(RE)DRESS:
TEXCLAY PROJECT

Aïcha Abbadi

TexClay is a vision of a circular material that recycles itself.

The starting point for this project was the idea of a (non)interpretable garment that every person interacting with it understands and wears differently. What if there were a material that would let people create their own clothes instantly and that was modifiable over and over again?

The fashion industry has become increasingly unsustainable, with the cycle 'from fiber to cloth to garments to shreds' accelerating to a dangerous speed. Could this cycle be condensed into a single material or technique? Is circular fashion the end of fashion or a rebirth? Could this material/technique find an application beyond clothing?

This page documents the experiments, questions, thoughts and search for answers that arise throughout the project.


Fiber Glue
June 2017

Textile hardener (non-toxic) mixed with wool fibers used as glue to join fabric scraps.

This could become a glue or filler material made of recycled fibers to repair torn clothes.

Wool 'Clay'
June 2017

Textile hardener (non-toxic) mixed with wool fibers for additive 'textiles'.

How can this become circular? What could replace the fabric hardener to make the process reversible?

Magnetic sheet and modules
June 2017

Test with combined methods.

Flat magnets are attached to a sheet of fabric with textile tape. Smaller fabric modules covered in magnetic paint attach to it.

Modular textile installation
June 2017

Scenario for an installation/future living.

A room full of textile modules that form soft furniture, carpets and curtains/room dividers. Getting dressed becomes as easy as grabbing a piece of furniture or walking through a curtain, wrapping it around the body and forming the multi-purpose material into new silhouettes according to daily needs and moods.

MAGNETIC FELT
June 2017

Felt-covered magnets create recomposable 'knits'.

soft burrs
May 2017

Burrs made from organic cotton out of dead stock from Hamburger Wollfabrik and Velcro core.
Inverting the structure of a soft centre and hard 'hooks' sticking out, the new burrs have the 'sticking' velcro in the centre.

synthetic burrs
May 2017

BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS... After some tests with velcro strips, I decided to go back again and start with velcro's origings: burrs. These samples are zoom-ins and an attempt to create soft textile burrs. The next step will be to scale them down and make them stick together better, without the construction falling apart by itself.

velcro samples #3
May 2017

VELCRO MODULES... Conventional modular textile systems are often decorative and rather laborious to assemble. Velcro modules provide a simple and quick to assemble alternative. However, they are not yet 'ready to wear', since they easily detach themselves through friction.

velcro samples #2
April 2017

VELCRO MODULES... Conventional modular textile systems are often decorative and rather laborious to assemble. Velcro modules provide a simple and quick to assemble alternative. However, they are not yet 'ready to wear', since they easily detach themselves through friction.

velcro samples #1
April 2017

WOVEN VELCRO STRIPS: FROZEN DRAPING... Through weaving hook and loop strips together, a draping sheet is created. Whatever the shape created, the sheet stays in place on the body without pins. This tool can provide a quick way to create volumes on a dressform or on the body. It allows for an intuitive way for expressing volume with textiles, more concrete than a sketch and less systematic than conventional draping or pattern making. 2mm-wide velcro strips sewn onto a knit sample allow for more flexibility.

concept/visuals
April 2017

CLOTHING AS A PERFORMATIVE SKIN... Clothing is our second skin. Getting dressed is an act that can be performed without much thinking and once the outfit is complete, we are set for the day. As effortlessly as we wear our clothing, we trash it when it is ripped, stained or torn after some wears. Little thought is wasted on the process of its creation, on the people who assemble it and the unnecessary waste of resources. What needs to be done to transform the intimate yet distant relationship we have with our clothing? How can we give it more attention, become a part of its creation and value it day after day? How can we save our clothing from a premature death and reinvent ourselves again and again? What is the garment that works with us and not against us? What garment takes shape without suffering? Can we communicate directly with each other by using our clothing or is it impossible to escape our cultural past?

When we look at our clothing with fresh eyes, we see that each garment is a multiple. Not only a copy and a quote of all the garments that have come before, but also a cover for our body that we are free to interpret. The potential of a garment can be released through imagining different realities and freeing the body from superimposed cultural norms.

The multi-garment transforms into a moldable mass that rearranges itself from sheet to three-dimensional object with openings and tunnels. As with the clouds in the sky, the garment that is seen in the shapeless mass is a hybrid between the onlooker's culturally informed previous knowledge and the limits of her imagination.