The Plumage cape is lauded the first of its kind in fashion

3D printing technology opens up new avenues for fashion design and textile construction.

Plumage is a customisable cape made up of 6000 free-moving pieces, 3D-printed into one whole piece. The garment is the result of a collaboration between Ireland-based interactive fashion brand Love & Robots and costume designer Niamh Lunny for Irish Design 2015 – a year-long programme celebrating local design talent.

The cape is composed of a 3D-printed chainmail base and a top layer featuring thousands of feather-like pieces that resemble a bird in the moment it ruffles its feathers. Each piece is fabricated from a fine and hypoallergenic nylon material, making the garment very light and easy to wear. The individual pieces come together to form a surreal-looking shrug, which moves with the wearer and the wind.

For the fashion designers, Plumage is an exploration of patterns in fabric such as knit and lace, as well as 3-dimensional structures and natural phenomena. And for Lunny, the cape was an investigation into traditional costume design and how it can be reinterpreted using new technologies.

“We at Love & Robots are looking at how 3D printing will revolutionise the design and fashion industries and it’s exciting to see where these innovations may take us.” Love & Robots co-founder Emer O’Daly said.