‘Tensile Muscle Fabric’ is an investigation into responsive and dynamic knit fabric that stimulates a visual and haptic response from touch interaction. Flexinol actuator wires, that contract when heat or electric current is applied, are integrated into knit structures to create three‐dimensional deflections in the fabric.
The system uses custom designed microprocessor circuits that create a range of deflections on the textile, such as creating depth, texture and visual stimulation, that are triggered by targeted touch input sensors integrated into the knit fabric. The overall kinetic movement is based off an antagonistic relationship between the contraction of the Flexinol actuators and the ‘spring back’ from the elastic yarn used in the fabric.
Compared to other mechanical actuators, Flexinol provides a smooth and natural deflection that mimics organic muscular contractions. This organic movement combined with an intelligent knit structure that deforms and reveals, provides a visceral experience that goes beyond visual delight. Overall, the user experiences a closed loop of interactions between the human touch (input) and the response of actuators that deforms the fabric accordingly that engages and excites.