Innovation That Matters

Graphene Dress

Nobel prize-winning wonder material used in clothing

Fashion & Beauty

Graphene, a new material discovered by University of Manchester scientists in 2004, has been used for the first time in fashion in a high-tech dress.

The National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester partnered with wearable technology company CuteCircuit to create the world’s first graphene little black dress. Graphene is a two dimensional material that is 200 times stronger than steel, extremely lightweight and flexible and the most conductive and thinnest material now available. The scientists that discovered it were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics.

The graphene dress was introduced at Manchester’s intu Trafford Centre in celebration of Manchester being named the European City of Science. The dress includes a sensor that charges the LED lights that change color according to the wearer’s breathing. Already being used in the electronics, biomedicine and energy industries, graphene’s potential appears limitless.

CuteCircuit’s smart clothing has been featured by Springwise before, with its Sound Shirt collaboration with the Junge Symphoniker Hamburg. The shirt allows deaf audience members to ‘feel’ the music being performed. And graphene has also been used to expand the capabilities of solar panels, allowing them to generate power even on rainy days. How might such an adaptable material be put to use in developing countries or in regions already suffering the effects of climate change?



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