Author Spotlight: Lynne Bruning



If you search for "Textile Enchantress" on Google, you will undoubtedly discover Lynne Bruning, a woman who single-handedly dominates the "Textile Enchantress" industry. Melding age-old techniques like weaving, sewing and needle felting with some of the most cutting-edge technological advancements in the field of eTextiles and adaptive technologies, Lynne has been working to advance traditional crafts into the modern era. Her work is imbued not only with technological cunning but a sense of fun and playfulness. And, of course, like any true Textile Enchantress, Lynne can rock a Day-Glo tutu with the best of 'em.

You have posted quite a few Instructables now, which is your favorite?

I think the tutus mainly because people post their photos. people have been doing the tutu one and sending me photos of their tutu for Burning Man. And that's how I'm beginning to figure out who was at the event. I remember their tutu.

Why did you start making tutus?

The tutus came about because of Burning Man and I needed a sort of standard uniform and it and it caught on with all these other people. And so I started making tutus for everyone on DPW and that's where the tutus came into play.

How long have you been going to Burning Man?

I started in 2004 and that year I was hired by the emergency service department to be their staff photographer. So the very first 'Burn' I ever went to, I was one of the people closest to the fire, photographing it. So, I was all in turnout gear. I had a firefighter from Texas assigned to me. It was an incredible privilege. There I was, it was my very first year and everything is taken care of for me. It was a week before I had to be on playa and someone contacted me off the internet and asked me to please come. And I got into a car with four people I didn't know.

Which came first for you, soft or circuits?

Soft. Always soft. I come from a family of textile people. Everybody was a sewer, knitter, weaver. So, I will go with soft... but my father was an electrical engineer. So he had a whole laboratory filled with all of this stuff. And I actually still have some of his tools.

What's your favorite color?


Your work uses a lot of black light reactive materials, what about them do you find so attractive?

I'm almost legally blind and I can actually see the weave when I use those. When I'm weaving with regular fibers such as a neutral cotton or something, it is really hard for me to see the loom.

Has there been any person or group of people who have been influential on your work?

Well - this is a true statement - I think Instructables has been incredibly influential, mainly because I work so alone and through Instructables I've met so many other people that can help me solve problems, as well as my helping them. So having the site has been incredibly beneficial to me and my work.

You've organized a fashion show at Maker Faire, what is that about?

That is about bringing together a wide variety of people that do wearable electronics. So, the requirements to be in that fashion show were that it had to be a garment or an object that your wore on your body, and it had to be computerized in some fashion. So a bunch of people I've emailed with over the internet or heard about over the internet are all coming together and it will be the first time we all get to meet and talk to one another, as well as show their clothing off to all of the people at Maker Faire.

What is next on your project to-do list?

I'm going to finish up the autistic coat and that's a project I hope to have done by the end of the summer. So, that's another piece of adaptive technology that's done specifically for autistic children utilizing smart phone and certain fabrics. And that again will be an open source creative commons project.