Before Julia and I began our journey in making our awesome reflective bike wear, we had to test out the materials that were available to us. Tess bought tons of cool reflective sands, paints and fabrics. In the pictures above you can see the experiments we did
To test the reflective sands we took two different types of fabric, black and white, then we used different colored paints and glues to attach the sands to the fabrics. We then took them into a room where it could be completely dark and used a camera flash and a black light to see how they would react.
The process we used to test the reflective spray paint was pretty similar to the process of testing the sands. We took abunch of different types of fabrics and other spray paints. Then we went outside to spray paint. We tried just using the reflective spray paint, and then we tried using it over other spray paints.Then, as before, we took the fabric into a dark room where we could see how reflective it is. In the end, Julia and I decided that we prefered the relfective spray paint over the regular spray paint because it is the most relfective and the coolest looking.
The Reflective Shirt
This tank top is the most fashionable of our collection. It was our first idea. It is a one hundred percent reflective rasor back tank top. Our first step, was doing one more test to make sure that the reflective spray paint would not just crak off. We took three strips of fabric, with reflective paint on them, and washed them all at different strength to see how it would hold up. We found it did pretty well. As long as the fabric is not too strechy a light hand wash does just fine.
Now we had to start making the shirt. Tess sent us to the Goodwill shop a block away to find a shirt we could use. Julia and I spent awhile looking through the racks to find something just right. We had to make sure the fabric was not too strechy. Finally we found the perfect one and went back to NUVU where the fun began.
Our next step, was to spray paint the entire shirt. That took much longer than we expected, but it turned out great. Then we began the cutting and sewing. Julia and I knew that we wanted a rasor back tank with a relfective, stylish pocket in the front, but we were not quite sure how to get there. Tess gave us some great advice, and in the end the shirt turned out great. We used reflective fabric for the pocket and rasor back.
As you can see in the pictures the shirt came out great. I think the best part about the shirt is that it appears normal during the day, making it perfectly acceptable to wear wherever you are going, but then when it gets dark at night it becomes reflective. This shirt embodies the idea of our line-chic and safe.
Our ankle cuffs were the most challenging piece of clothing we made. Mostly because we had so little time to complete them. The idea we had was to create ankle cuffs that had snaps at the end and when you put the snaps together the lights turn on, and when you unsnap them the lights turn off. It took the longest time trying to figure out what program to use. Finally, we found the right one, but then came the hand sewing part. Sewing conductive thread is extremely difficult. And it seemed as though everything that could go wrong did. We learned so much from this process. Making these ankles cuffs taught us to think on our feet and learn how to problem solve quickly when we do not have a lot of time. The ankle cuffs work and are pretty cool for a prototype. Julia and I wish for next time that they look a little more polished if we end up making the final version.
Every good fashion line has to have great accessories. Our necklace is similar to the shirt in that it is very stylish and normal in the daylight, but at night is becomes reflective. The jewls were made on sketch up and lazor cut out. They are attached with extra strong wire. The rope is held together buy a very nice blue string. This necklace is perfect for adding a little style to anyones outfit.