Lingxiao Luo combines 3D-printing and knitwear to create playful garments
Royal College of Art graduate Lingxiao Luo has combined 3D-printing with traditional knitwear techniques to create a series of pieces that evoke the playfulness of children's toys.
The knitwear graduate, who has previously worked as a childrenswear designer, wanted to create a series of garments that are influenced by the bright colours and graphics found in toys.
Called AddiToy, the collection uses a method of 3D-printing plastic threads directly onto knitwear.
"This innovation introduces a new aesthetic and zero-waste fabrication to the fashion industry through creating customisable products with unprecedented shapes, structures, materials and textures," Luo told Dezeen.
According to Luo, the material has more texture and structure than traditional knitwear fabrics.
To make the pieces, she began by choosing the yarn and deciding what level of tension to weave it to create either a delicate or chunky finish.
"I had to decide whether to work with elastic yarn for a thin and delicate outcome or mix it with other yarns for a thick and chunky outcome," she explained.
Varying textures were achieved using either joining, felting or twisting techniques, which were all achieved by 3D-printing plastic filaments directly onto the knitwear.
The first method – joining – involves 3D-printing patterns of filaments directly onto the fabric to attach two of her different knitted fabrics together.
Felting uses 3D-printed patterns of filament directly woven onto loosely-knitted fibre fabric. The fabric is then wet and felted in a process that shrinks the fabric and creates a three-dimensional structure.
Finally, in the twisting technique, a flexible filament is printed onto tightly-knitted elastic fabric. "Because of the elasticity of the fabric, the printed patterns can twist into 3D structure," said Luo.
"This new technique has been applied into my MA final collection with several pieces of products, including a book of samples, garments, accessories, and several pieces of perfume prototypes," she explained.
"In the future, AddiToy can provide technical service to design studios for using this technique and products into their collections."
Luo showcased her designs at the Royal College of Art MA Fashion show. Other graduate coverage includes 10 standout collections from the London College of Fashion's 2018 graduate show, and eight collections from Antwerp's 2018 fashion masters.