If you’re so accident-prone that your clothes are always getting ripped, but you aren’t handy enough to mend those rips, the future holds some pretty good news for you. Designer Ingrida Kazenaite has come up with a concept that would let anyone quickly and easily repair damaged clothing, even if they’ve never before picked up a needle and thread.
The Fabric Pen is a kind of small-scale garment 3-D printer. On one end, controls let you scan the material you want to match and choose the printing function that will repair the damage.
Pressing a button releases a spray-on fabric that mends the rip. The nano-material attaches itself to the fabric’s threads, matching the texture and pattern perfectly. When you change out of the garment, you can choose to leave the repair in place and wear it over and over or just remove and dissolve it.
The conceptual product is meant to cut down on the amount of clothing that is needlessly discarded every year. By repairing rather than replacing, we can greatly reduce the amount of material entering the waste stream before its useful life is over.
The Fabric Pen clearly isn’t ready for real-world production just yet, but the concept perfectly illustrates the type of product that could change the way we use our resources in the future.