This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled

August 28, 2017 by  
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Power-producing materials are the stuff of wearable inventors’ dreams. And scientists just created a yarn that generates electricity with a simple tug. The yarn, comprised of carbon nanotubes and submerged in an electrolyte gel, isn’t ideal for sweaters – but can harvest power from a wearer’s breathing. And there’s another surprising application: it could collect energy from ocean waves . An international team of 29 researchers devised the the yarn material, known as twistron harvesters, “by tying a carbon nanotube string into a tangled weave of carbon and submerging it into an electrolyte gel,” according to Science Magazine. When covered in gel and tugged, the yarn can illuminate a light-emitting diode with a small current. The yarn’s peak power generation – when strands are hooked together – is 250 watts per kilogram, and Ars Technica pointed out a professional cyclist’s peak exertions are only around 10 percent of that figure. Related: New type of fabric harvests energy from the sun and movement The researchers tested the yarn by sewing it in to a shirt, and saw it generated a tiny amount of electricity as the wearer breathed in and out. The researchers also connected the yarn to an artificial muscle – a polymer that contracts when warmed, according to Ars Technica – and were able to convert fluctuations in temperature into energy . A still more unexpected way the yarn could be used is in wave power . The material operates when it’s placed in saltwater similar to the ocean, and the motion of the waves moves the yarn, allowing it to generate power. Ars Technica notes the device does need a platinum electrode as seawater can be corrosive. The proof of concept yarn strands aren’t yet powerful enough to brighten a home, but the scientists say their technology is scalable. The journal Science published the research in late August. Scientists from institutions in South Korea, the United States, and China contributed to the study. Via Science Magazine and Ars Technica Images via The University of Texas at Dallas and screenshot

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This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled

Gigantic blood-red web takes over Gucci in Tokyo

October 31, 2016 by  
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Born in Osaka and currently based in Berlin, Chiharu Shiota is well-known for her passion of wrapping objects and spaces with red or black thread. In the case of Gucci, her artistic gesture intends to reinterpret an emblematic pattern designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele . The room is fully immersed in a bicolored motif of branches, leaves and flowers. The red yarn spreads in every direction, transforming the brand’s flat print into a three-dimensional universe. Related: Thousands of keys strung from blood-red yarn evoke Japan’s Great Tohoku Earthquake Symbolically, Shiota’s red tangle expands over tapestries embracing everything from fashion accessories to furnishing and décor. In a way, this room is a statement of Gucci’s global image applied in an entire all-embracing scale. Chiharu Shiota ’s Herbarium installation is a part of the Gucci 4 Rooms exhibition on the 7th floor of Gucci’s Ginza building. The program includes four visionary rooms curated by four different artists called to express the inventive spirit of the house. It will run through November 27, 2016. + Chiharu Shiota Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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Gigantic blood-red web takes over Gucci in Tokyo

Sanne Visser unveils super-strong rope bags made from human hair

September 26, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/171334044 While it may sound disturbing at first, hair actually has a number of properties which make it perfect for use in yarn : it has a high tensile strength, is thermally insulating, flexible, lightweight, and oil-absorbent. A single human hair can hold up to 100 grams of weight, meaning that an entire head of hair could potentially withstand a whopping 12 tons. This varies, of course, on the health of the person they come from, and there also seems to be ethnic variation when it comes to hair strength. (Fun fact: Asian hair is apparently the strongest.) Related: Studio Swine’s Stylish Eyeglasses are Made of Human Hair The hair is collected shortly after being cut from its owner, and then spun into 2-ply yarn before it’s woven into ropes. From there, the ropes are transformed into any number of useful items. Unfortunately, the process is limited at the moment to the clippings Visser is able to obtain. In order to put her designs into production on a wider scale, a waste management system would have to be implemented in barbershops and salons to collect the hair so it could be repurposed. Practical challenges aside, it’s an interesting and innovative idea, and we loved the sample products we saw at Designersblock at the London Design Fair last week! + Sanne Visser + London Design Festival + Inhabitat coverage of London Design Festival Images via Mike Chino and Sanne Visser

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Sanne Visser unveils super-strong rope bags made from human hair

