A new idea, spray-painted clothing, joins digital textile printing and 3-D printed clothing as a possible tool for creating the future of fashion.
Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres, working together with scientists from University College London, has developed spray-on fabric (Figure 1). Short fibers of wool, linen or acrylic are mixed with a polymer solvent which binds immediately as they are sprayed onto a person or mannequin.
Clothing made from spray-on fabric was presented at the Science in Style fashion show, September 21, 2010 in London (Figure 2).
There are many speculations about the wide range of potential applications for spray-on fabric. Some of the obvious ideas for on-demand fabric are sterile bandages and military and crisis relief use. Practical uses are interesting too. For example, to the extent the material is recyclable and cost-effective, being able to spray-on additional layers when feeling cold, and easily remove and discard them when hot could be quite convenient. Rain gear could be similarly donned and discarded. The long-expected futurist’s dream of on-demand 3D clothing printing booths could be closer to being realized.