Design Museum exhibition examines 3D printed fashion

03 February 2014

For centuries, the fashion industry has looked to the influence of revolutionary designers and the introduction of exciting new materials and technologies for progress. The world of bespoke tailoring, for example, was revolutionised by the invention of the sewing machine in 1814, and it has been suggested that 3D printing could have a similar influence on the fashion industry today.

A new exhibition, The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution, in London’s Design Museum is looking to explore the potential of 3D printing to the fashion industry, with designer Catherine Wales contributing a collection of 3D printed garments and accessories of her own invention.

Wales and others like her are looking to take the fashion industry into the 21st century with the help of this exciting new process. Wales has described the fashion industry as a ‘bully’ that insists people conform to an ideal shape and size range. She envisions a future where couture-mad customers can download designer’s blueprints online before customising them to their own specifications and printing the items themselves at home.

Like bespoke tailoring, it is hoped that in future 3D printing will offer personalised garments designed to fit the unique sizes and shapes of the human body - not the homogenised blueprints of a designer’s size chart.