Second Skin: The Science of Stretch

On view from November 4, 2016, to May 13, 2017.

Stretch fabrics provide a second skin that can shift our perception of our bodies, enhance our athletic performance, even improve our health. Second Skin: The Science of Stretch featured garments and textile-based medical devices created over the last century. From 1920s corsets and girdles to today’s lymphedema sleeves with a fashionable flair, these second skins changed how we move through the world.

 

Generous support for Second Skin: The Science of Stretch was provided by the Alafi Family Foundation. Image courtesy of LympheDIVAs.

 

 

 
Explore the exhibition
Visitors enjoy a first look at Second Skin: The Science of Stretch during the opening celebration.
Explore the exhibition
Experiment with floor-length samples of microknit, spandex-blend fabric.
Explore the exhibition
From vintage nylon stockings to an aortic stent, many of the seamless tube-shaped knitted textiles on display were manufactured on circular knitting machines like this one.
Explore the exhibition
The colorful yarn for artist Andrew Dahlgren’s Stretch Machine, seen in the background, was processed locally in Port Richmond.
Explore the exhibition
Ever wonder what stretchy fabrics look like close up? Check out a microscopic view of nylon spandex−blend cycling shorts.