A robot tailor and smart fabrics for more sustainable tailored suits

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A robot tailor and smart fabrics for more sustainable tailored suits

Customizable, sustainable and adaptable tailor-made clothes against the waste of ‘fast fashion’: this is what allows the creation of the new 4D Knit Dress platform, which uses a ‘tailor’ robot to heat-shape the active yarns of a dress produced with a special computerized knitting. A mix of technologies for the fashion of the future, which was developed by the Self-Assembly Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with Ministry of Supply, a fashion company specializing in hi-tech clothing.

The Self-Assembly Lab researchers have been working for years on active fabrics that can change shape, properties, become insulating or breathable: already tested to produce sweaters and masks, they are now being studied for the creation of customizable clothes, produced with a special computerized knitting done on an industrial loom.

The heat-activated fibres, positioned in strategic points of the dress, allow you to modify the style by creating folds and ribbing, or modeling a narrow or empire-style waist. Their activation using a thermal gun was entrusted to the precision of a programmed robotic arm, a real tailor that almost seems to sculpt the dress on the mannequin.

“When we apply heat, the fibers shorten, causing the fabric to pucker in a specific area, effectively tightening the shape as if we were making the garment,” explains researcher David Griffin. A dress born with a certain design can therefore be worn for months and then be remodeled several times to change its look. A philosophy diametrically opposed to that of disposable fashion, which could also reduce the unsold stock in stores: instead of purchasing sizes of every size, from XS to XXL, retailers could provide a dress for the smaller sizes and one for the larger ones, which can be suitably shaped according to the customer’s needs.

Reproduction reserved © Copyright ANSA

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