Braille Clothing Clips for the Visually Impaired

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The Braille Clothing Clip is a device that was created to assist the visually impaired with matching, sorting, and recognizing various patterns and colors of clothes. Often, the visually impaired struggle to find clothes that match, or that they know go well together, and they may even require the assistance of someone who is sighted to coordinate the clothes that they wear. However, these 3D-printed braille clothing clips provide a permanent solution for the visually impaired to match, sort, and recognize clothes without outside assistance. These clips can be attached to any piece of clothing by simply compressing the two walls of the clip to open its lips, placing a piece of clothing between the lips, and decompressing the walls of the clip to close it. The clips have three braille labels placed upon one side of the clip, which represent general color, lightness or darkness of the color, and the pattern of the piece of clothing respectively. Moreover, these labels on the clip are highly customizable, including the following categories of color and design:


·       Green: G

·       Blue: BL

·       Red: R

·       Black: BK (Note: Light Black = Gray)

·       Purple: PP

·       Pink: PK

·       Orange: O

·       Yellow: Y

·       Brown: BW

·       Khaki: KK

·       White: W

Color Types:

·       Light: L

·       Dark: D

Special Pattern Classifications:

·       Paisley: PA

·       Plaid: PL

·       Checkered: CH

·       Pin Stripe: PS

·       Awning (Larger) Stripe: LS

·       Solid: S

·       Polka Dot: PD

Each of the categories in this list is followed by the braille code that is used to represent the color/pattern on the clothing clip (all codes are written vertically in uppercase lettering on the clip). For example, a clothing clip may read, in braille, “BW D LS” on one side of the clip, which reveals that the piece of clothing is dark brown and has large stripes. In addition to the list of known categories that were included in this project, one could easily add more categories to be included on the clothing clips for further customization on an individual basis.

              The first generation of these clips only included the three labels on each clip. However, while working on the project, it was soon realized that the clothing clip would be useless if it could not stay attached to a piece of clothing while it is washed, due to the fact that someone who is visually impaired would not be able to sort the clothes if they become detached from their respective clips. In addition, it was realized that these clips may look somewhat peculiar if worn in public. However, both of these issues were solved quite easily in the second generation of the clip. In this second generation design of the braille clothing clip, the clip was separated into two parts: the original clip and a small, flat cube (clothing tag) that can be sewn into the underside of a piece of clothing. On the clip, the same three-part label was included on one side of the clip. However, on the other side of the clip, another label of a single letter was included. This same one-letter braille label was also put onto the clip’s corresponding clothing tag, such that the tag and the clip can be matched with each other based upon their identical one-letter braille codes. Moreover, the clothing tag, which is a small, flat cube with four holes in each corner, can be sewn onto the underside of one’s clothing quite easily, such that this piece of clothing, to which the tag is permanently attached, can always be matched to its clothing clip by reading the one-letter code on the tag and matching it to the respective clip. With this new design, one could sew the clothing tag onto the underside of the piece of clothing such that it is not noticeable, remove the larger clothing clip from the piece of clothing while it is being worn or washed, and still be able to match the clothing to its labeled clip when it is put away. Therefore, no outside assistance will ever be needed to reorganize pieces of clothing with their corresponding clips.

              Several specimens of each generation of the braille clothing clip have been 3D printed with various different labels and sizes, and the clips were designed such that they can be as small as possible while still having readable braille lettering. All of these clips can be printed in one piece and require no post-printing assembly besides sewing the corresponding tag onto a piece of clothing. The durability of the clips has been tested by continually compressing multiple designs of the clip, and none of the designs have broken easily or deteriorated quickly from the opening and closing of the clips thus far. In addition, one of the clothing tags was sewn onto the underside of a t-shirt and washed/dried several times to assure that it would not deteriorate or break when the clothes are cleaned. Therefore, both the clips and tags have been proven to be quite durable and should last for a long time.  


Video of the Braille Clothing Clip:

*This entire project was conducted by Cameron Wolfe and Dr. Cem C. Tutum in the Computational Design Laboratory of the Freshman Research Initiative Program at the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Computer Science. 

Design Files

File Size

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