A nurturing garment for elderly people

knitting, smart clothing, stretch sensors, elderly care


A nurturing garment for elderly people


Vigour is a project designed in cooperation with Technical University Eindhoven, Martijn ten Bhömer and Textile Museum Tilburg. It centres around supporting the life of the elderly via wearable technology.

The main role of Vigour, a knitted, long-sleeved cardigan, which thanks to its comfortable appeal, is to support seniors who are in need of regular exercise and muscle stretching.

The so-called active ageing, which includes regular physical exercise of elderly people can be challenging, confusing and often a debilitating experience. The discomfort from exercise and anxiety can inhibit people from giving it a try. Taking body-in-action as a starting point, Vigour is defined as the Product-service System that enables geriatric patients, their families and physiotherapists to gain broader insight into the exercises and progress of a rehabilitation process.

Photography & video: JR Hammond


Vigour seamlessly integrates 4 stretch sensors made out of conductive yarn which were developed to monitor the movements of the upper body and to communicate gathered information to the service provider. The garment can be worn all day and thereby collect a large amount of data. Project ‘This is Vigour’ is accompanied by an iPad app which utilises this data and gives direct feedback to both the wearer and the physiotherapist.

At Pauline van Dongen we design and develop smart textiles and clothing in a holistic way. We believe in sharing our experiences and knowledge with others to jointly change the current fashion system that relies on unethical and unsustainable practices and causes devaluation of clothing.