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"Discussion on future tech and society - Monday Musing - Untearable Clothing", 11th Jun 2018, 9:21 PM #1
sunseeker25

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Here's the topic for today - please share your thoughts in a comment!

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Making clothing of extremely fine materials that are very, very strong sounds like it could be untearable, especially if these materials weren't plant fibers but something synthetic. "Electrospinning" is a way of turning polymer fluids into synthetic cloths, so I figure in 100 years this will be a very good product and one that could be made on demand with additive printers, too.
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11th Jun 2018, 9:51 PM #2
swamp
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Would not want. I'd love more durable clothing, but we could already make that, it's just not as cost effective.

Unrippable clothing could be really dangerous! There are a number of circumstances where hasty removal of clothing is paramount, such as cutting open a pant leg to stitch a wound or a shirt to use a defibrillator. It could also increase risk of strangulation and drowning.

I think the much more likely advancement in clothing is more easy/cheap customization. Getting clothes for people of your weight/height/body type can be a pain, getting clothes in your style even more so. This is even more extreme for people with medical conditions that change body type like down syndrome or dwarfism. The first clothing line to be able to mass produce custom clothing (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but even bulk 'specialized clothing' can run 4x general price for cheap stuff. I'm talking machines where you put in a customer's measurements and it can churn out a pair of pants with no fuss or math) will be successful and make a lot of people feel more confident.
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11th Jun 2018, 10:11 PM #3
Ambrose_Folly

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swamp:
Unrippable clothing could be really dangerous! There are a number of circumstances where hasty removal of clothing is paramount, such as cutting open a pant leg to stitch a wound or a shirt to use a defibrillator. It could also increase risk of strangulation and drowning.


Can vouch for the need of tearable clothing: once my grandfather got his new denim overalls caught in a tractor drive shaft and had 'em ripped off to keep from getting sucked into it. Sounds kinda funny but that sort of stuff does happen.

Untearable clothing is probably not gonna happen. It is too profitable with clothing wearing out and needing replacement.

Would be good for industrial/military use though.
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12th Jun 2018, 1:06 AM #4
NeilKapit

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Well, it's not tearable with that attitude :P
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12th Jun 2018, 1:21 AM #5
RJDG14

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Assuming we keep making progress, yes, definitely, although I'm unsure how it's gonna look and feel. It may look quite out of place at the moment, but I guess fashion will move on by the 22nd century.
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12th Jun 2018, 7:16 PM #6
sunseeker25

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Unrippable clothing could be really dangerous! There are a number of circumstances where hasty removal of clothing is paramount, such as cutting open a pant leg to stitch a wound or a shirt to use a defibrillator. It could also increase risk of strangulation and drowning.

Perhaps then "untearable to unintentional tearing". I mean, it would be possible to make a tool that could cut through otherwise untearable cloth. We already have things that do something similar in terms of harder-to-tear cloth.
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14th Jun 2018, 1:16 AM #7
Dodom
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Accidents wouldn't happen just when people have the proper tools at hand, so I'd think a method of quick removal would have to be designed in. The default cuts could include a strip of regular fabric in a fairly sheltered spot so it's not taking too much wear and snags.

I also agree with Swamp that the benefits might not be worth the cost, and would have downsides where it limits hobby crafting and/or customisation. Since a lot of clothes already last many years, for most items I'd focus more on making recyclable fibers, so the occasional replacement doesn't have too much ecological impact. Shoes and socks could certainly use being more durable, and since the wear is concentrated in well defined locations, it would be easy to design them with a quick removal "weak spot".

One improvement I'd like to see in textiles is better wearable aerogel. It already exists sort of, but it's still very expensive, it's not flexible enough and gets damaged by movement, and is damaged by water.
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14th Jun 2018, 3:10 AM #8
BUMBLEBEE

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Put a lot of people out of work... a lot fewer shirts would get sold. But there are plenty of engineering applications where improved tear resistance would be a value add.
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14th Jun 2018, 3:58 AM #9
Dodom
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I think all of Sunseeker's situations assume a future society where the economic system is up to date with a post-automation mode of production, so technology doesn't result in an unemployment disaster.
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14th Jun 2018, 4:24 PM #10
sunseeker25

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It's true, I do. If I put that aside for a moment though, I could say to Bumblebee that if it were not the case that we had such a post-automation scenario, untearable clothing would be priced prohibitively because there would be no real "buying after product failure" as is currently the norm. So, such clothing probably wouldn't even happen until that point in society.

On a related note, did you know that LED lighting took longer to hit the mass market precisely because it originally lasted TOO LONG? They had to find a way to make it burn out faster in order to encourage new product purchasing. I don't have a reference atm but I can get one if people need it.
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14th Jun 2018, 5:43 PM #11
The Doodler

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It sounds like a pain in the neck to alter -- can you cut it with ordinary scissors? Would it require a duller "ballpoint" needle to slip between threads? Can you pin it?
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14th Jun 2018, 6:06 PM #12
JuicyGrey
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sunseeker25:On a related note, did you know that LED lighting took longer to hit the mass market precisely because it originally lasted TOO LONG? They had to find a way to make it burn out faster in order to encourage new product purchasing. I don't have a reference atm but I can get one if people need it.


I have reference right on my ceiling, along with energy-saving lamp. Latter is still running, and I have had it for years. LED which was newer, got burned out much faster.

Doesn't encourage buy new one. Rather, I won't go get any LEDs. Nope, going throw them all into garbage right away, if someone is too stupid give them me...
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14th Jun 2018, 11:10 PM #13
sunseeker25

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The Doodler:It sounds like a pain in the neck to alter -- can you cut it with ordinary scissors? Would it require a duller "ballpoint" needle to slip between threads? Can you pin it?


I'm just going to assume that there would be some tool created that was particularly good at cutting through the fabric. It might be a blade or it might be a chemical cutter. I really couldn't tell you, it depends on how things turn out, but it should be doable.
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Forum > General discussion > Discussion on future tech and society - Monday Musing - Untearable Clothing
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