Embroidered Sound Wave Art Exhibit [link]
Sound (a compression waveform created by the vibration of an object) is commonly associated with air, but can also travel through materials -- including fabric -- when properly harnessed. In 2007, students at Cornell University were asked to "sew" body bags into couture garments using sound waves in process called ultrasonic bonding (which requires no stitching, thread, or glue).
"In the process [of ultrasonic bonding], high-frequency sound waves are converted into mechanical vibrations that are channeled through a component called a "horn," creating a rapid buildup of heat. Fabrics used must be at least 60 percent synthetic so seams can be fused together." - Science Daily
The results were so impressive that several of the student creations were chosen for the runway at the annual International Textile and Apparel Association meeting in Los Angeles. (A huge thumbs up in terms of reducing waste, but a huge thumbs down considering that fabric must be at least 60% synthetic for this process to work. *sigh*) Fast forward to the present, and sound waves are once again making their presence known. But instead of remaining an invisible force behind the scenes, actual sound wave patterns appear to be the inspiration for many designers. And I have to admit, I'm kind of digging it.
Sound Wave Bracelet by Sakurako Shimizu
Sound Wave Cufflinks by Danielle Crampsi
Sound Wave Graph Chair by Matthew Plummer Fernandez