London: Seamless fabric can now be sprayed directly onto the body, as if by magic, using aerosol technology. The spray dries instantly to make innovative clothes that can be washed and re-worn.
They will be demonstrated Thursday, in advance of the Science in Style spray-on fashion show next week at Imperial College London.
Manel Torres is a Spanish fashion designer and academic visitor at Imperial, where he has collaborated with Paul Luckham, professor of Particle Technology, to create a seamless material called Fabrican Spray-on fabric, said an Imperial release.
The spray-on fabric consists of short fibres that are combined with polymers to bind the fibres together and a solvent that delivers the fabric in liquid form and evaporates when the spray reaches a surface.
The spray can be applied using a high pressure spray gun or an aerosol can. The texture of the fabric can be changed according to what fibres are used (such as wool, linen or acrylic) and how the spray is layered.
Torres will demonstrate the spray-on fabric on models, creating clothes from scratch to show how this technology can be applied in the fashion industry.
"When I first began this project, I really wanted to make a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material," said Torres.
"As an artist I spend my time dreaming up one-off creations, but as a scientist I have to focus on making things reproducible. I want to show how science and technology can help designers come up with new materials," he added.
Fashion is just one of the uses of this technology. Torres has set up the spin-out company Fabrican Ltd with Luckham to explore other applications, such as medicine patches and bandages, hygiene wipes, air fresheners and upholstery for furniture and cars.
He will also be showcasing his 2011 Spring/Summer Collection of spray-on haute couture at the Science in Style fashion show at the Imperial College.
The event will celebrate design-led technology at Imperial and will coincide with London Fashion Week and the London Design Festival.