I’ve never been good with a needle and thread. Unless I’m taking my clothes to my mom’s house to be repaired, I just drop them off at the alterations shop. Sewing is one area where I haven’t seen much innovation in recent years. The process for sewing a button on a shirt is the same now as when I was a kid. If it’s up to Ingrida Kazėnaitė, a semifinalist in Design Lab 2014, that is going to change in the future.
She designed what is called the Fabric Pen, and it’s nothing short of fabulous. She describes it by saying, “The Fabric Pen is a sewing kit in your pocket which mends your ripped clothing by printing a patch of the same fabric on the damaged area.“
This concept design pen scans the type of fabric to determine what it looks like, and then prints (sprays) matching fabric onto the hole or damaged section of your clothing. It matches the existing fabric perfectly, and you can even wash it or take the patch off at anytime to spray on a new one.
Ingrida was inspired by Fabrican, which is a fabric often used in the process of making 3D printed clothing. There are also medical applications for this pen since it could potentially be used to spray-on a cast or bandage. She even talks about it being useful to repair the fabric on a couch or other pieces of furniture.
This is a very inspiring concept design to me, and I can understand why she has gotten so much attention in this year’s Electrolux Design Lab competition.
Ingrida, I hope your design becomes a reality someday. I can see this being something that everyone would find useful. Thank you for seeing beyond a needle and thread, and for giving me hope that I’ll be able to repair my own clothes in the future!
Photo credit: Electrolux Design Lab
YouTube: Interview with Ingrida Kazėnaitė (by Electrolux)