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The design uses smart fabrics to create a safer and more comfortable alternative to traditional binding | Photo source

Smart fabric improves compression garments for transgender men

Health & Wellbeing

The smart garment was designed as a safer alternative to traditional binding for transgender men and non-binary people

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Spotted: A student at UK-based Loughborough University has created a smart compression garment for transgender men and non-binary people. The design uses smart fabrics to create a safer and more comfortable alternative to traditional binding, creator Miles Kilburn says. 

Kilburn created the garment, called Breathe, as an alternative to traditional chest binding. The practice is used to create a more masculine appearance. Current forms of binding use restrictive clothing or even tape, which is uncomfortable and can lead to injuries. Breathe uses smart fabric to make the garment more comfortable and adjustable

The garment is made using nitinol, a nickel-titanium alloy, as a thread that connects to the elastic in the side panels. It keeps Breathe tight across the wearer. It can be activated at the touch of a button to contract and relax the fit. 

Kilburn created Breathe for his final project at Loughborough. He says he hopes it will eventually be used by the National Health Service. Breathe could help people considering top surgery, Kilburn said. The garment could give them, “more time to consider whether they want surgery whilst experiencing much less pain from binding.”




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