The Future of 3D Printing and Fashion Design Through the Eyes of LabeledBy

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LabeledBy is a design studio based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. They work in fashion and their area of expertise is research and technology development. Their products range goes from technological textiles to innovative couture. As engineers with master degrees from the Technical University of Eindhoven, they are able to explore the future of fashion and adapt innovative methods to fashion design that bring the craft of clothing forward.

Picture of Jessica Joosse working

Jessica Joosse, co-owner of LabeledBy

In their own words, here is their mission:

We strive for a personalised, localised and sustainable fashion industry. Therefore it is our mission is to transform the fashion industry through innovation and technology. We develop new textiles that are relevant for a diverse range of applications, and research alternative digital manufacturing systems for textiles and garments. These systems have the ability to automate labor intensive and dangerous processes, improving worker safety and wellbeing. Next to that, these digital manufacturing systems encourage on demand and personalised production of garments, resulting in less waste and more value for the customer.

Picture of a detail of a 3D printed pattern

Detail of a 3D printed pattern on textile

The use of 3D printing in fashion is creating an optimistic path towards the future of textile and clothing. What is presented nowadays as exclusive showpieces could be a possibility at hand for everybody in the future. As one of the most important features of 3D printing, the possibility of have a personalised garment that fits each body perfectly by being unique makes us impatient to see the future of fashion design.

LabeledBy is a studio that has placed its bet in this direction. They offer a future-oriented service of trend research, textile development as well as the making of exclusive showpieces. With an in-house production, they have the possibility of personalise each project and develop it in terms of manufacturing techniques and material. They work with a 3D printer that prints directly on textile, being able to create form small samples to big garments. Starting with an Ultimaker that they then modified the team is now continuing to develop their own print methods. 

Picture of a dress made by labeledby

Garment made by LabeledBy

 

Picture of a detail sample mady by labeledby

Detail of textile. Image by Jessica Joosse.

I reached out to LabeledBy to interview Fabienne van der Weiden and Jessica Joosse on their chosen craft.

How does your 3D printer work?

The principle of the 3D printer is comparable with an FDM printer, however, it is redesigned and optimised for 3D printing garments and textiles.

What materials can it print?

The printer prints all the materials (filaments) currently available on the market. We are constantly tweaking the machine so it can also print with more experimental and biodegradable materials.

How would I work with you if I was a fashion designer?

With our manufacturing technique, the sky’s the limit in terms of design and materials! Fashion designers can make use of our pre-developed textiles or can collaborate with us to develop new textiles which will be implemented in the final design that can be printed on our 3D printer.

Why is what you do important?

FashionTech is there to explore and form the future, in anticipation of current society and its culture. By implementing technology in fashion we can make clothes on the edge of the existing framework and approach the state of the art from unknown perspectives. By doing this, we are able to create a culture in which society is encouraged to discuss the future of the fashion industry.

What is the added value of what you do?

We believe that fashion is not only perceived as functional, it also has the ability to show someone’s identity. Therefore garments could become much more personal, both in fit as in expression. Using technology during the process of creating a garment gives us the possibility of making the garment more personal and unique.

What are you adding to the 3D printing & fashion world?

The combination of digital generated personalized patterns (through for example AI) and digital manufacturing techniques gives us the possibility of easily changing the design of each garment without additional costs or long setup time. This gives fashion designers and fashion brands the possibility to efficiently adapt and personalize their garments to the fast-changing needs of their customers. We actually believe that this can give the fashion industry a lot of freedom and benefits when applied correctly!

What do you think about the future of 3Dprinting & fashion?

We believe strongly that consumers’ search for unique and sustainable consumption experiences will gradually drive the emergence of a different paradigm. Such a paradigm will require new technologies for consumer-driven design, new production methods for flexible, efficient and local on-demand production down to lot size one. And of course a seamless network of designers with different fields of expertise, working with these new technologies in an open-source community. We are excited for the future of fashion!

Can you actually wear the garments? Can you clean them in a washing machine?

Absolutely! Check our Instagram. Currently, our garments are worn by performers and artists. Yes, that’s not a problem! We use materials that are suitable to wash in a regular washing machine.

Personally, I do believe that 3D printing has a lot to offer the fashion world. Given my experience with developing 3D printing filaments as an engineer, I’m skeptical about the real-life wear and washability of 3D printed garments today. But, I’m sure that motivated people like Fabienne & Jessica will get us there in the end. We are at the beginning of a long path whose end requires a creative mind to foresee. The difficulties are in imagining a future of 3D printing in fashion which itself creates new aesthetics that still feel futuristic to us. As a designer, this idea of new aesthetic tinkles my mind. I’m excited to see the work of studios like LabeledBy which help us to envision the future of 3D printing and fashion through their dedication.

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