In the actual globalized context in which the cross-fertilization innovation process among disciplines and different fields of project mixes together forms, systems and processes, cultural identities can make the difference in the production and in the consumption of the products. The approach to fashion design and system build around it must be faced in cross-sectional way; to work on fashion doesn’t mean develop a dresses collection but it refers to the analysis of design processes that generate the project intention. Knitting is one of the most ancient craft arts in the world. It is a complex set of technical, social and cultural heritage that make it one of the best techniques human beings have ever invented, as it produces resistant and warm garments, fully reparable, it allows body movements and all the material can be recovered as a yarn and reused once the garments are worn out. Although it is more than 8,000 years old, it is still one of our most innovative technologies. 3D printing is slowly but surely changing the fashion system as we know it, from the runway to online retail. Some of today’s loudest fashion statements are coming fresh out of a 3D printer. Beyond just being utilized to create printed garments and accessories, 3D printing technology is also being looked upon as a muse to help innovate classic techniques, such as knitting. Knitwear process has indeed a lot in common with the 3D printing, especially in the way 3D printed objects are made: successive layers or a single wire of extruded material are overlapped by an industrial robot, the printer, under computer control to create any desired shape or geometry. In the same way industrial knitwear production is a process where a single continuous yarn is weaved by a knitting machine, controlled today by computer programs, and gives back a three-dimensional garment to be wore and adapted to the human body. But if 3D printing is a process that gives a lot of freedom to the designer as it allows him to prototype easily, to make cheap trials and to reach complex results with less efforts, knitwear has still got a long and fragmented production chain, with many steps from the idea to the final garment and a great expenditure of time and resources to reach the final result. Even if all the process is controlled by the most advanced electronic machine and by the latest and most updated software, every step from the yarn to the stitch, from the gauge to the fabric needs the man’s eye and hands, to monitor and steer the possible outcomes. So, how technology could today act to facilitate this process? How can 3D printing innovations be applied to a so specific area of Fashion Design, really different from accessories, jewels and even from textile? How is 3D technology transforming knitwear, one of the most ancient craft arts in the world? No one could think to a “commonly 3D printed” knitwear, as true knitwear is made by weaving a single yarn and modelling the shapes of a piece of cloth by increasing and decreasing stitches: if printed, and so made without this weaving needle after needle, knitwear would lose its essence. So the most appropriate way to talk about “3D printed” knitwear is to talk about the use of traditional techniques processed by the most sophisticated and technologically evolved machines, using coding to power these knitting machines as though they are 3D printers. Today there are 3D printed fabrics that look like knitted webs but they aren’t, there are knitted fabrics with a 3D effect and there are clothes produced in three dimensions without seams: all these innovations are yet the result of a research and development process that has been made since the 1960s and 1970s, when knitting machines entered the market from companies such as Toyota, Brother and Singer that are keeping on searching for more effective and faster production technologies. The biggest innovation that this paper aims to highlight is happening again on the process much more than on products, and on the user much more than on machines: as 3D printing is transforming production of solid objects into a more democratic and accessible process, what this paper will define as 3D knitting is high-tech that innovates the connections between the product and the user: knitting machine will soon be an open technology and knitting will be an easy-to-manage technique, to create made to order and custom garments. With some best practices taken from different areas of knitwear, fashion and also product design, this paper aims to deeply investigate what is 3D technology when applied on knitting processes, what are its future developments and how it will influence consumption and production of knitted garments and objects.
|Titolo:||3D technology and industrial design to breathe new life into product design. Is this the future of fashion and textiles?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|
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