Next Tex Innovators: UX.FTT, By Wire & Rainbow Winters



We would like to thank everyone who applied and congratulate UX.FTT, By Wire and Rainbow Winters on earning the top three spots with their innovative electronic textile and advanced manufacturing entries. Without further ado, we introduce the winners together with a teaser of what they’ll exhibit.


Putting the user before the technology, UX.FTT stands for User Experience: Fashion Textile Technology. The brainchild of Berlin-based fashion and e-textile designer Esther Zahn, UX.FTT garments combine natural, organic materials with electronics to create magical, hi-tech hybrids – from textile sensors to glow in the dark thermal transfers and fabrics that change colour in response to light and heat. As a fashion tech specialist, she has lent her skills to renowned companies such as Siemens, exhibited with the Goethe Institute and collaborated on a performance concept with the Bauhaus Dessau.

For Next Tex, UX.FTT will present its Reflecting Music Jacket, a collaborative piece made with product designer Hans Illiger. Equipped with capacitive touch sensors and microcontrollers, the jacket wirelessly connects to Ableton, Max and other professional music software to activate sound filters and visual effects within the garment. The jacket will also be accompanied by a corresponding, interactive LED skirt.

By Wire

Operating at the cutting edge of fashion and technology, By Wire is a platform that instigates collaborations between the two industries. Marina Toeters, the driving force behind By Wire, aims to streamline the fashion system through technology, sharing knowledge and developing innovative prototypes, while simultaneously creating digitally supportive garments for everyday use. As a consultant, Marina has advised for Philips Research and the European Space Agency on product development and has worked as a teacher and researcher at the Utrecht School of Arts, Saxion University and the Eindhoven University of Technology.

By Wire will show a number of closed loop smart athleisure fashion sensor garments created together with fellow Netherlanders Dr Margreet de Kok from the Holst Centre – an independent R&D centre for wireless sensors and flexible electronics – and Katoen Enzo designer Melissa Bonvie. Through flexible printed and laminated sensors, the locally-produced smart garments continuously measure the wearer’s vitals signs – ideal for use in in-patient monitoring, elderly care or sports training – and are made of recyclable performance fabrics, such as Econyl, so that they can be reused again and again. This project is a recipient of WEAR Sustain funding.*

Rainbow Winters

Dr Amy Winters is the founder of material technology studio Rainbow Winters. Based in London, she holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art in Interactive Textiles and a BA in Performance Design from Central Saint Martins. During her Doctoral studies, Amy developed materials for soft robotics that react to external stimuli such as light sound, speed and moisture. Amy has been featured in publications including WIRED, Trend Hunter, Vice, Stylist and The Guardian, and was a speaker at the Hacking Arts festival at the MIT Media Lab.

Breathing life and light into clothes, the Rainbow Winters Electric Garden Dress is wrapped in 3D organza flower embroidery that whimsically change colour in response to colour – for example, a brightly nail polished hand can trigger sensors in the dress that turn the LED-embedded blossoms into a whole new shade.

To see the above pieces in action and more, make sure to register for your free Munich Fabric Start visitor ticket today. Next Tex will run throughout the duration of the trade fair in its own designated space within the Keyhouse innovations hub from January 30th to February 1st 2018 – we look forward to seeing you there!

*Don’t miss WEAR Sustain who will present their interdisciplinary, cross-border EU funding project during the Next Tex Lectures on the 31st January from 15:00-17:00 on the Keyhouse mainstage.

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