Industries around the world have embraced 3D printing for years now—and in some cases, even decades—long before anyone else even knew of the materials and techniques made available to a select few (usually in labs). With such progressive technology at hand today, many companies of all sizes have been able to manufacture existing components much faster and more affordably—along with greater durability and the lighter weight commonly desired, whether for ventures in automotive or aerospace or other industries.
Even more importantly though, designers and engineers around the world have been gifted with the ability to innovate and create new parts that never would have been possible without the advanced capabilities of 3D printing. Other bonuses abound for those interested in using this technology too, from being able to make 3D design or printing changes on the spot (cutting out the middleman), cut down turnaround times exponentially, and make use of a wide variety of materials—from plastics to soft textiles or even food products (chocolate is popular these days), to metal and concrete.
And while allowing the creation of important medical devices, from patient-specific craniomaxillofacial surgical implants to removable dentures, 3D printing has also added significantly to the world of design, art, and even high fashion. We’ve followed innovators who have made dresses, running shoes, coats, handbags, and so much more—with much greater access and affordability available to up and coming innovators, specially students.
The fabric-centered exhibition examined the details of older textiles and how they progressed into other, modern lace designs. The story of lace was a large part of the exhibit, discussing the origins of this still-popular fabric, which were probably European—around the 14th century. Other fabrics with a lacelike pattern have been around for centuries, but clearly defined lace was not produced until later.
The Swiss city of St. Gallen is known for the first embroidery machines and producing over half of the lace in the world in the 19th century, thanks to Charles Wetter. He used silk for embroidering purposes, and cotton for making patterns. After burning the silk, the embroidery was left behind as a form of chemical lace. ‘Lace to Meet You’ also includes other techniques for production; for example, a running stitch and chain stitch is demonstrated, along with an embroidered piece from another collection that has a Chinese character stitched into it.
The ‘beauty of mechanics’ section allowed those attending the exhibit to understand more about the technology behind lace—ranging from manually operated machines to 3D printers. An intricate 3D printed black lace cloning pattern for the fabric was included too.
‘Lace to Meet You’ ran from April 22 through June 22nd as the Textile Library said, “We wish you have a different experience of lace.”
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