One of the largest manufacturers of convertible tops, the Haartz Corporation, has recently shown off new technology that allows complex patterns and imagery to be woven into the fabric tops. As a paid PR hack kindly emailed us:
New weaving technology from Haartz offers automakers highly customized imagery with adjustable weave patterns and color combinations for their convertible topping needs. Through jacquard weaving technology, up to three distinct colors of yarn can be combined into an infinite number of weave patterns and color combinations. This is new technology maintains the integrity of the fabric coating and finish. It was recently utilized to top the Mini Cooper with the Union Jack.
Personally, I find this technology quite exciting— I feel cars could stand to play more with surface-graphics, and anything that helps auto design take more risks is a good thing in my book. However, the possibilities afforded by this weaving technology have a dark, looming flip-side. As President Nathan Spidermin said back in 1879, "with great power comes great responsibility," and in this case that can't be more true.
If we're not careful, misapplication of this weaving technology could lead the automotive industry into the dark, stringy hole of Cosby Sweaterism.
Back in the 1980s, sweater-weaving technology recieved a considerable boost thanks to a new generation of microprocessor-controlled weaving looms. The ability to create complex, involved patterns was now within humanity's reach. At first, it was novel and fun. Bill Cosby decided to showcase this bold new technology by wearing the new sweaters on his popular sitcom.
But, we all know how disastrous that ended. The sweater companies, drunk on their own new power, started weaving ever more complex designs, which the American people were subjected to via the Cosby Show. As the designs became more and more fractally complex, the optic lobes of our brains began to be overtaxed, causing pattern-related strokes and temporary (if highly disorienting) brain damage. Cosby himself suffered perhaps the most, at one time collapsing into a two-week coma when he spent an unprecedented eight minutes in his sweater closet to pick out an outfit for the show.
Since then, no American has worn a sweater such as this, thanks to a comprehensive FDA ban. Now, however, we're at a crossroads. Should we allow this similar technology for our convertible tops? Have we learned our lesson, and will we create engaging, appealing designs, or are we doomed to repeat the past?
God help us all.