Gabi Asfour has a cerebral, esoteric bent that soon becomes clear in his work. Since becoming curious about 3D printing around 2009, he has been trying to manipulate the internal geometry of textiles.
Traditional fabric is essentially two-dimensional — strands are arrayed horizontally, vertically, and in crisscross to form a weave. Asfour—who has degrees in mechanical engineering and architecture from the University of Maryland—had a vision, along with Donhauser and Gil, to create “three-dimensional interlocking weaves,” which they would achieve with the help of laser cutting. The desire to mess with fabric’s third dimension drew them naturally to 3D printing.
So far, Asfour says, “the most advanced fabric has been a four-way stretch.” That’s what’s possible with most normal fabric, which stretches along the X and Y planes. 3D printing would allow a material to stretch in the Z plane, Asfour theorized. He figured that such fabric would be more breathable and make movement easier. Best of all, it would eliminate wrinkles.
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