DNA testing can offer us so much. By mapping out genes and determining our precise genetic profile, we can now understand more about what makes us unique as individuals and what links us to close family members and our ancestors. We can trace our blood lines back to Vikings, test ourselves for problematic genetic inheritances or simply get a better idea of the building blocks that make us who we are.

These tests have come along way in recent years and have become much more accessible and affordable. Just by applying for a kit and mailing off a sample we can get detailed readout of our own personal codes and a wealth of information. The problem is that there is often very little to show for it on a physical level, besides a printed document and a hole in the bank balance. At London’s Dot One, designers have found the perfect solution – they can turn your genetic code into a print, scarf or shawl.

dna print to frame

Turning unique genetic code into a personalized pattern of colored thread.

When all the genes and sequences within our personal DNA are determined and mapped out, the result is a unique pattern of nucleotides and short tandem repeats. When these STRs are placed together, a string of blocks is formed and the full string of genetic code is laid out. After learning about family tartans and weaving at London’s Royal College of Art, Dot One’s founder, Iona Inglesby, was inspired to take the concepts and relate them to DNA code.

If every human has their own pattern of blocks and shapes within the genetic materials of their cells, why not recreate that with color and thread to create a personal item for them to wear? Looms use punch cards and binary code in their mechanics so there was already a link between the codes of DNA and those of weaved fabrics. The structure, shape and process mean that scarves are the logical approach.

DNA shawl

The concept of these scarves is impressive for anyone that is interested in mapping their genes but there is also the simple fact that these scarves are beautiful works of art that are created for each individual client with love and care. The process of creating the pattern is simple enough because the designs and colors mirror the patterns formed by the colored dyes in the DNA test, but it takes time and skill to replicate them.

All the scarves are hand weaved to ensure that they are precise and unique to the individual order and are made from soft lambswool, rather than any man-made fibers. This luxury feel and effort just makes them even more special. In addition to the scarf, buyers receive a booklet explaining the sequence and photos of the work in progress.

Dot One DNA scarves may be expensive but they are literally tailored to the individual and can make great gifts.

Understandably, personalized DNA scarves  and shawls don’t come cheap. The work that goes into the sequencing, design and the hand-made process mean that this isn’t some simple design that you can screen-print for the masses and put out in all the department stores. These are special, one off a kind items that let wearers express who they really are inside to a literal level that has not been achieved before. This is not a pretty pattern that expresses a love of certain colors or geometric shapes; this is a pattern that shows the reason behind every unique quirk and imperfection you have. Dot One DNA scarves are a great indulgence item if you are interested in getting tested but wanted more to show for the time and money spent. They also make a great gift for loved ones and family members if you want to show how much you truly appreciate their unique traits or where you came from.

DNA scarf

Is £310 / $435 too much to pay for the scarf or $195 for the print?  For something that you know is 100% unique and that you can guarantee won’t be seen on someone else the next time you walk down the street? The rich and famous pay far more for fancy dresses and jewelry and even then they can’t capture something as personal as a DNA sequence.

These DNA scarves are a combination of fantastic scientific advancements, artistic expression and careful manufacture and no shop-bought scarf is going to offer such insight into who you really are. Getting one of these special scarves is rewarding and simple: apply for a kit, send your samples to Dot One and wait to see what design they will weave for you.

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