TORONTO WEARABLES MEETUP 11: MARISA RANALLI
Friday August 19th, 2016

When Marisa Ranalli began making electronic garments, there were few resources available to her.  Arduino hadn’t quite hit the mass market yet, and the sewable Lilypad Arduino was still in development.  Conductive thread was available in only one size and kind, and was intended for the repair of fencing uniforms, not for sending power to patches of conductive felt, lighting up embedded LEDs.  Despite initial hurdles, Ranalli devised her own methods and techniques to get what she wanted from her work, seeking to cohesively bring together the world of textiles and electronics.  In Glow Worm, Ranalli uses conductive thread in a knitting machine to create a knitted tube scarf that, when the areas of conductive thread connect, close the circuit and make the scarf light up with discrete LEDs.  The design is seamless, complete, and reliable.  “Proper interation is key to creating effective Wearables”, stated Ranalli.  “When Wearables are showcased improperly, when they malfunction…or when a piece does not do what it should, it leaves viewers with a poor taste of Wearables”.

 

Inspired by deep-sea creatures, Ranalli created a dress that incorporates shape memory alloy (SMA) into felted tenticles across the body (Under the Surface, 2010). Ranalli discussed the ease of working with SMA and the process for setting the shapes.  Discussion in the audience turned to a variety of approaches that others have taken to working with SMA, involving kilns, ovens, or Ranalli’s technique: a blowtorch.

 

From here, the Meetup became an open discussion about techniques, marketability of Wearables, and a bit of who-is-who from the audience.  It was an informative, exciting night with a great (and diverse) turnout, in part due to an early morning radio interview with Ranalli on CBC Radio’sMetro Morning show (January 11th) on the topic of Electronic Textiles.  As Wearable Technology continues to draw attention from a variety of areas,  TWM gains momentum and becomes increasingly integrated with each passing month.  Great things are happening here.  Don't miss it.

 



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When Marisa Ranalli began making electronic garments, there were few resources available to her.  Arduino hadn’t quite hit the mass market yet, and the sewable Lilypad Arduino was still in development.  Conductive thread was available in only one size and kind, and was intended for the repair of fencing uniforms, not for sending power to patches of conductive felt, lighting up embedded LEDs.  Despite initial hurdles, Ranalli devised her own methods and techniques to get what she wanted from her work, seeking to cohesively bring together the world of textiles and electronics.  In Glow Worm, Ranalli uses conductive thread in a knitting machine to create a knitted tube scarf that, when the areas of conductive thread connect, close the circuit and make the scarf light up with discrete LEDs.  The design is seamless, complete, and reliable.  “Proper interation is key to creating effective Wearables”, stated Ranalli.  “When Wearables are showcased improperly, when they malfunction…or when a piece does not do what it should, it leaves viewers with a poor taste of Wearables”.

 

Inspired by deep-sea creatures, Ranalli created a dress that incorporates shape memory alloy (SMA) into felted tenticles across the body (Under the Surface, 2010). Ranalli discussed the ease of working with SMA and the process for setting the shapes.  Discussion in the audience turned to a variety of approaches that others have taken to working with SMA, involving kilns, ovens, or Ranalli’s technique: a blowtorch.

 

From here, the Meetup became an open discussion about techniques, marketability of Wearables, and a bit of who-is-who from the audience.  It was an informative, exciting night with a great (and diverse) turnout, in part due to an early morning radio interview with Ranalli on CBC Radio’sMetro Morning show (January 11th) on the topic of Electronic Textiles.  As Wearable Technology continues to draw attention from a variety of areas,  TWM gains momentum and becomes increasingly integrated with each passing month.  Great things are happening here.  Don't miss it.