Undergraduate Research

3-D Printing Fabric Swatches with Recycled Materials

  • Dina C. Smith (Louisiana State University)
  • Angela Beckett (Virginia Tech)


A qualitative case study was conducted to determine a 3-D printing method that would best produce a textile swatch that would reduce waste and meet consumer needs. Unstructured, open-ended interviews with two graduate students studying material science engineering and one student library media center attendant were conducted. The interview data was analyzed using thematic analysis and two themes emerged from the interview data: 1) waste reduction; and 2) end-product characteristics. Based on the results of these interviews and available printing methods, the FDM printing method was selected produce a textile swatch. While using this method created little to no waste and was less transparent, making the design more appropriate for apparel use, the swatch did not fulfill aesthetic and functional consumers’ needs such as a pleasing body-garment relationship and comfort. Future researchers should continue to develop in-fill patterns suitable for potential 3D printed apparel use.

Keywords: Apparel, Textiles, Recycled Materials, 3-D Printing

How to Cite:

Smith, D. C. & Beckett, A., (2020) “3-D Printing Fabric Swatches with Recycled Materials”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 77(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.11776

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Published on
28 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed