Bespoke 3D printed lingerie does away with traditional elastic

Fashion student Jess Haughton says her 3D printed lingerie could revolutionise the way women consume underwear.

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Fashion Design student Jess Haughton with her designs

Fashion student Jess Haughton says her 3D-printed lingerie could revolutionise the way women consume underwear.

The 23-year-old Nottingham Trent University student created her own collection using additive manufacturing to show how women could be given the perfect fit.

"Women come in all different shapes and sizes, so I wanted to show how modern technology can provide made-to-measure lingerie for each individual," said Jess, who's studying BA (Hons) Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University.

"But not only that, I wanted to show how 3D printing could truly modernise the market and create unique-looking underwear which does away with traditional materials."

Jess, from Ruislip in Greater London, has centred her designs on the use of 3D-printed stretch silicone and used it in place of elastic and stitching.

Rather than being sewn, seams are bonded by the silicone during the 3D printing process which enables garments to appear more cleanly cut.

Other benefits include silicone being more fatigue resistant than elastic, meaning it doesn't degrade over time following repeated stretches, helping to prevent garments from becoming misshapen.

Jess also used the silicone to create aesthetic patterns on sheer mesh to exploit the material's unique tactile qualities.

"Stretch silicone is amazing to work with and could really change the way lingerie is made," said Jess.

"It's very strong and flexible when cured, and is practically impossible to unstick.

"It also has an amazing feel to it, and when 3D printed can create more intricate detailing than traditional methods.

"In many ways, when printed onto sheer mesh as a floral pattern, it's like a modern alternative to lace."

Consumers would be able to order bespoke lingerie based on their measurements being inputted into a computer. The technology would also allow for unique detailing as required by each individual.

To illustrate her concept, Jess created a bodysuit which was 3D printed entirely in stretch silicone.

Her commercial designs include a halter bra with a silicone floral pattern printed on sheer mesh, a sheer mesh thong, and a leather harness with minimal stitching.

Jess's work was in collaboration with Clothing Management Technology Ltd and Stretchline UK Ltd. Her designs recently went on show for Nottingham Trent University's 2016 Art & Design Degree Show. The show was one of the largest collections of graduating art and design talent in the UK, with more than 1,300 works on public display.

Emma Prince, senior lecturer in fashion design at the School of Art & Design, said: "Jess has showed real innovation in developing her range of products and has developed her knowledge of this new technology which she can expand upon when she leaves university and pursues her career.

"It's a great illustration of how modern technology can change the way clothing is made, leading to improvements in the performance of garments, their fit, and their market appeal."

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    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution’s world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Bespoke 3D printed lingerie does away with traditional elastic

Published on 16 June 2016
  • Category: Research; School of Art & Design

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