Massimo Nicosia’s collection for Pringle of Scotland offered a titillating glimpse of the future in the form of delicate knitwear made from nylon powder in a 3-D printer. Nicosia, Pringle’s head of design, collaborated with London architect Richard Beckett to create a series of flexible, machine-washable knits: He mixed one 3-D ladder design into a white wool fisherman’s sweater, and wrapped another honeycomb one onto the cuffs of a coat made from cashmere and silk matelassé.
This story first appeared in the April 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“3-D printing will be a big driver of change for so many industries, including fashion,” said Nicosia. Beckett uses selective laser sintering, or SLS, a sophisticated form of printing that can create ultra-high-accuracy detailed products.
“We were experimenting, trying to push the boundaries of what is possible with 3-D printing,” said Beckett, adding that it was the first time he’s collaborated on a ready-to-wear collection. He added that nylon is only the beginning, and there is the potential to use natural materials to create the 3-D textiles of the future. The core of Beckett’s work is architectural design where he uses high-accuracy 3-D technology to create bespoke decorative elements—which in the past would have cost a fortune—for large-scale projects.
“3-D printing allows us to manipulate what ornamentation is, bring it back into architecture and push the limits of what spaces can be,” Beckett said.