Zebra fabrics

Group project: Zebra Fabrics.

(In this post most pictures are from Beam, but he also used some pictures from the media of the summercamp blog by other participants – difficult to trace who uploaded what – , any way…many thanks!)

zebra1 zebra2

The materials kindly provided by the sponsors looked very seducing, especially the stretch zebra fabrics. This summercamp is the chance to indulge in materials we never worked with before!

titleswhat did we use?

The zebra is rectangular, but the stretch can make it curvilinear, which means you go from a plane to curved space. What else is the body but curved space?

2014-08-13 06.32.20

Another nice example of curvilinear space is the Parasol in Sevilla:



Because of the energy harvesting workshop and the static electricity probe swatch everything seemed to be able to generate electricity.


Idea 1 was to have a go at a harvesting dress from layers of conductive materials, which generated static electricity.

Idea 2 was also to have a go at this copper konstantane endless energy source, by knitting copper and konstantan together and these materials into a silver thread and the silver parts into isolating threads.

In the first phase the group worked very hard, knitted a zebra pattern from the materials indicated in the picture, with a bigger zebra pattern from isolating and conductive threads. This was done on the Brother knitter of Beam.

double zebra knitted zebra

We locked the knitting and the zebra pattern together on the lock machine of Maurin.

2014-08-13 07.14.57

Then we made a simple dress as a base from a standard dress pattern.


We made the copper konstantan experiment, not yet generating energy. Jussi showed that is was very simple to generate energy by using a knot of copper and konstantan and put it above a candle. We knitted the copper to the konstantan, and these to silver thread, ending in isolating materials. Now we have to find the necessary temperature difference between the middle joint and the joints with the silver.

copper-konstantan-silver copper-konstantan-start

Pauline has a very different approach, also on the knitter, see her group project.

But then other participants needed some help in harvesting, like the interesting project of Paula with the DIY coils running on harvested energy using the supercaps,


and 3D printing of shapes for silicon experiments (Zoe project, Ingo project) and our project group got a bit distracted. Also, quite suddenly, the group project time was reduced from 5 weeks to only one afternoon and we had to present.


In short we had an “impasse”:  Too much ambition in too small a time space. This is an example of the well known zebra effect of the brain. Every now and again time is stretched curvilinearly by the brain suggesting endless possibilities, but time is resilient and stretches back to normal proportions in no time.

One important element was missing during the summercamp and can (now that we have returned to the civilized world) be added easily: Teflon.

If you insert this between two conductive layers it generates energy by rubbing as can be seen in this lovely video seen on a page by Disney research:


To be continued…

Each Friday night a new adventure!