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Latin-America (Español)
Ganit Goldstein

New capability for textile printers will set fashion industry alight

naomi kaempfer
Naomi Kaempfer March 08, 2023
March 08, 2023

Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art, Design and Fashion at Stratasys is our thought leader on exploring new options for 3D printing across the creative disciplines and developing key collaborations with designers and artists to push the creative envelope.

“I joined Stratasys in 2014, and spearheaded activities across the Art, Design and Fashion sphere, responsible for exploring innovative new applications. I’ve established numerous collections in collaboration with industry-leading creatives, showcased at esteemed galleries, museums and fashion events worldwide. Here’s my take on the future of 3D printed textiles.”

Said to be worth a whopping $6.65 billion by 2030, the digital textile printing market continues to explode, as designers push the envelope with ever more avant garde creations gracing the cat walks and 3D printed garments and accessories making their way onto high street.

I’ve seen rapid tech advances bring about a profusion of new options: materials, colours, textures and finishes, as varied and diverse as that found in the natural world (see the landmark Greta Oto Dress that 3D elements that delight as they shimmer with reflected light like a butterfly’s wings). 

Textile printers now innovate ever faster to push the boundaries of creativity and achieve true product differentiation. Improving current 2D processes to truly bring textile to life and reimagine what’s possible has burst onto the scene with direct-to-textile 3D printing.

Decorative 3D print elements no longer need to be manually worked into a garment; the de facto method once used by renowned designers including Iris van Herpen, Julia Koerner, Karim Rashid and Neri Oxman to elevate dresses and create show-stopping shoes. 

Watch this space textile printers! 3D print direct-to-textile has put paid to this limitation and sets up a host of new opportunities. Fabric becomes a blank canvas for new visual and tactile effects, as designers can now print 3D elements directly into textiles right from the outset.

Tech and style for textile printers

By putting these revolutionary capabilities directly in the hands of many of the textile printers I work with, in collaboration with fashion designers, an entirely new era of textile printing is taking wings. 3D print direct-to-textile enables the construction of patterns and objects directly onto textiles such as denim, cotton, polyester and linen. 

While direct-to-textile 3D printing technology is relatively new to the market, early applications have already included decorative patterns on jeans and dresses, graphics on shoes, wearables and bags. With countless more potential creative applications still to be explored, this is merely the beginning. 

As 3D print tech changes the way designers engage with fabrics, we will see an industry disrupted with new revenue streams and provide an all-important critical edge in a competitive market landscape.