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3D Printing in the Clothing Market

What Does 3D Printing Involve in the Clothing Industry?

3D printing involves the deposition of plastic, layer-by-layer, to create a structure that is three-dimensional. Some designers for luxurious brands created some forward-thinking pieces for Paris Fashion Week in January 2018.

Two women modelling 3D printed clothing
Credit: Daria Ratiner

Despite the surge of interest and excitement around printing clothing at home, it doesn’t seem as though this trend will take off any time soon.

Why? It is very difficult to get 3D printed materials to have a similar durability and texture to traditional clothing materials. The price of 3D printed clothing is high – yet the clothing that is produced cannot drape in a way that is similar to traditional fabrics either.

What Might The Future Hold for 3D Clothing?

While the initial uptake of this idea has been relatively slow and resistant, it looks as though the fortune of 3D clothing could still be triumphant.

As competition rises within the fashion industry, consumers become increasingly demanding. Now, consumers want clothing that perfectly fits their own physique, and some are willing to pay for it.

3D printing in stores would allow for measurements to be taken, and for personalised goods to be produced on the spot.

Some stores have already adopted this approach, as can be seen by The Ministry of Supply’s effort at knit printing in store.

Credit: The Ministry of Supply

Adidas ran a pop-up store presenting their 3-D knit collection in Spring 2017 – for these large brands, showing the willingness to innovate in favour of the consumer is favourable for in itself.

Adidas 3-D knitwear hanging on display
Credit: Adidas


While the 3D clothing market has many hurdles to cross, the willingness of large brands to innovate and meet customer demand may be the driving force that the industry needs to grow.

Making 3D clothing more efficiently, making garments more comfortable and assessing how this clothing will impact the environment are all considerations that must be examined.