Researchers and a retailer have teamed up to deliver a jumper that can be customised in-store to fit anyone
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Spotted: At Springwise, we have seen a number of fashion innovations, including a soft ski-helmet that hardens on impact and a scarf that protects against air pollution. Now, MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and direct-to-consumer fashion company Ministry of Supply have teamed up to develop a jumper that can be resized on the spot to fit almost anyone. Shoppers can chose a jumper off the shelf, and an in-store robotic re-sizer will use a heat gun to adjust the jumper to a custom size while the shopper waits.
MIT Researcher Skyler Tibbets and his team stumbled on the technique while working to create a fabric that could be altered to become more breathable or more porous, depending on the weather. Ministry of Supply, meanwhile, has been experimenting with robotic knitting and customisation. The company’s goal was to create technology for customising different aspects of design, including aesthetics, functionality and fit.
According to Gihan Amarasiriwardena, cofounder and president of Ministry of Supply, the company’s vision is to bring the one-hour photo concept to clothing. Unlike other types of transforming materials, no batteries are needed and the jumper is not made of metal thread or shape-memory materials. Although the researchers will not give details of the exact materials used, they have said that the shape-shifting technology depends on the way that two different materials interact together when they’re exposed to heat. The jumper will be mass-produced in standard sizes and then customised in-store.