February 26th, 2010

VGCats: Shocked Rat

Random Cool Things

(I'm at home today with a cold. Headachey and generally feel bad. So here's some random entertaining things in an effort to cheer up.)

  • Solving Rubik's Cube with Lego -- Lego robot that can solve Rubik's Cubes. Also include a video of the world record human solve... Take a guess how long you think it is for a random cube before you click the link. :)

  • Book Book laptop case -- The coolest MacBook case ever.

  • Imperial Officer T-shirt -- Subtle Star Wars geekery. If not for the price (Zazzle's not a good deal), I'd be tempted to get one and wear it to work just to see who recognized it.

  • Why I get irritated with CSI -- And it doesn't even have anything to do with furry. (That's number two.)

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Antron Fleece Material Tests

Lance did his great "Exotic Materials" panel at FC. During and after, we talked about Antron fleece. This is the two-way stretch material (not the four-way) and goes by the nickname "Muppet fleece". It can stretch to about 150% of its relaxed length on one axis; the other direction has a negligible amount of stretch.

I've always wanted to experiment with this stuff. Since Lance was nice enough to give me some samples, I thought I'd run it through its paces here in my materials science lab (commonly known as the sewing room).

I started by doing some different seams, since the material is reputed for its seam-hiding nature. Here's the result:

Click to biggie-size it!

Very nice. It looks that good in person, too. The seam methods, from L to R in the picture, are: serger, sewing machine, hand-sewn ladder stitch from front, hand-sewn blanket stitch from back.

Not a lot of difference between them. I think the ladder stitch shows the most because I'm not very good at that one; my "rungs" always skew slightly, resulting in bunching.

Now the stuff is also know for being easy to dye:

Click if you want fries with that

It does indeed take dye well, resulting in a nice, even color. This sample was done with common Rit dye (indigo). This is what the piece looks like after all the post-dye rinsing. The color seems fast.

Dye process: (1) Wash fabric piece with mild detergent, (2) rinse, (3) immerse in warm-water dye bath for 30 minutes, (4) rinse until water runs clear, (5) handwash with mild detergent, (6) final rinse.

Fun material! Now to try to find a project where I need to use this... Hmm...