Innovative Fashion: 3-D Printing

It’s now possible to download your own clothing!

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Danit Peleg

The limits of modern fashion are being pushed and redefined every day! Innovative Fashion, our latest column, seeks to share how materials, production, design, and function are being revolutionized around the world. Consider it a little preview of the future of fashion.

(In case you missed it, check out the previous post in this series, where we talk about fabrics made from fruits and veggies.)

Call us Marty McFly, cuz today’s feature is bring us back to the future. 

3-D printing is a technology capable of crafting basically anything from the comfort of your home. 

Basically anything, you say? Why not transfer the idea to clothes? Today’s designers have done just that.


Let’s start off by explaining the process of 3-D printing.

Software on a PC allows you to construct and modify the object of your choice, whether it be a candle holder, planter, doorstop, or even a phone case. There are thousands of ready-made templates online as well, but don’t be afraid to let your creativity spring forth!

Once you’re satisfied with the design, the resident 3-D printer gets hooked up to the computer and off she goes! The device works by printing very thin layers atop the programmed layout, building from the bottom up. While most desktop 3-D printers use ABS plastic, so many materials are available in addition to the usual plastic round-up. You could even 3-D print your own three-tiered cake (with the right machine, of course)!

Danit Peleg

Designer Danit Peleg saw a ton of potential in this process. As a graduate fashion student at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (based in Israel), she was inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s painting, “Liberty Leading the People”, in addition to geometric configurations of clothing, for her graduate collection.

With the discovery of the durable yet soft filament, FilaFlex, and the use of her Witbox printer, Peleg was able to print a lace-like textile that could be molded to the structure of a mannequin. And with that, she made her first piece, the Liberté jacket!

Peleg then progressed to printing the rest of her 5-piece collection (plus shoes!). The whole process took 9 months to research and 2,000 hours to print, but we can see that it was totally worth it.

“Liberty Leading the People” collection

The layered triangular patterns and mesh cut-outs deliver just the right serving of modernity, while still being comfortable and chic. We love the structure of this collection, as well as the intricately crafted shapes.

Behind the scenes before the runway debut.
Amy Purdy at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Peleg was then commissioned by the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games to design a special dress for Paralympian Amy Purdy to dance in during the Opening Ceremony. 

The painting she drew inspiration from this time was “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, chosen for its symbolism of rebirth (in this case, in athletic stardom!).

You can watch Purdy’s performance here:

Amy Purdy in Paralympic Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony

Of course, Peleg soon followed up with a full collection for “The Birth of Venus.” One of the pieces, the bomber jacket, can be printed-to-order and bought on her website! In fact, both of her collections’ designs can be downloaded in full via Dropbox.

“The Birth of Venus” Collection

In the past year, Peleg has even launched a custom-made option on her website, where customers can design a garment to their liking and get it printed to order!

“Danit aims to create an alternative to the traditional fashion supply chain, reducing the waste and tremendous footprint that shipping and offshore manufacturing creates, ultimately revolutionizing the entire fashion industry.” — About Danit Peleg

See her TED talk here as well:

3-D printing can be very stylish when it wants to be, and we’re so excited to see what this designer will dream up in the future.

The process is already transitioning from couture to ready-to-wear (albeit very expensive ready-to-wear: $1500 a pop!), and who knows? Maybe you’ll have your very own 3-D printed crop top, high-waisted skirt, ankle boots (!?) in just a couple years.

What do you think?

Is 3-D printing part of the future of fashion? Would you wear the pieces in these collections? How ready are you to download your own clothing? Let us know in the comments!

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