Research: 3D Printing & Knitting – Pringle

Research: 3D Printing & Knitting – Pringle

During London Design Festival (LDF) I went to a talk about material innovation in fashion[1]London Design Festival (2014) Pringle of Scotland and Disegno presents Material Change [Online] Available from: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/pringle-scotland-and-disegno-presents-material-change [Accessed 15 Oct 2014].. The panel discussion focused on new developments in 3D printing for fashion. It was held at the Pringle store where they showcased their recent material innovation; combining knitwear with 3D printing which they launched for their Autumn/Winter 2014 womenswear collection and developed further for Spring/Summer 2015. Pringle has a long established reputation as a brand for producing quality knitwear. ‘It is now a company with an international reputation for combining traditional manufacturing techniques with material experimentation'[2]London Design Festival (2014) Pringle of Scotland and Disegno presents Material Change [Online] Available from: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/pringle-scotland-and-disegno-presents-material-change [Accessed 15 Oct 2014].. It was really inspiring to see the combination of knit techniques with new developments in materials and technology. I also liked the mix of cashmere, a luxurious soft natural yarn, with the slightly rough 3D printed material. In my own work I would love to build on my knit knowledge, but take it in an unexpected direction by adding another element, such as a technique or material from another discipline.

3D printing at Pringle Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

Pringle AW 2014 – knitting and 3D printing. Own photo: taken on 17 Sept 2014 at the Pringle flagship store on Mount Street, London.

3D printing at Pringle Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

Pringle AW 2014 – knitted cashmere cable and 3D printed ladder. Own photo: taken on 17 Sept 2014 at the Pringle flagship store on Mount Street, London.

Pringle’s creative director, Massimo Nicosia, collaborated with architect Richard Beckett to develop the 3D printing for their collections. From a distance some of the designs look like they are knitted, but when you get close you realise that parts of the garments have been created from a rigid 3D printed material. When I first saw the AW 2014 Pringle collection online I thought the laddered panel was knitted (see photo 2), so it was surprising when I saw it in person. The 3D printing adds another dimension, texture and intricate detail to the garments. For Spring Summer 2015 they pushed the technique further by creating a lightweight flexible fabric using a chainmail construction. Again from the distance it looks like the reverse side of a knitted fabric (see photo 3). The garment had to be constructed from several panels, because of limitations in the width of printing size. Other design restrictions included colour availability, as the material they used is currently limited to black and white. At the moment it is also very expensive, not only the printing, but also the construction of the garments as the knitters are still learning the best way to join the knit and print material together. I was inspired by how Pringle has taken 3D printing into a new direction by approaching it like a textile designer.

3D printing at Pringle Autumn/Winter 2014 collection

Pringle SS 2015 – 3D printed chainmail fabric. Own photo: taken on 17 Sept 2014 at the Pringle Flagship store on Mount Street, London.

References   [ + ]

1, 2. London Design Festival (2014) Pringle of Scotland and Disegno presents Material Change [Online] Available from: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/pringle-scotland-and-disegno-presents-material-change [Accessed 15 Oct 2014].

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