ETech 2009: Lilypad Electronic Fashion

lilypad electronic shirt photo

Sewing Lilypad electronic parts onto t-shirt

Remember the solar powered bike signal jacket from Leah Buechley? Check her out showing it off at ETech 2009, and find out more about the future of off-grid electronic clothing.

There is conductive fabric on the sleeves, and the use of silver plated thread allows the whole set up to be connected so that when the sleeves are touched, the lights on the back turn on. Notice the solar panels on the upper arm for charging. Pretty cool (but sometimes difficult to get through airport security).

Lilypad electronics help you turn clothing into something novel...and practical if you craft it correctly. For example, a solar powered ski suit for safety. You can DIY it to fit your needs.

The really inspiring thing about solar powered clothing, especially things you can make yourself, is that taking gadget charging off grid is integrating more and more with fashion - from bags to neck ties. Except making it yourself is far cooler. Of course the flip side is worrying about how long these will last, and making sure that the electronics are recycled properly.

Thanks to solar parts available to go along with the Lilypad electronics, you can make clothing for some pretty practical use while going off-grid. We're still excited about the idea of solar fabric, which would make clothing look a whole lot more normal, and a whole lot less like some other oddities like the solar powered bikini.

More to come from ETech as the conference gets rolling.

More on Solar Powered Clothing:
Solar Powered Clothing on the Rack Soon
Solar-Powered Bra and User-Powered Dress To Juice Up Your iPod
Solar Powered Denim Jacket
Solar Powered Necktie Is Not Exactly Ralph Lauren

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