If 2014 was the year of the 3D-printed whatever, maybe 2015 will be the year of hybridizing the notions 3D. Jim Chen-Hsiang Hu, a graduate of Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London developed the concept of 3D weaving out of thread and resin.
For Hu, that means 3D-weaving: a process that involves taking specially-designed panels of laser-cut fabric and stitching them together with a variety of traditional techniques to make entire outfits that envelop his models in varying degrees of techno-futurism.
His award-winning project, XI (系), developed while he was a student, aims to question the underlying assumptions we might have about technology and fabrication. 3D weaving allows for there to be a structural grain within the resulting fabric, as opposed to the brittle layered conditions inherent to 3D printing. Because of this underlying strength, 3D weaving produces a material that has wide applications.
Hu currently applies his techniques to the realm of fashion, but does not necessarily see 3D-weaving as being confined so narrowly to that field. He says, “It could have a future that is possibly less associated with fashion… would this be the starting point of super-light architecture?” Appropriately, Hu’s newest venture is called One More Dimension, as he told 1 Granary Magazine in an interview: ”I wanted to introduce one more angle or dimension into design." He explained, "Visually that appears as a third dimension in the clothes.”
Hu's pieces reflect that diversity of material, texture, and density. Certain articles are more like traditional dresses, save for one or two projecting woven sculptures, while others use the 3D technique to create large swaths of meshed fabric, simulating exaggerated cowl necks or delicate, lace face masks and veils. These red fabric works play a delicate and deliberate game, alternating between semi-solid and void, fabric and netting, while also blurring the boundaries between surface, front, and back.