© Christopher Thomond
© Christopher Thomond

Researchers unveil graphene dress

Scientists from the National Graphene Institute (NGI) in Manchester, UK, have collaborated with CuteCircuit Fashion Company to develop the first dress made out of graphene.

The black dress uses ‘wonder material’ to translate the wearer’s heartbeat into power for built-in light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

Unveiled at the Trafford Centre in Manchester the dress changes colour in sync with the wearer’s breathing, using tiny LED lights.

Graphene was used to power the lights and as a sensor to record the wearer’s breathing, while materials such as crine – a woven lightweight nylon fabric – were used to frame the dress.

Francesca Rosella, chief creative director for CuteCircuit, said: “Graphene has never been used in the fashion industry before.

“Being the first to use it was a real honour, allowing us to have a lot of fun creating the stunning little black graphene dress and showcasing graphene’s amazing properties.”

The designers hope the technology could eventually be used to make a dress that can be programmed to show any colour or design.

Dr Paul Wiper, research associate at NGI, said: “This is a fantastic project; graphene is still very much in its infancy for real-world applications and showcasing its amazing properties through the forum of fashion is very exciting.

“The dress is truly one of a kind and shows what creativity, imagination and a desire to innovate can create using graphene and related two-dimensional materials.”