The lace in this project began as a digital illustration that became a digital model brought into physical form by a machine. This project juxtaposes a familiar textile with a futuristic way of bringing it to life through new technology and materiality.
Upon creating a 3D printed flexible textile, the idea of a custom-made lace motif became the driver for this garment. The movement and fluidity of the piece were crucial therefore the understructure of the dress was constructed using traditional tailoring. The lace motifs were all illustrated and designed to be 3D printed using desktop 3D printers.
There are two primary materials used to 3D print the flowers. One of the materials used is a purifying mineral that absorbs CO2 and carbon emissions from the environment while printing. Therefore, similarly to how plants behave in real life, these lace flowers breathe and bring the garment to life. Creating this lace through 3D printing produces zero waste as only the exact amount of material necessary is used. Because of its rubber component, the material is eventually biodegradable. It is also recyclable and can turn into future garments within the realm of “slow fashion” couture pieces.
Traditional fabric lace motifs are typically cut out form a large fabric swatch. In this case, the lace motifs are printed to a custom size and use exactly the amount of material necessary. The lace is sewn using traditional garment making methods such as hand stitching and sewing with a machine. 3D pen technology was used to adhere the smaller leaf motifs into the piece. The flexibility and softness of the flowers, allowed for the lace to be beaded by hand. Because of the way it’s been constructed, the dress becomes a hybrid between what is traditional and what is new for garment and textile development.