This research details an investigation into processes employing laser technology to create design-led three-dimensional textiles. An analysis of historical and contemporary methods for making three-dimensional textiles categorises these as processes that construct a three-dimensional textile, processes that apply or remove material from an existing textile to generate three-dimensionality or processes that form an existing textile into a three-dimensional shape. Techniques used in these processes are a combination of joining, cutting, forming or embellishment.
Laser processing is embedded in textile manufacturing for cutting and marking. This research develops three novel processes:
laser-assisted template pleating which offers full design freedom and may be applied to both textile and non-textile materials. The language of origami is used to describe designs and inspire new design.
laser pre-processing of cashmere cloth which facilitates surface patterning through laser interventions in the manufacturing cycle.
laser sintering on textile substrates which applies additive manufacturing techniques to textiles for the generation of three-dimensional surface patterning and structures.
A method is developed for determining optimum parameters for laser processing materials. It may be used by designers for parameter selection for processing new materials or parameter modification when working across systems.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.