digitally printed fake fur is fashion's new frontier
It's been a while since we've had any breakthrough innovations in faux-fur. Since the advent of fur-like fabric from synthetic fibres in 1929, we've been pretty uninventive in creating cool ways to pretend that we're wearing animals.
Luckily, MIT scientists have recently stepped up to the challenge in developing a technique that uses 3-D printers to print thousands of tiny hairs in a matter of minutes. Printing hair is nothing new, but this process would normally be painstakingly slow. This new technique could mean that it will be coming to an animal-friendly fashion house near you.
The scientists have called it Project Cilllia (yes, with a triple 'l)' and they have discovered that they are able to print hairs as small as 50 microns.
Jifei Ou, a scientist from the team says that, "3D printers today have the potential to change the way we design materials, yet we are still mostly using it to print static objects like plastic cups." He adds that "We aim to create programmable materials, and hair is just one of the examples we are exploring in our lab now."
As great as traditional faux-fur is, we have to admit that the textures and styles are pretty limited. You may question why such a technology is needed, but for tech aficionados it means that fashion designers could possibly now be manipulating the height, width, angle and texture of the fake fur with the touch of a button using this new software. The possibilities are endless.
Text Kazumi Hayashi