Artist covers two houses in bright pink crochet as a symbol of hope for refugees

September 8, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/180960347 Olek traveled to Avesta, Sweden to install art at a museum, and during conversations with Ukrainian and Syrian refugees who helped with her art, she decided to ” blow up my crocheted house to illustrate the current unfortunate situation worldwide ” where many have had to flee their homes. According to Olek, more than 21 million people lost homes to conflict or war in 2015. “Our pink house is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself. It’s about us coming together as a community. It’s about helping each other. In the small Swedish community of Avesta we proved that we are stronger together, that we can make anything happen together. People from all walks of life came together to make this project possible,” said Olek. Related: Crochet Queen Olek Yarn Bombs Entire Train in Just Two Days She blanketed a home in Avesta and a home in Kerava, Finland with beautiful pink crocheted yarn. The Kerava home is over 100 years old , and its past inhabitants once had to flee as bombs fell in the yard during a war. While they were able to return, Olek wanted to show through the two yarn-bombed houses that although many people currently don’t have a permanent place to live, ” everybody should have a home .” Each inch of the Kerava house is covered with pretty pink designs, from the chimney all the way down to the floorboards. Many women helped Olek with the process. In an Instagram post , Olek said, “I wanted to create a positive ending for them as a symbol of a brighter future for all people, especially the ones who have been displaced against their own wills. Women have the ability to recreate themselves. No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew. We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes…our pink house is a symbol of a bright future filled with hope.” + Olek Via Colossal Images via Olek on Facebook

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Artist covers two houses in bright pink crochet as a symbol of hope for refugees

Vintage Bicycles Get Crocheted in Cape Town

November 28, 2013 by  
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Whether you want to call it yarn-bombing or guerrilla knitting , this craze has spread across the world in a colorful display of environmentally friendly public art. Isabeau Joubert has done something similar over in Cape Town, South Africa, giving two vintage bicycles a dazzling makeover by using brightly colored wool in a burst of yarn graffiti . The crocheted bicycles were a gift to not only their owners but to the city of Cape Town itself; a piece of public art that aims to inspire others to get on their bikes. Joubert used a bright orange wool to reflect how much she loves exploring the city by bicycle, so now these happy-go-lucky bikes are spreading the message to fellow urban dwellers! Read the rest of Vintage Bicycles Get Crocheted in Cape Town Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bicycles , bicycling , bike , bikes , biking , crocheting , cycling , fiber art , fibre art , green art , guerrilla knitting , Isabeau Joubert , knitting , public art , sustainable artwork , urban biking , urban transport , yarn , yarn bombing , yarn graffiti        

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Vintage Bicycles Get Crocheted in Cape Town

How can I revamp some plain curtains with recycled/upcycled materials?

February 23, 2012 by  
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Following on from my recent “ how can I revamp a kitchen so I don’t need a new one? ” question, Janet has asked a similar (smaller scale!) question about curtains: I have ordinary plain curtains that need to look snazzy. I like the “wacky” type of design,whether it’s adding on old buttons,bits of fabric etc. Any ideas? Many thanks,Janet. I think you’ve already got a few good ideas on there: cover the bottom quarter/third of the curtains with a strip of contrasting fabric and decorate the join with a row of buttons (mmm, buttons on curtains ) – or go shabby chic with a whole row/section of buttons and misc (badges, charms, pompoms, bows, rosettes – whatever you can find). Or use scraps of old fabric and yarn to make a bunting design higher up – old patterned clothes or bedding would be fab. I’ve seen curtains that looked like they had tufts/short tassels of yarn every 15cm/6ins or so in lines down the length of them, which would be easy to replicate. Or sew on ribbon /thin strips of scrap fabric to add stripes or wiggly lines – for thicker stripes, this chevron idea is nice and I’ve seen a similar appliqué idea using strips of a design cut from old lacey net curtain . Alternatively, you could make reverse appliqué patches – cut out simple shapes and add a contrasting shape/fabric behind to peek through ( reverse appliqué tutorial ). A simple no-sew idea is to attach ribbon/yarn/strips of scrap fabric to each curtain ring/clip – like the idea (about a third of the way down) on this page . If the curtains are 100% cotton, you could try dyeing them – ombre/dip dye ones would look interesting (as if all the dye from the curtains had slid down to the floor 😉 ) – or if they’re too dark for that, selectively bleaching them. (Obviously do try a test patch first.) If they’re too big to be manageable in a dye bath, you could try printing onto them instead (possibly using a linocut technique or an even simpler stamp for something like polka dots — or for a fun or kid-centric room, hand prints 😉 ). How would you revamp or embellished plain curtains using recycled/upcycled stuff? What did you do? Have you got any tips or suggestions for Janet? Any non-sewing idea or ones that use alternative materials to fabric/yarn?

