Saturday, February 22, 2020

Multi-Purpose Blanket Prototype #2 - Making of Base Blanket

From the findings of the Design testing I did with the focus group, my responses for the main actions to take for blanket are in blue:

1. Improve ergonomics - especially for snap buttons
  • Increase overlaps
  • Secure certain spots permanently and strategically
2. Include secret design elements to facilitate 'meaningful screen-use'
  • Make sure the weights are evenly distributed for arm / shoulder area to 'tire' the users' hands when they use screens for a prolonged period of time
  • Sheer top layer should also create a 'blurriness' effect so the user won't be tempted to use their screens for too long
3. Consider adding a sheer top layer of fabric or have more the overlaps so the slits won't be too exposed - arms / legs may cold at times
  • Adding a thin mesh fabric to hold the blanket together to prevent over-exposure
  • This way there is also protection for the exposed hands / legs
Also instead of using Tencel cotton I got for the 1st blanket prototype, I will be using Egyptian cotton that is softer and smoother. My silk shipment is stuck in China and will not be reaching me anytime soon so I will proceed with the Egyptian cotton. 

Read more comments from focus group for improvement here

 Sourcing for soft mesh to match with the Egyptian cotton.

I decided to go with white colour as my viva and exhibition will be more achromatic.

Calculating for the new measurements, marking and cutting the pieces out.
 Pressing the pieces as I sew
 Prepping the ribbon ties and burning the edges to make sure they don't fray
Measuring the 'slit' length for the hands / arms to slip out. It was secured by a snap button in the 1st prototype, but now with the extended overlap, a hole/slit will be created instead.
 The 'slit' for hands to come out
 All the panels are sewn up and it's time to cut the mesh overlay
 Sewing down the middle columns
 Attaching the mesh overlay to the sides
The mesh are pleated at some points to give some allowance so there is sufficient room for the mesh overlay when the user toss and turn or slide their hands/legs out.
 Attaching the panels to the top part
 Adding the stuffing for the top and all panels
 Sewing down the rows
 Trimming off the excess hem of cotton and mesh
 Attaching the leg warmer, which is extended this time, it was 20cm shorter for the 1st prototype and some participants said they couldn't reach it.
 Using ladder / invisible stitch to finish up the sides
Testing the ergonomics once its done, legs and hands can come out easily and user did not get trapped.
There is enough room for user's hands to come out of the upper slits and when the user tossed and turned aggressively, the overlapped panels did not expose any gaping holes.

This 2nd prototype base blanket took 4 days to complete, 1st prototype base blanket took 2 days.
Total fabric used for base blanket is 10 metres 60 inch wide Egyptian cotton as compared to 8 metres 60 inch wide Tencel cotton for 1st prototype base blanket. This 2nd prototype base blanket is 1.5kg, while the 1st prototype base blanket is 3kg. 2nd prototype base blanket can be washed in a regular washing machine as it is less bulky, has less stuffing and is lighter. I had to send the 1st prototype base blanket to external laundry services as it is too bulky to fit in my washing machine.

Next, I will be working on the add-on weighted packets. 

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