3D printing is causing quite a stir, concern is mounting that in the not too distant future people could print their own clothes at home. Designers and retailers being cut out of the process, is a very real possibility. That said we can already make our own clothes at home but we still choose to shop rather than create. In all honesty 3D printing will more likely be another opportunity to evolve and expand rather than the demise of the fashion industry some people are afraid of.
At the moment you can print solid objects that can be used to customise garments. It takes a little more skill to create whole printed garments like Danit Peleg’s graduate collection which was constructed entirely from lace-like printed sheets. So it is possible to use 3D printing in fashion right now.
To further explain 3D printing I contacted the world leading 3D printing service Shapeways based in NYC……
– In a recent episode of KUWTK Kanye West said ‘This is what I’m afraid of here, 3D printing, because the internet destroyed the music industry and now this is what we’re afraid of right now with the textile industry’. Is he right to be concerned?
3D printing is democratizing the fashion industry, and we don’t think anybody should be concerned about that. Everybody has their own sense of style, and it makes sense that more and more people would want to have custom, one-of-a-kind clothing that is created just for them. The internet helped bring music to more people, and 3D printing can do the same for fashion. In the coming years, we believe we’ll see more designers realize the vast opportunities 3D printing brings to their industry and it will open more doors – not close them.
– Are there any rules regarding copyrights that the customer should be cautious of?
– Realistically when could 3D printing move into textiles?
We’re already seeing the move. While some designers are finding ways to create garments using more “traditional” 3D printed materials (such as plastics), there are those who are experimenting with printing new kinds of textiles.
– Cost wise will it be viable for customers to print their own garments or would it just be available for fashion shows, celebrities and the red carpet?
It’s already viable for consumers to have accessories, jewelry and more printed so it’s not just for fashion shows or celebrities. Will everybody be printing their own outfits right away? No, but they will continue to have access to the technology through services like Shapeways that allows them to create custom pieces they can add to their wardrobe.
– Would it really be as simple as uploading an idea/design and having it printed?
It is that easy! You can upload a design on Shapeways.com and have it printed. As more designers create clothing pieces, it will become easier for consumers to get their hands on them.
A huge thank you to Shapeways.