ART 544p: Developing alternative materials

3D Printing Fashion

3D Printing is one of the new technics that’s interred the fashion world slowly. Some big well known brand are experimenting the new technology such as Nike and Adidas. However,  creative fashion designers are already showing their 3D design in their catwalk such as Nadir GordonMichael Schmidt, Francis Bitonti and  Iris Van Herpen
Nadir Gordon: a Panamanian fashion and textile design student that got inspired by the waves and created a 3D printed swimsuit.


To create the design she needed a little help from a friend. Jonathan Guerra a 3D printing expert from Panama City, Panama helped Gordon to designed the dress. It took them less than a day to make the design. Guerra used a Sketchfab model for this job, which helped him a lot. They used PLA material, the decided the dress into 14 different parts, and then printed them on a 3D printer. The total printing time was 70 to 90 hours. After all parts were printed, Guerra fused the different parts together using soldering iron.
Micheal Schmidt, Francis Bitonti: Micheal Smith worked with New York–based architect Francis Bitonti to create a dress for Dita Von Teese made entirely from a 3-D printer, the size of the machine is the same as a refrigerator. After Bitonti knows Smith’s vision, the dress was printed in 17 different sections containing over 3,000 pieces made from nylon using a process called selective laser sintering (SLS).

Iris Van Herpen: She is very famous of her unique 3D printing designs.  From now until May 15, 2016, the High Museum of Art will be showcasing Iris van Herpen work. The exhibit, titled Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion. She said that using the 3D printer helping her execute complex designs that are hard to do with the traditional way. 


Other 3D printed fashion:


For any fashion designer, to print their design they need to collaborate with Professional that can translate the design into the software to be printed.

For my project, I collaborate with Kristine Belknap a graduate software engineer student. She is helping me using the 3D printer to print my garment.

First Design 

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Second Design

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Fiber Optic Fabric 

The fiber optic fabrics are lightning fabric that made from ultra thin optical fibers woven in to a synthetic fibers. Using LED lights the fibers carry the light from bone end to another


Rachael Reichert - Fiber Optic Fabric corset dress



Experimental in Contemporary Art and Fashion

Ideas for project

1- 3D printing of many pieces, and attach them in a garment like feathers.


2- Weave a fiber optic fabric in to garment that change color depend on body temperature.

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3- Heating belt; this belt will provide heat to the tommy when ever needed.

Experimental in Contemporary Art and Fashion

Intelligent Fashion


Most things that we’re in close contact with in our lives becoming intelligent. Moreover, textiles are in contact with our lives more than 90%, so why don’t they become intelligent too. Textiles and electronics are integrating as the foundation of a new functionality that called Electronic Textile, E-Textile, Smart Textile, or Wearable System. They are based on electrically-active woven e-fibers. New products integrating e-textiles are being created from clothing to bandages, bed linen to industrial fabrics. E-Textile markets expect the growth to accelerate rapidly over the next decade. However, it’s going to start slowly due to many challenges unless large companies start to invest heavily and releasing early products.

Historical Background:

Smart textile started for the first time 1990s in for the use of military  in United States and European countries. The development of smart clothing distinguished in four stages.

First Stage, 1980s to 1997, the idea of wearable computer has been initiated.

Second Stage, 1998 to 2001, fashion and textile sectors joined in product development.

Third Stage, 2002 to 2005, during this stage product marketability attracted more interests. Smart clothing focused on technical feasibility and user requirements.

Fourth Stage, 2006 to current, some  high fashion brands jumped into smart clothing development.


What is E-Textile?

E-Textiles are electronics and interconnection woven into fabric. They incorporate conductive fiber or elements directly into the textiles itself. They feel like textile and eliminate wires and hard electronics.

How do E-Textile work?

There are many materials available from yarns to woven and coated fabrics that incorporate with the textile itself. Most e- textiles are passive circuits; they are resistive or conductive element. E-Textiles will be able to sense, emit light, show changing images, heat, cool, change chap. Also, they can be used through compute and wirelessly communicate. Or, assembling the surrounding energy to create electricity where needed.

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What distinguishes this system is that it automatically recognizes the activity and behavioral stats of their user by its ability to characterize.

Where do E-Textiles used?

It can be used in many products; NuMetrex athletic garment that monitor heart rate, fabric key pads for controlling iPad, heating product that can create sensors, thermchromatic displays, and data transfer system, antenna and heating elements. Also, it can diagnose or treat medical conditions sometimes.

International Fashion Machines (IFM) by Maggie Orth. She combine exceptional contemporary design with the latest in electronic textile technology to create products that lights’ our rooms


 Each pattern is machine embroidered on DesignTex wool felt and hand tufted with electronic yarns. When viewers touch the tufted, electronic textile sensor area of each pattern, the felt and embroidered yarns are illuminated from behind, revealing the light transmissive properties of the textile.

Some brand started to lunch some e-textile apparel such as Adidas, Reebock, and Nike. In particular Adidas inserts micro sensors into their jerseys to monitor athletic performance. These sensors don’t interfere with the athletes’ activity, but are able to measure heartbeat and respiration.


Moreover, there are some top designers who already start following this phase. Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz are the designers behind CuteCircuit.


CuteCircuit is a known fashion house in London. Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz pushed the boundaries of wearable technology since the lunched of CuteCircuit in 2004. Their most recent creation was the twitter dress that was worn by Nicole Scherzinger. It was a high end fashion design dress that receives Tweets in real time from Nicole’s fans using the #tweetthedress hashtag while she is on the red carpet during the live stream.aFashionGuide_inspo_Nicole_Twitter_Dress3-470x260

Another celebrity wore their design is Katy Perry in her stage shows and red carpet appearances.


All their creations were made in UK, Italy, or USA and manufactured with high quality and technologically advanced materials. Every garment is tested to comply with their gold stander. They use 100% RoHs in their garment. The textiles are Oeko Tex certified.

Another way of use technology in fashion is to use the 3D printer to create high fashion. The leader designer who used this high technique in her first show in Paris was Iris Van Herpen in collaboration with MGX, which is company that uses a variety of 3D printing methods to manufacture their product of Lamps and furniture and some fashion accessory. .MGX by Materialise collection combines the best of modern and traditional craftsmanship.


Stoppa, and Chiolerio, Wearable Electronics and Smart Textiles: A Critical Review, Sensors,          7 July 2014.

Suh, Minyoung, Kate Carroll, and Nancy Cassill. “Critical Review on Smart Clothing Product Development.” Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management 6.4 (2010): 1-18. Print.