may see a pair of smart jeans in 2016.
Could industrial “smart embroidery” be next? Will machine embroidery hobbyists one day be stitching smart designs onto their projects? Will your next fitness tracker be a fabric wristband? We don’t know, but we’re excited to find out.
Check out Wired’s article on Project Jacquard for a more in-depth look at the initiative.
Gear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.