Design and Technology/Chemistry KS3 & KS4: Inventing clothes inspired by nature

Fran Scott meets Dr Veronika Kapsali from Northumbria University who is researching fabrics.

Dr Kapsali is trying to tackle the problem of clothing waste - each year over one billion items of clothing in Britain are thrown into land fill.

She has turned to nature for her inspiration, looking at penguins and pine cones. She has looked at penguin feathers to investigate fabrics that could be both warm and waterproof.

She has also looked at pine cones to investigate fabrics that shrink when wet (like pine cones) to become breathable when we sweat.

This films shows how she uses a 3D printer to make her fabrics.

This clip is from the series The Imagineers.

Teacher Notes

Students could use this clip as an introduction to the topics of new and smart materials.

This can be followed by a research activity and could lead on to a discussion of nanotechnology.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Design & Technology and Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland. Appears in AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, CCEA, WJEC, SQA.

More from The Imagineers:

Earthquake engineering
Inventing DIY wind turbines
Inventing future fabrics
Inventing smoke-free stoves
Nano-bubbles and drug delivery