Why is MIT important for the fashion industry?

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I’ve discussed 3D printing on my blog before. Now I’d like to discover the world of 4D printing and textile programming. I was inspired to do this after browsing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website.

MIT is one of the leading technical universities and you wouldn’t imagine how much knowledge they share online. My attention was drawn by a number of ideas including 4D printing and textile programing. Both these solutions are developed at the Self-Assembly Lab. Apart from other applications such as medicine or architecture, also the fashion industry will use them in just a few years.

In order to introduce you to this notion I recommend that you become familiar with a short TED talk by Skylar Tibbits concerning 4d printing and programming textiles.

4D printing is actually 3D printing where another dimension is added, in this case the time. This will enable creators to design objects which change their shape with time.

When I watch these videos and photos my imagination goes crazy. Just think about clothes which change shape as your silhouette changes or which adjust to the weather conditions! Pants which can become a dress, if necessary. A thousand possibilities!

This is not just some futuristic talk. What’s the point?
It can cause sweatshops in Asia to be closed down. It can reduce energy consumption and production costs (looking realistically). In my opinion, the brand which will implement this technology first will probably be one of the sports brands.

And on top of that there are also programmable textiles (<=you should really visit this site), i.e. compositions of materials created to feature the most dynamic properties; so that they can change their shapes easily. In my opinion, programmable materials constitute an alternative solution for the future of sewing.

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