Material Monday Tactility Speaks: 3D Printed Fashion

Material Monday Tactility Speaks: 3D Printed Fashion

Posted 16 April 2018 by Katie Kubrak

An exploration of unseen shapes, forms and material constructions has been gaining traction within the fashion industry. It is driven by a desire to create unimaginable contours alongside creative push for fabric innovation. In result, some of the designers embrace opportunities of 3D printing.

This Material Monday we discuss some of the most exciting fashion designs that were produced with 3D printing technologies. Whether the garment comes out modular or fully assembled, this process has the ability to produce fabrics that can either mimic traditional cloth such as lace or compete with conventional textiles in terms of volume and structure.

We could definitely see this production technique having a dramatic long-term impact on how we design and produce our clothes. Keeping this in mind, we can’t help but wonder, what approach and experimentation would masters as Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior and Yves Saint-Laurent adopt to translate this material potential it in their innovative style.

Below, please find a review of five ground breaking designers / studios who carried out highly successful 3D printing fashion projects:



Noa Raviv plays with highly haptic optical illusions that are defined by 3D printed elements, which give an outline to her inflated-like garments. By incorporating computer-modelling software into her creative process, she was able to produce apparel characterised by a voluminous fluidity. Her designs mostly utilise lines and grids that are stitched onto conventional tulle and silk organza fabrics. Flirtatious layering, ruffling and pleating of textiles is further emphasised by colour palette. It’s intertwining shades of black, white and sheer create undeniable sense of sensuality.

Above: Hard Copy Collection by Noa Raviv in collaboration with Stratasys



In A/W 16/17 Collection at the New York Fashion Week, ThreeASFOUR presented a parade of ethereal and geometric forms shaped around a female body. As the traditional fabric is essentially build on a two-dimensional axis, ThreeASFOUR pushed the haptic experience of fashion into the third dimension. With this adventurous approach, creative trio has honed a sartorial superpower of modernity. In effect, their boundless textures become a representation of modern age human scales and embody the haptic influence 3D printing technology could have over the fashion industry.

Above: Harmonograph and Human Scale Dresses



Danit Peleg pioneered home-based production of ready-to-wear garments with her graduate collection. Inspired to create sophisticated yet wearable lace-like textures she ventured into experimenting with stretchable and modular panelling. Her creative process and work stands as a tangible example of where fashion industry might go in the future – download the design, edit it to your custom requirement, print it at home and wear it.

Above: Liberty Jacket by Danit Peleg (starting from render, visualisation through ready-to-wear garment)



Venturing in the land of unknown, Nervous System explored an idea to create a dress that was made out of hinged components, which could be flattened with a simulation programme to make it small enough to print in one piece. Desire to make large complex products with no need for post-assembly, lead this innovative studio to combining engineering, science techniques, with design and digital fabrication. Adaptation of this approach not only allowed them to create a pioneering garment structure but also surprising tactility through the dance of interlinking hinges.

Above: Kinematics Dress by Nervous System Design Studio



Inspired by the shape of the honeycomb, The Capsule Collection by Jamela Law fuses tactile satire with whimsical avant-garde while modernising pannier (side hoop). Each piece of the collection feels explorative and unique in its own dimensional right as the designer juxtaposes automated production with traditional crafts. Furthermore, she brilliantly explores the fluidity of embellishments by intersecting plain with intricate.

Above: The Capsule Collection by Jamela Law


If you are interested in hearing more insights about and opportunities of 3D printing, or are interested in booking one of our CMF workshops titled ‘Tactility Speaks’, please feel free to get in touch.