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From Spray Can To Catwalk. Fabrican Spray-On Couture Collection.

You may have seen or read some blog posts and news articles about this futuristic fashion innovation which consists of spray-on clothing. The idea has been in the works for over a decade and the patent for Fabrican was filed in 2000. Starting a few weeks ago, news reports, magazines like Wired, fashion and trend blogs like Trendland and more began covering the concept yet again.

Just last week, the Spring/ Summer 2011 collection of the spray-on couture was showcased at a fashion show at Imperial College London. I've got some of those images for you so now you can really some some wild results of this technological future of fashion.

The show is a culmination of 10 years of work by Dr. Torres, who has collaborated with Professor Paul Luckham, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical technology, to create a seamless material called Fabrican Spray-on fabric. The technology enables designers to spray liquid material directly onto the body, using aerosol technology, which dries instantly to make innovative clothes that can be washed and re-worn.

More than 300 key figures from industry, academia, fashion and the media came to the College to see Dr. Manel Torres (shown above with the models in the show's finale), Spanish fashion designer and academic visitor at Imperial, unveil his 2011 Spring/Summer Collection at the Science in Style Fashion Show. The event celebrated design-led technology developed at Imperial.

Behind the scenes, creating the dressed for the show:

So, what is Fabrican?

Fabrican ltd. is the creator of Spray-on Fabric, or couture in a can. A technological innovation that will not only lighten your vacation packing, but can also be used in medical, automotive and other numerous applications.

Fabrican Spray-on © Fabrican Ltd 2007, Photographer Gene Kiegel.  

Some history for you:
In 2000 Fabrican patented an instant, sprayable, non-woven fabric. Developed through a collaboration between Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, Fabrican technology has captured the imagination of designers, industry and the public around the world.

The technology has been developed for use in household, industrial, personal and healthcare, decorative and fashion applications using aerosol cans or spray-guns, and will soon be found in products available everywhere.

 © Fabrican Ltd 2007, Photographer Adam Parker

The inventor, Manel Torres:

© Imperial College London / Layton Thompson. Fabrican Ltd 2010.

In the late 1990's, Manel Torres conceived the idea for Spray-on Fabric while studying for his MA in Fashion Women's Wear, Royal College of Art, London. Aware of the slow process of constructing garments, Manel investigated novel ways to speed up this process. Manel's foresight and vision led him to think of developing a material that would almost magically fit the body like a second skin and at the same time have the appearance of clothing. The original concept was to utilize Spray-on Fabric in the fashion industry. However, the technology has the potential to revolutionize and enhance numerous market areas.

One example would be the "Nicotine chair"shown below. Given developments in the pharma/biotech industry, and the flexible adhesive properties of Fabrican's technology, slow release systems like that of nicotine can be absorbed by sitting on a chair sprayed with Fabrican.

© Fabrican Ltd 2007, Photographer Fabrican Ltd
 above: Nicotine Chair "Sit down and quit smoking"

Manel Torres obtained his PhD at the Royal College of Art and then in 2000, filed a patent for the Spray-On Fabric technology. During his PhD research, his work was supervised by Dr Susannah Handley (Royal College of Art) and Professor Paul Luckham (Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London). Fabrican is focused on the research and development of Spray-on Fabric which can then be used across a number of market sectors; medical, automotive and fashion. Fabrican's mission is to develop prototype products, in collaboration with leading industrial partners, leading to commercial exploits and applications.

  © Imperial College London / Layton Thompson. Fabrican Ldt 2010. above: The fabric is formed by the cross-linking of fibers, which adhere to one another, to create an instant non-woven fabric that can be easily sprayed on to any surface. Its properties can be tailored to meet the needs of each user.

© Fabrican Ltd 2010 above: A multitude of fabrics of varied colors, textures, and properties, all sprayable from an aerosol can.

Science and fashion in collaboration, Fabrican spray-on fabric will liberate designers to create new and unique garments, offer a carrier technology for delivery of fragrance or even medical active substances, and allow the wearer to personalize their wardrobe in infinite combinations. New textures and material characteristics are a matter of adjusting chemistry. In addition to fashion, the technology is opening new vistas, offering sprayable material for any application requiring a fabric coating. The technology opens new vistas for personalized fashion, allowing individual touches to be added to manufactured garments, or even impromptu alterations. Garments could incorporate fragrances, active substances, or conductive materials to interface with information technology. After a decade of research, this futuristic vision is taking shape.


Fabrican is a rare achievement in transforming a dream to practical realisation. Through combination of clever exploitation of people’s immediate fascination with the spray-on fabric, and Manel’s extraordinary ability to motivate multi-disciplinary collaboration, Fabrican has brought interest and worldwide media coverage.

© Fabrican Ltd 2007 , Photographer Fabrican Ltd © Fabrican Ltd 2007 Photographer Miguel Domingos

  images, videos and information courtesy of Fabrican, Ltd. and the Imperial College of London

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