A series of garments were shown in Iris Van Herpen’s collection at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2013 that were 3D printed in a single piece using Materialse’s Mammoth Sterolithography machines. As they are created in a single piece they have no seam lines. This has an especially beautiful effect as the ‘fabric’ they have created has a lace-like structure that is able to run down from the shoulders and under the arm in a continuous pattern rather than having break lines where the panels of the dress would usually be stitched together. The shape and form of most tailored garments from suits to waterproof jackets for skiing, climbing etc are created through the positioning of seams and darts and the seam itself can change the proprties of the material at that point (eg. making it stiffer and less flexible). If the garment is created in a single piece it breaks the link between material property and shape. This sounds like it has potential for more function driven applications such as postural support garments and protective clothing where the item has to have certain properties (eg stiffness, stretch or permeability) but the fit and comfort of the garment is paramount to its overall success.
Website link: Materialise – large scale 3D printed of total garments
Website link: Iris Van Herpen – Voltage haute couture collection