What have you done with your old cassette tapes? Are they still lying around, waiting to be thrown away? One artist has decided to give the brown magnetic tape a new lease of life.
Alyce Santoro upcycles magnetic tapes into wearable fabrics. Using various techniques, the tape – which is quite tough, as you may know if you used to use cassettes – is transformed into a series of textiles. These are used for clothing, bags, rugs, hats and so on, to great effect.
Starting off with a simple knitting technique, the designer produced a loose, looped fabric. It was subsequent experimentation with weaving that brought out the best in the tape material, however. Though known for its durability and toughness, its woven beauty surprised her.
The fabric was developed and is now suited for use in a variety of common fashion objects, including clothes and accessories, from the loud to the subtle.
They can, in theory, even be machine-read too, so you can listen back to music in your clothing. Holding the textile up to a magneto-sensitive device, you will get a different sound, and the tape is crinkled and cracked. According to the designer, these tapes then ‘emit a garbled, underwater-like sound’.
So, if you like the idea of wearing a Handel hat or Beatles body-warmer, this may be just the material for you.
Images and info via the designer.