Biomimicry as Design Inspiration: Blog 5

Something that I learned this week that I believe is most valuable to me was learning about and discussing the Ten Aims on the Textile Environment Design webpage. These aims, which include ‘design to minimize waste’ and ‘design for ethical production’ are some goals that I will keep in mind and try to accomplish as I go through my apparel design journey. I think they are very important goals to aim for in the development of a more sustainable and ethical world and marketplace.

The article Bio Inspired Smart Skin was very interesting. I think that it is a very practical and creative idea to be inspired by skin found in nature and replicate that for various purposes. It seems very complicated and I’m sure a good deal of science and engineering must be incorporated to achieve these effects. One of the points that I found most interesting from this article was discussing adhesion. Lizards and many insects are capable of reversible adhesion, which is strong adhesion until the animal releases itself from that surface—then the animal is still capable of adhering to something else. I was very interested to learn that the replication of geckos’ adhesion properties is in the process of being developed now, using silicon rubber and polyester resin as a basis for developing this property. This adhesion interface could come in handy for multiple apparel purposes, such as clothing or equipment for rock climbing gear and firefighters.

Biomimetics of Plant Structure in Textile Fabrics was a fascinating article. One point that really interested me was how the researchers developed many different weaves and yarns to test moisture management. They all need to have more than one layer, as moisture management does not seem to work on only one layer if the outside portion remains wet. This method of moisture management is inspired by how plants and trees can move water upwards, against gravity. Nature does a splendid job of doing this, so hopefully researchers can develop this method even more. It’s purposes for apparel would be very beneficial for any type of garment or uniform that the wearer is likely to sweat or get wet in.

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