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For Clothing Designs, Brain Scans Work Best

April 20, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Neuroradiology
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Not many people would look at X-ray calibration films and brain scans and think, “Hey, these would make great clothing designs!”

Brooke Roberts did. She has a degree in applied science and worked as a radiographer for 14 years. Now she’s a clothing designer (after also studying at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins design college in London) who uses X-ray and CT scans as patterns. She especially likes brain images:

I love how the brain shape maps around the body. I tried using abdominal and pelvic CT scans, but something about the size and scale of them. … I’ve not been able to manipulate them in a way that I’ve been happy with.

Boberts, who is British, was quoted in Wired magazine. You can see for yourself how the images “map” around the bodies of some really skinny models at Roberts’ Web site. Her clothing is sold at Browns Focus in London.

Roberts started by rescuing discarded X-ray calibration films, enlarging them in Photoshop, and importing them into Eneas textile-design software. She manually tweaked each pattern to create the clothing designs.

Lately, she’s been working with Nissl-stained brain-tissue images available online through the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “They’re convoluted shapes like microscopic specimens—almost like a cauliflower cross section,” she said. “I decided to chop them up and create my own design.”

Roberts works with knitwear. That makes it difficult to translate her designs the way she wants because the square computer pixels can morph into rectangles in the fabric. “Knitting is loops inside of loops,” Roberts said. “They’ll drop and create a V shape, which makes a rectangle in the pattern, so the images become narrower and longer.”

She sometimes has to do a lot of test runs before she gets the pattern looking the way she wants. But at least she doesn’t have to worry about radiation exposure.

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A new batch of lawsuits is filed in the Perry (Georgia) Hospital faked-mammogram-results case, this time over “the not knowing.” Know more by checking our Facebook page.

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