Official opening of the Fashion Design Lab (D’Drive, Friesland College)

New fabric printer
New fabric printer

With a brand new, highly advanced printer, students of the Fashion Design course at Friesland College can now make spectacular fabrics themselves. A painting? A tile tableau? It can all be translated into fabric, to make special clothes out of it. What’s more: the Textile Lab can make fashion considerably more sustainable.

D’Drive presented the printer on Thursday at the campus in Leeuwarden. The idea is that the school and partners in the world of fashion and design will work closely together to exploit the possibilities of designing the fabric and a 3D pattern in the computer program, which can transfer all that information perfectly to the printer. The printer prints the whole thing into the fabric.

This technique can very well be used to make prototypes, to elaborate a design or to make a small production. Now a fabric or prototype often has to come from other corners of the world. The transport, the paint, the fabrics, the working conditions… ‘The fashion industry is not exactly sustainable’, said Sicco Piekeboer, director of D’Drive. “We’re going to do something about that”.

A smart combination of craftsmanship and technical innovation opens up new possibilities. From faraway to local production, from fast fashion to craft, from mass to own identity and more…’ According to Piekeboer, crafts in the creative sector can once again be made ‘futureproof’. That is also the aim of the Craft Your Future project, in which the Friesland College works together with partners in the region and abroad.

The students like to work on assignments, said Janne Manderfeld. Together with teachers, the student studied the programme in depth, with which you can make a very precise design in 3D. No more hassle with fitting models and wasting material, everything ‘custom made’ with good materials… ‘You have to do a lot of testing to master everything’, says Janne. But it works beautifully.

And as a student I’ll soon be able to use the latest techniques. That’s great, if you want to work somewhere or set up your own line.

Eileen Blackmore
Eileen Blackmore, House of Design, Groningen

Less stuff

The Textile Lab fits in seamlessly with the attention for sustainability within the Friesland College, said Dominique Derks, practor Sustainable Thinking Sustainable Doing. Moreover, the project stems from the quality agenda, with which the school is working on innovation in education.

The lab certainly fits in with the spirit of the times, said Eileen Blackmore of House of Design. At a time when we mainly have to unravel, design is increasingly about the question: what do we add to what is already there… Design is about the story. Does it stand for something? Is there a market for it? Otherwise we make more stuff, while we want less stuff’. According to her, the Textiel Lab can contribute a lot to the careful use of good and beautiful materials.

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