For the longest time I have wondered why light reflectors aren’t incorporated into winter clothing. I have sewn on bands of reflecting material, I have embroidered with reflecting thread. I have experimented with needle weaving reflecting thread into existing garments – here I am, on a winter’s night, on the road outside my home (click to enlarge):
I have also experimented with using that “yarn” (really a narrow strip of PVC plastic, coated with reflecting material) to weave with – pictures without and with flash (pictures taken at the same time):
Before the yardage was made into coats, it was in a yardage exhibition at Convergence – it must have been ’04, I think. It was titled “nightly rainbow”. Here is a detail – top is the reverse (no flash), bottom the right side (flash), both on loom:
Basically, it is a waffle weave with the coloured and the reflecting ends placed so as to be on the reverse side most of the time.
Now, I have just completed another reflecting experiment. This time I used a reflecting thread made to use for machine embroidery. I chose that to see what hand the fabric would have if it was used throughout (together with a woolen warp and weft).
First I tried it just “doubled”, but didn’t like the result.
So... the next step doesn’t really lend itself to “production”: I tried plying it with the weft yarn. Of course (I knew it, but hoped I was wrong) the weft yarn became totally unruly... which meant I had to first unply, then re-ply the weft yarn. It worked, but for production? No...! Maybe I can talk some small spinning mill into making it for me?
However, with a coat/jacket like this, one would not have to worry about being invisible!
(Yes, it has been wet finished, and it handles quite ok. But it will take long before I will try to make a longer yardage)