3D Printed clothes – the future of dressmaking?

Hello all,

I bought a Wired Subscription for my husband’s birthday last year (it was a misguided gift unfortunately as he hates it for it consumerist focus). Normally I don’t find anything that much interesting in there but the Kinematic Dress caught my eye.

It piqued my interest because one of my favourite topics of conversation with the Mr. SNS is what the future will look like. One thing we tend to agree on is how everything is eventually just going to be 3D printed- houses, cars, guns, crockery…..; he was adamant it won’t happen for clothes but when I saw this I was like AHA!!!!

Taken from their website:

The Kinematics Dress is a technical achievement but its also an article of clothing. We designed it with comfort and durability in mind, aiming to make a 3D-printed garment that you can actually wear, one that invites movement instead of constraining it.

Here it is in motion……

The Kinematic Dress

Though it creases and flows like satin it was actually 3D printed. The gown was created by  Massachusetts based design studio Nervous System. Each dress starts as a 3D scan of the wearer’s body, the software breaks the design down into thousands of differently sized triangles, then adds hinges to each segment. The process takes 2 days. So far they have printed 9 dresses – the first was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (New York). From this year they will ship made-to-order versions of a smaller skirt and they wont be cheap (think expensive wedding gown prices) :-).

So imagine no swayback adjustments, forward shoulder, FBA, SBA ….etc ……..etc and no need for muslins!

I have to admit I am intrigued about where this will take dressmaking in future.

Would you become a silicon seamstress? Or would you stick with what we have now? Is our particular skill set on its way out? I’d love to hear what you think below. Yay or nay?

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a pleasant and lovely weekend.

Peace and love,







34 thoughts on “3D Printed clothes – the future of dressmaking?

  1. Nay. There’s also something about plasticising our world that I really don’t like. Interesting from a tech perspective, not environmentally sustainable. Tbh, I think plastic should be banned, along with all related products, like polyester. All the microparticles end up in our food chain, clogging instead of giving life. So not a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Recycling is brilliant – if people make the effort. I don’t know if 3d printing can be done with recycled materials, dont know enough about the process. What I do know is that I love the feel of linen, wool, and silk, so why look for replacements? If nature provides what we need, in ecologically sound ways, why search for replacements that are not? Some parts of human behaviour are utterly confusing. 😕
        PS – I do get that technology is fun, it’s not that. I think so too. But shouldn’t we always strive to make the world better for all? Literally all, the whole planet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The dress is amazing and 3D printing has so many applications which will be of huge benefit, particularly in the field of medicine (eg prosthetics) but I think I’ll be sticking to needle and thread for now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it is a pretty sweet idea but it would take the fun and joy out of creating something in my opinion. Part of the joy of wearing or seeing someone wear something you made is knowing the time and effort you put into it as well as the “love.” I think having a printer make a garment makes it “just a garment.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thats a great point. The time definitely adds to a great sense of achievement. Sometimes I feel like its a double edged sword though – on the one hand I would love to make more garments as gifts for friends and family but when I think of how they dont get the effort it takes to make something – it makes me feel like they wont necessarily accept the imperfections that come with home sewing and consequently focus on whats wrong with it….then I end up not wanting to wast my time. I might like the option of being able to make something quick that wont pain me if the recipient treats it less than favorably 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think many people sew because it is SO satisfying to use your hands to make something as well as being nostalgic. Many bloggers refer to grandmothers, great aunts etc who they remember fondly for their sewing. I am definitely sticking with the good old days x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmm that’s quite interesting what you say about how it links with a generational sense of connection. Its not something I have experienced myself since there is no one who made their own clothes on my side of my family. My in laws recently found out that I sew and they were all reminiscing about how their mother (my hubs grandmother) made them dresses and such while they were growing up – the Skype session ended with them saying how wonderful it was that I was continuing a family tradition. I accepted the compliment guiltily though that was not the reason I started sewing!


  5. It’s really pretty! 3D printers make me despair a little bit for all the plastic cr*p people must have lying around. Also the gun comment -scary! I’m sure they are great tools in certain circumstances though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read somewhere that someone £D printed a gun that could discharge a bullet. I found that disconcerting. They are doing massively wonderful things in medicine with them though.


  6. I think this is very cool. People always get nervous when a new technology comes out, and worry if the old will fade away, but in reality that is exceptionally rare. New stuff is usually just incorporated alongside more traditional methods – just look at libraries or the music industry for an example of how this works. Sewing is definitely not going to go away!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very cool- but they were making plastic-link dresses in the 60s and I don’t see many people wearing them now! [or then to be honest…] I agree with most people posting above- the joy of sewing is primarily in the fabric, secondly in solving the puzzle of transforming it into a garment. I think printing tech is best kept to all those fantastic applications in making affordable prosthetics

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I want to be able to chose something that fits me, in a fabric and colour I choose and in a style that suits me. That is why I sew. But I love technology too and one day they will be able to give me this, and then I might stop and make something else. At the moment printing your own fabric is very expensive but one day we will be able to specify it and get one of kind outfits. The three D printing today is miles away from where we will need to get to, but in a few years we will.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Materials would need to have some opacity and a lot more variety to make this appealing. Still think the more interest thing would be predesign and testing to make models for the programmers to learn more about complex garments from.

    Liked by 1 person

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