Twine Solutions is a sustainable textile tech startup, developing digital dying solutions for off the shelf yarns. In this speculative design project we asked -
How might personalized color selection inform zero waste, on demand, production of soft goods?.
We showcased this scenario by designing a video prototype, an interior textiles collection, and a mobile product that enables users to sample colors from their surroundings, match the collection designs to the colors they sampled, and then send the products they selected to production upon demand.
Research and design process
Design process was bottom up - looking at the physical textile samples first, and then optimizing the digital product experience accordingly.
Color customization concept
Textile production // challenges & opportunities
One of the things which is very difficult to achieve today in textile design, when using the weaving technique, is creating visual color gradients. Today, in order to create those you would have to source for yarns in consecutive tones and try to combine them gradually so the gradient would look continuous. This would also require a large number of yarn Transporters - each transporter for each colored yarn.
We only used one yarn transporter and digitally printed the colored patterns on the yarn itself to be revealed once woven. It was a 3 month project in total and we had two design and fabrication iterations.
Mapping weaving machine limitations
For the 1st iteration, we used a polyester thread which changed its color from cyan to magenta every 1000 meters.
We choose to work with these colors because the company can currently print them in full saturation. This allowed us to examine what type of visual styles we can develop based on the various structures the industrial weaving machine can weave that would also highlight twine’s unique technology.
We found four main types of structures - plaids, strips, color blocks and gradients, and zagged patterns. Using these modules we could customize their length, combine different structures to create more complex patterns and modify their colors.
Textile design iteration 01
The 2nd iteration was centred around styling the patterns, their scales and color transitions. The final textile collection was inspired by op art.
Textile design iteration 02
We conducted a visit to the company's site, where we had the opportunity to interview the CMO, the CTO, a product manager and a print technician. This phase enabled us to map the limitations and opportunities of Twine’s technology from a technical, business and sustainable point of view.
The scenario was centred around interior textiles, which most commonly use woven fabrics. The decision was made because at that stage, Twine had only focused on operating as a B2B machinery supplier for knitwear fashion brands, and a part of the motivations that rose through our exploratory research phase was that they also wanted to see how they can scale to new markets.
In addition, they wanted to show their clients and partners how their unique strategic dying capabilities could affect the look and feel of woven designs in particular, and how their products can offer innovation at the business model level.
Mobile product design
In the digital prototyping phase, I focused on exploring how a textile collection could be categorized, visualised and interacted with for a virtual shopping experience, in a scenario where the color properties of a pattern become contextual. The mobile product had to communicate to users that color properties were customizable.
UX wire-framing & prototyping
I created two design directions for the mobile interface -
Option A was playful and followed design patterns that are commonly found in mobile photo editors and social media products.
Option B (which was chosen by Twine) followed design patterns that are commonly found within mobile shopping products.
Working towards wire-framing, one of the main problems the project tackled derived from the textile design phase - where patterns were originally mapped and designed in references to style categories. What I found was that color properties may affect style classification users would assume a pattern is related to when conducting an online search.
In order to overcome the classification and color visualisation ambiguities, the opening screen of the mobile prototype visualises the collection in greyscale, and products are only visualised in color once a user either samples a color from its surrounding or selects a color from a digital Pantone catalog. Classification of patterns was based on their visual properties rather than on style categories.
Color customization strategy
The overall look and feel was inspired by concept boards and look books, A common tool used by fashion, interior and textile designers when mapping materials, textures, shapes and color samples for a collection.
Filter vs/ Shopping catalogue
UI design - 2nd iteration
Dress Your Space
A mobile product, a textile collection and a concept video showcasing a speculative future for mass customization of interior textiles, based on a digital yarn dying technology and a color sampling algorithm
IdeationProduct UX/UI design
Material driven research
Twine Solutions Ltd. x CIRTex
Twine's Pavilion, ITMA 2019
Optical Color Illusions, The Tel Aviv Craft & Design Biennale, Musa, Eretz Israel Museum TLV, 2020
Textile production: Dana Palmon
Video production: Julia Barashkova
Photography: Eyal Refaelov
Interior design: Peretz architecture for Soul & Pepper
UI design - 2nd iteration
UI design - 1st iteration