A pocket-size three-dimensional printer that makes on-the-go clothing repairs a cinch is just one of 35 visionary concepts that could make for a greener “home of the future.” A semi-finalist in this year’s Electrolux Design Lab, an annual competition that solicited more than 1,700 submissions from student designers around the world in 2014 alone, the wand-like “Fabric Pen” offers a quick way to mend rips or repurpose tired threads in a waste-free way.
“With fabric pen you can scan the type of fabric material your clothing are made of along with fabric color then print a patch of the same fabric on the damaged area,” explains Lithuanian designer Ingrida Kazėnaitė, who was inspired by the work Manel Torres, inventor of the world’s first sprayable fabric. “The printed patch attaches itself to loose threads and masks itself into the pattern.”
Made a mistake? You can remove and dissolve existing patches and start over, says Kazėnaitė.
“With Fabric Pen you can easily fix or alter your ripped, faded, or damaged clothing even if you do not know how to sew,” she adds. “You can also get creative with it by mixing and applying different styles, colors and pattern on your existing clothing, personalizing it, remaking it in your own design. It is small and easily transportable, you can carry it with you in your purse and use it whenever needed.”
Electrolux will choose its top six finalists in October. The first-prize winner, to be announced at a gala in November, will receive €5,000 (about $6,800) and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center.