21st Century Fashion Kit

Calling all fashion moguls: Here is your chance to play with the most experimental materials in 21st Century fashion! This is the 21st Century Fashion Kit, an e-textiles resource pack filled with everything you need to add a bit of modern technology to your clothes, bags, shoes, or any other wearable piece of apparel. If you have a fair grasp on e-textiles and are looking for more of a challenge, this kit is a great next step!

Unlike our normal project kits that have a set structure on how everything inside can be used, the 21st Century Fashion Kit is a collection of resources for e-textile users and fashion designers to push their ideas to the next level. For more experimental designs, there are materials to make elements that change shape when inflated and tools to make electrochromatic circuits that change color when turned on, sapphire blue thermochromatic pigment (which bears a striking resemblance to Yves Saint Laurent’s #18 Blue Majorelle nail polish) that is a great when mixed with paint/polish/clay/etc. to create colors that change with variable temperature, or a laser cut lace leather skull patch that can be outfitted with LEDs for some glowing flair. Traditional fashion craftsmanship is combined with tech in two items from the NYC garment district. We worked with a 4th generation, family owned silk flower manufacturer to develop a handmade RGB LED flower. In a warehouse, we discovered a small box filled with unused stock of gold plated thread from the 1930’s that is conductive (with very low resistance). Use your imagination with this kit, push the bounds of your creativity, and try new and different things!

Note: This product is a collaboration with Diana Eng known for her appearance as a contestant on the second season of Project Runway and for her dedication to integrating tech into fashion. Diana Eng will receive a portion of each sale of kit to help her with product support and continual development.

  • 1x Silk Flower RGB LED
  • 1x Squirrel Cage Blower
  • 1x White Lace Tablecloth
  • 1x Leather Skull
  • 1x Sapphire Blue Thermochromatic Pigment (20g)
  • 1x LiPo Charger Basic - Micro-USB
  • 1x MOSFET Power Controller
  • 1x USB microB Cable - 6 Foot
  • 1x Needle Set
  • 1x Vintage Thread
  • 2x Conductive Thread Bobbin - 30ft (Stainless Steel)
  • 6x LED - Violet 5mm
  • 1x Polymer Lithium Ion Battery - 1000mAh
  • 1x 9V Alkaline Battery
  • 2x Coin Cell Battery - 20mm (CR2032)
  • 1x 9V Snap Connector
  • 2x Sewable Coin Cell Battery Holder - 20mm
  • 1x 21st Century Fashion Kit Poster

21st Century Fashion Kit Product Help and Resources

Humidity-sensing LED Flower

October 28, 2014

How about that humidity? This tutorial shows how to add sensing capability to the 21st Century Fashion Kit's RGB flower project.

21st Century Fashion Kit: Electrochromatic Circuits

November 5, 2014

Diana Eng walks you through a magically appearing design made with an thermochromatic pigment.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.

2 DIY

Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Customer Comments

  • I’m quite surprised it doesn’t come with some sort of Arduino.

    • There are a few reasons why one wasn’t included. The first is simple; it’s not necessary for the function of anything in the kit, and it would raise the price. We didn’t want anyone paying extra for a part that they might not use.

      The second is that this kit is intended for a more expert user than most of our wearables kits; a user who might already be using Arduino in a lot of projects. If it’s something you use regularly, you’re more likely to have strong preferences between the many flavors of Arduino, so we’re more likely to be including one that’s not what you’d want for your purposes.

      And finally, it’s intended as more of an exploration kit- see what these materials do, and what they inspire you to make. It’s not really intended as a ‘make this cool project out of this box’ kit. It would be pretty unwieldy to make one project with all of these parts. So do you include one Arduino and make people decide which project to put it in? Do you include four Arduinos, so you can make separate projects for all of the components concurrently?

      Ultimately, providing the most necessary materials and then allowing the user to decide what other hardware (if any) they wanted to integrate it with made the most sense to us, and kept the exploratory experience as inexpensive for the user as possible.

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