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Fiber-optic dress goes down the aisle

08 Oct 2002

An Italian fashion house has made a sparkling wedding dress using technology from nuclear physics experiments.

Sparkly clothes based on plastic optical fiber will be hitting France later this month. No, it's not Paris fashion week again - but the clothes will make their debut at the Opto 2002 exhibition in the French capital on the 22nd October.

Apart from being the envy of clubbers across Europe, the fabric - known as 'Luminex' and produced by a company of the same name - will soon be surprising an unsuspecting groom, since a top Italian dressmaker has just made a wedding dress using the material.

Luminex uses fibers illuminated by one of five different colors of LED. These fibers were initially developed by the Italian electronics company Caen to detect sub-atomic particles produced in nuclear physics experiments.

Swiss weaving specialist Stabio then made a loom capable of producing fabrics based on the technology.

According to Cristiano Peruzzi of Luminex, the fabrics will be available in yellow, green, white, blue and red versions. Small, rechargeable batteries power the LED sources. Peruzzi told Optics.org that the Luminex clothes will be available within a few months.

Luminex says that the garments could also be used as safety clothing and even in road signs. In the future the company is hoping to turn the clothes into a 'smart' material, capable of measuring pulse or body temperature and responding to environmental stimuli.

Michael Hatcher is technology editor of Opto and Laser Europe magazine.

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