Digital Lace as Scottish Madras 29 March 2018

Light-emitting Lace is designed and presented as a new version of previous award-winning work Digital Lace (ISWC 2014) and made at MYB Textiles, a world leading lace manufacturer in Ayrshire and the textile Illuminator at Mike Stoane Lighting, Edinburgh.  The cloth and lighting system combine to create new modular light-emitting fabric panels which can be created as bespoke lit designs or as existing archive designs from MYB Textile’s collection.  Digital Lace is presented here as three woven, hand etched optical fibre panels.

Lace Unarchived


The cloth is manufactured on a Vamatex loom which has been specially adapted to create their unique Scottish Leno Madras Lace.  Using different pattern structures and yarn combinations it is possible to integrate polymer optical fibre to create different qualities of shadow and light. The woven fabric is designed to retain the lace-like quality and the aesthetic effects of an open structured transparent cloth, whilst offering surprising new qualities such as shiny lustre and shot effects which create interesting optical effects and ultimately, soft lit pattern. The cloth can also be etched to create additional lighting effects. The Illuminator is designed to light the selvedge of the cloth, where the loom cuts the cloth and the polymer optical fibres naturally align.  The lighting system is designed to maximise the weaving capacity and design potential of the Vamatex loom.

Lace Unarchived

The research was twice awarded by the Textile Future Forum Challenge Fund (University of Dundee, 2016 and Edinburgh Napier University, 2017) as part of an initiative to accelerate collaboration between industry and academia in order to fast-track sector innovation. The research aimed to develop the production capacity for weaving optical fibre as light-emitting lace, to manufacture smart textiles within a traditional Scottish textile manufacture infrastructure, and develop a lighting system as a fully integrated component of the woven product.

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