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Brief Published: 31 Jul 2015

3D-Printed Textile Innovation

Israeli fashion student Danit Peleg, a recent graduate of Shenkar College of Design, has created an entire collection using domestic 3D printers.

While 3D printing is increasingly being used to produce fashion accessories and footwear, it has yet to make a significant impact on clothing. This is largely because the raw materials used in the printing process are rigid, and therefore unsuitable. Peleg, however, discovered Filafex – a new flexible filament – which she used to print lengths of mesh-like fabric. These were then glued together to create dresses, skirts and jackets. For more on flexible resins see Materials Focus 2016-17: Super-Smart

3D printing has been touted as a new form of ethical production by designers such as Bruno Pieters, founder of Honest By, an ethical fashion brand based in the UK. He believes that by localising production, issues such as child labour, waste materials and emissions would be eliminated. In the future, Pieters plans to offer downloadable designs that customers will be able to print at home or in a 3D printer shop.

While still in the experimental phase and currently an extremely time-consuming process (it took more than 400 hours per piece), Peleg’s collection offers a glimpse into how 3D printing could disrupt garment manufacture and make hyper-local manufacture a reality. 

For more on 3D material innovations that have the power to transform clothing design and production, see Fabric Futures: 3D Printing. For more on 3D printing, see Digital Printed BeautyLayerless 3D PrintingStaples’ 3D PrintingNanoscale 3D Printing3D-Printed Organs?, 3D-Printed Meals for the Elderly and 3D-Printed Jewellery by Maison 203.