Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The shirt you spray on: For clothes that fit like a second skin, try instant fabric in a can


By Tamara Cohen

Stage one: This might tickle a bit... Dr Torres spray paints the model's shoulder and torso. Both wear goggles to protect their eyes

Rummaging in a drawer, grabbing a T- shirt and slipping it over your head would certainly be simpler. But some of us are willing to put a little more effort into our wardrobes.

The result? A shirt that fits so snugly it looks as if it has been sprayed on to the body. Actually, it has.

Thanks to a liquid mixture made of cotton fibres we could soon be spraying ourselves into everything from T-shirts, dresses, trousers to swim-wear and hats.

Fabrican - literally fabric in an aerosol can - is the brainchild of Spanish designer Dr Manel Torres who has spent ten years working on his invention.

In a video demonstrating how it works, he sprays a blue and white T-shirt on to a model in just under 15 minutes.

Drying as soon as it hits his skin, the garment can be taken off, washed and re-worn.

Dr Torres teamed up with Paul Luckham, Professor of Particle Technology at Imperial College London, to create Fabrican, which consists of cotton fibres, polymers (the plastics which hold them together) and solvents which keep it in liquid form.

Stage two: Thank goodness I didn't ask for a suit... The fabric, drying fast, is already showing a couple of creases on the model's torso

Stage three: Plain white's so yesterday... Dr Torres decides to add a fetching splatter of blue to brighten things up a little

When you get bored with your creation it can be dissolved and the material used again to make something new or repair old designs.

Dr Torres said the idea was to be able to create clothes instantly and cheaply, all of which would be a perfect fit.

'I really wanted to make a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material,' he said.

'To show science and technology can help fashion designers, I ended up returning to the principles of the earliest textiles such as felt, which were also produced by taking fibres and finding a way of binding them together without having to weave or stitch.'

Stage 4: A touch to the neckline shows how the fabric dies away from the body

Stage five: The shirt off my back... The garment can be taken off, washed and re-worn

Fabrican is still a couple of years from hitting the shelves.

Dr Torres is working on ways to create more forgiving shapes as not everyone likes their clothes clinging to every curve. He is also trying to minimise the distinct whiff of solvent about the garments.

And although some spray-on designs will be on show at London Fashion Week, the instant fabric could end up being used for everything from bandages to furniture upholstery.

source: dailymail

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