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Textile Design



Jakob Schlaepfer AG

Atelier Team:

Martin Leuthold, Bernhard Duss, Yvonne Gradl, Claudia Schreiber, Renate Berger, Tanja Ellensohn, Melanie Widmer, Sibel Celik, Anouk Bonsma, Sally Zevenhuisen, Grace Lomas, Toon Geboe


Günther Imminger


Under the auspices of the interdisciplinary research project DAFAT – the acronym stands for digital application of colour to textiles – a joint project involving the university and industry has succeeded in commissioning a 3D printing machine on the premises of the St.Gallen textiles firm Jakob Schlaepfer AG. The first hypertube creations have been adopted for the couture collection of winter 2016–17. Drawing on the company’s embroidery tradition, silicon with colour pigment was applied like a thread to the fabric while under digital control. The result resembles a soutache embroidery. In parallel to this, silicon paste prints without carrier material were created. These have the effect of a novel form of guipure. Schlaepfer’s current collection also includes Hypertube articles which further explore the design possibilities of the new technology. These include all-over patterns on tulle, golden silicon guipures and silicon tassels sewn onto silk chiffon.

Comments of the nominators

Interesting in both visual and haptic terms, this project reinterprets the appearance of embroidery with the help of 3D technology. The embroidery-like ornamentation to which 3D printing gives rise achieves an independent aesthetic quality which goes far beyond the limits of mere mimesis. Schlaepfer’s textiles demonstrate the rich versatility and potential of the new technology.