Dimensional Illumination showcases a collection of textiles and a video installation of photonic textiles research with potential application in footwear design. The mini collection of textiles comprises of six innovative interactive photonic textiles: Calyx, Halo, Scion, Mystic, and Bloom which are Jacquard textiles while Bamboo was hand woven on the Dobby loom. In addition, another award winning textile design entitled ¡°Luminescent Waves¡± is also be showcased in this collection of work. It won an Outstanding Award at the ¡°From Lausanne to Beijing¡± International Fiber Art Biennale in September 2014.
This collection is highly unique in its approach as existing research on photonic textiles had mainly focused on the surface decoration or two dimensional designs. In order to innovate and develop additional sensory pleasure via touch, the researchers had focused primarily on creating textures and 3 dimensional effects on the Polymeric Optical Fibres (POFs) by using the Jacquard loom and Dobby loom. Unlike conventional weaving yarns which are pliable, POFs are fragile and brittle, it is important to work with the fundamental nature of the POFs to adapt the weaving patterns and the combination of weaving yarns to create new textures.
In contrast, to the previous creative works by this researcher, which were mainly inspired by linear lines and graphic patterns, this collection is more organic in its design approach. The design inspiration was to incongruously juxtapose inspirations from nature with the innovative technology of interactive photonic textiles. The textile designs were derived from the natural landscape structures and the organic lines of trees and plants.
In order to create three dimensional structures and textured surfaces, the POFs have to be woven with base yarns using the Jacquard loom or Dobby loom. This is particularly challenging as the fundamental characteristics of the POFs are brittle and will break when contorted at various angles. It takes numerous experiments with developing and adjusting the weave patterns, the content of the weave structure and adapting to the physical requirements of brittle fibres in a loom. In addition to creating an alternative aesthetic design, the three-dimensional structures further contributes to the textile tactile experience of the user.
The following sections in this catalogue will explore the integral design process with technical weaving process; both processes work in tandem and help strengthen the other.