Retroreflective Burqa was featured at the ITP Spring Show 2011 a few weeks ago. We had a great stream of people lining up to learn more about the strange looking blue & silver cape. I got a lot of great feedback from people, primarily asking when we were planning to field test the design, and […]

The Retroreflective Burqa offers a new, alternative design choice to the traditional Afghan burqa garment – a look that is safe, functional, and fashionable. Description The Retroreflective Burqa project aims to empower burqa-wearing women by making carefully selected design changes and low-cost improvements to the traditional Afghan burqa, within the bounds of Sharia law, rendering […]

The “making” process involved several phases, including selecting the kind of fabrics I wanted to use, drafting measurements from the original garment, creating a mockup of the product, sewing everything together, and finally decorating the garment with reflective materials. I went to Mood Fabrics store in New York City’s famous garment district to find fabric. […]

I decided to weave my own face mesh material for my burqa garment using 1/23″ wide retroreflective strips. The strips are flat, and very flexible and supple, so they are easy to manipulate and weave together. And I think this material will not be abrasive against people’s faces when they are wearing the burqa. The […]

I’ve firmed up my design plans for the Retroreflective Burqa. I’m going to use three panels for the back cape, with one solid panel in the middle, and two (or four) silver pleated triangular inserts in each side. This way, the silver pleated fabric will hang closed when the women is not moving, and will […]

For my burqa project, I wanted to understand the significance of the color blue in Islamic tradition, since it is the most common color of burqa worn by women in Afghanistan. It is not a coincidence that mosques are well-known for their beautiful blue tiles and mosaics, and that the Afghan burqa is also a […]

I’m making good progress on my burqa design project. I’ve conducted a few more interviews with women who wear burqas, and believe I am on track with my design choices. I visited Material ConneXion library in Manhattan for the first time, and it was a dream come true. A crazy collection of cutting-edge and sustainable […]

Redesigning the Afghan Burqa – a look that is safe, functional, and fashionable. I would like to empower burqa-wearing women by making subtle design changes and low-cost improvements to the traditional Afghan burqa to make the garment more versatile, functional, and potentially more emotive. By doing so, I hope to provide an alternative choice to […]

I lived in Kabul, Afghanistan for a year from 2005 – 2006. I worked for UNDP-Afghanistan on ICT capacity building. While I was living in Afghanistan and when I returned to the United States, many people would ask me questions about my experience living in a Muslim country: Did you wear a head scarf, Did […]