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Normal the Weird: Spiderweb garment

"Fabric"ation on-the-go.

Published onOct 07, 2019
Normal the Weird: Spiderweb garment

I was inspired by how materials development and manufacturing/tools advancements (especially 3d printing and knitting) have brought us to the personalization era. We can now scan our body size, program, and make our own sweater within an hour, or even directly print it on our-body with spray-cans.

Fig 1. Shima-seiki whole garment machine (left), spray-on fabric by Imperial College London (right)

Then, I wonder what if biological, living being can do their magic, producing silk threads and web/weave/knit them directly on our body. Similar to how Mediated Matter’s group presented their Silk Pavilion project. They created a macro-scale panel as a base, in which silkworms can produce silk and form 3d large-scale structures. They explored the relationship between digital and biological fabrication, and created new paradigms for sustainable, biodegradable structures.

Fig 2. Silk Pavilion by Mediatted Matter Group, MIT Media Lab

I present a future where, either from advancements in gene-editing and synthetic biology or micro, soft-robotics (whichever matures first), biological or synthetic beings live with us on our skin and actively generate our clothing needs. They eat our old skin cells, dead skin — which give them the energy to produce fibers/threads. They also adapt their fabrication strategies and materials produced based on our environment and our physical and physiological condition (or maybe can even be controlled by us). This is similar to how silkworms like to produce in a warmer environment.

Fig 3. Spiderweb clothing concept

With this future, we do not need to waste time on choosing or worrying what or which size to wear anymore...

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