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How can I revamp some plain curtains with recycled/upcycled materials?

Best ways to recycle plastic drinking straws

August 30, 2011 by  
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Babita Sajnani: Hawaian Lei Beautiful exotic Hawaiian garlands made out of straw As we all know, plastic takes hundreds of thousands of years to decompose, during which time its toxic attributes pollute the ecosystems and sometimes even pollutes the scarce groundwater reserves. However, plastic being affordable and water resistant at the same time, is being used to produce everything from electronic gadgets to drinking straws. While there are some plastic products which we use for a longer period of time, products such as plastic water bottles and straws are discarded after single use. Trying to solve the issues related to single use plastic products, several ingenious minds have thought of creative ways to recycle straws into innovative products that can be reused. Here is a list of 10 such products that are crafted out of plastic drinking straws. 1. Plastic straw necklace Straw necklance interconnecting straws to make a fine necklace This is a perfect necklace made out of plastic straws that is easy to make and would be a great fun activity for your little girls! You can even try to make a matching bracelet and ring with the straws. For making the necklace, you would need yarn, straws and a pair of scissors. Firstly, one straw should be cut 5 inches long and then the pieces should be folded along the middle and fastened with a long piece of yarn – leaving a good length of yarn on either sides. Then the remaining straws should be cut into smaller pieces. These pieces can then be strewn with the help of the yarn on both the ends. After achieving the right length, tie a knot with the two ends of the yarn and voila your necklace is ready. 2. Sweet Candy Gift Box A pinwheel with a straw candy stand Perfect craft to treat your friends to candy This candy pinwheel-cum-gift box is a great party decoration and is also very simple to make. The things that we require for this craft is 2 pieces (15 cm) colored paper of good thickness, two smaller square pieces with sides measuring 5 cm, red paint marker, scissors, glitter glue that matches the design on the paper, 1 straw, one pin, a piece of crepe, a pencil and candies. Base: The craft has to be done in two parts. In the first part i.e. making the base, you have to first take a large piece of paper and fold it equally and then unfold on either sides. Then you must bring each corner to the middle and press the paper down. Now turn the paper over and do the same on the other side. Then gently pull out the edges so that it looks like a 4-cup container . Pinwheel: In the second part i.e. make a pinwheel and fasten it with a circle cut from the crepe paper and a pin. The pin should be fastened to the straw. Now join the two parts – the candy-filled base and the pinwheel by making a small slit in the base to slip the straw smoothly. Fill the base with lots of candies. 3. Straw Plane Straw airplane A fuselage made with straw This easy straw craft is basically a tissue-filled fuselage with cardstock wings and the best part is that it can fly pretty smoothly too! For making the straw plane you would require a flexible straw, a sheet of cardstock, a soft paper napkin, tape (light), and a pair of scissors. Firstly, you must cut the straw from the bend and then twist a napkin and stuff it in the cavity of the straw so that it completely fills it up. Then fold the cardstock in half and outline one wing and tail – which, when cut, will produce two joined tails and wings. Stick them carefully on to the straw fuselage with tape and your plane is ready to take-off! 4. Hawaiian Lei Hawaian Lei Beautiful exotic Hawaiian garlands made out of straw Girls enjoy making crafts that are exotic and wearable too, so the Hawaiian Lei would make a great activity. For this, you would required Crayola Color Explosion paper which you can cut into many flower shapes and can also decorate them with glitter. Punch holes in the middle of the glowers and then take a ribbon/yarn which would be around 61 cm long. Cut the straws into 5 cm pieces each and string them with the help of the yarn – alternating between a flower and a straw piece to create a beautiful Hawaiian Lei. 5. Baby big eyes Baby Big Eyes Straw colorful toy for attracting babies This is a beautiful and colorful craft that can really hold a baby’s attention with its vibrant colors and patterns. For making this, you would need to cut a sheet of construction paper in half to make a long and thinner strip. Fold the paper into a wide fan to make four blocks. Then use Crayola Washable Classic Broad Line Markers for drawing dark beautiful patterns on each block. Stick and wrap the ends on to a straw with glue. 6. Basketball Hoop Game This is a craft that is suitable for children who are 8 years and above. For this craft, you would require craft foam, egg carton cup, masking tape, cardboard, straw, scissors, hot glue gun and glue sticks, a chenille stem (optional) and also a pom-pom (2.5 cm in diameter). Firstly, you must cut the egg carton cup (9 x 12 cm) and poke a hole at the bottom and cut it off big enough to fit a pom-pom. This forms the basket ball net. Cut the back board out of craft foam and fasten it to a straw along with the egg carton. Then the entire structure can be place on the cardboard for which you need to make a small hole and then fill it up with hot glue and fasten the straw into it. Then you can use a pompom to play basketball! 7. Circles Lollipop For this craft, you would require construction paper or craft foam, a glue stick, drinking straws, scotch tape, compass, scissors and glitter glue. First, draw three circles small medium and large and cut them out. Glue the circles together – from big to small and then fasten a straw to the back with tape. You can now decorate your lollipop by using glitter glue. 8. Crepe Paper Roses Straw crepe roses Straw and crepe roses are great for Valentines. For paper roses you would require, red and green crepe paper, green paper straws or plastic straws, scissors and tape. First take a rectangular piece of red crepe paper and fold it in 9 rectangular segments around 7cm x 10 cm each. Then sketch a petal to the center of the folded crepe paper and cut to make 9 petals. Then spread the petals with the help of your thumb to give it a flower shape. Attach each petal to the straw using tape until all the petals are arranged to make a flower. 9. Beaded Curtain For this craft you would require yarn, neon colored straws and beads. You can make cheaper and amazing looking beaded curtains by simply cutting plastic straws into 2 inch segments and then threading them into 5 feet of yarn with beads in between for decoration. The beaded curtains not only turn out to look beautiful but are also very durable – making it an excellent way to recycle old plastic straws! 10. Bubble Mania Bubble Mania Bubble making with straws For this fun bubble craft, you would require a sheet of card stock (8.5″ x 11″), bowl and spoon, scissors, tape, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp dish-washing liquid, plastic straw and 2 tbs glycerin. For this, you need to make a bubble blower by rolling the card stock into a conical shape and affixing it with tape. The narrow end should be trimmed to 1/2 inch diameter. Then prepare a mix of water, glycerin and dish-washing liquid in order to perform many tricks. In the first trick, dip the wider end of the cone into the bubble mix and hold it inside for a couple of seconds, take it out and then quickly immerse it inside the solution again. Then point the cone to the ground and blow a large bubble and leave it attached to the cone by sealing the narrow end with your finger. Now poke the bubble with a pair of scissors, and the bubble will not burst but the scissors will pass through the bubble very smoothly without bursting it. In the second trick blow a bubble just like in the first trick and then also dip the straw in the bubble solution (just wet 2 inches of it). Insert the soapy end of the straw inside the big bubble and then gently blow the straw to create a bubble within a bubble.

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How can I reuse or recycle a lot of white yarn?

February 14, 2011 by  
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We’ve had another email from friend of Recycle This Petra: From my sister in law I inherited a lot of yarn, mostly small balls of the same. I know you covered the item about the short ends of yarn and what to do with it. My question is a bit related.

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How can I reuse or recycle a lot of white yarn?

This week’s reducing, reusing & recycling link round-up

June 15, 2010 by  
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We get a lot of tutorials on making random old textiles into bags or aprons – but this is the other way around: use a cute old apron as an instant cafe-style kitchen curtain . I also love Ki’s use of an old paint roller as a kitchen roll holder. Courtney of the Greenists linked to this TED Talk by Treehugger’s Graham Hill about becoming a weekday vegetarian .

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This week’s reducing, reusing & recycling link round-up

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