Winter 2020

CnTFactory’s Trend Report

Top 5 colour and trim trends

The CnTFactory hunts for innovations and new materials in fields such as architecture, fashion, design and lifestyle. Here, the team highlights some interesting materials and processes to close the year. 

3D Printing Evolution

3D printing is seeing a rapid evolution, truly bridging real and digital worlds. Pushing past traditional applications, we are now witnessing new innovative approaches using new materials delivering never seen before effects. These new 3D printing methods have been using bio plastics or recycled materials, which are enabling fresh new textures, graphics, transparencies and colour gradients. The next level is about combining different materials. Such use of multi-material 3D printing enables products to bare new design expressions, but also enhanced premium feel. These innovations are going far beyond normal manufacturing techniques; and when tastefully used in jewelry, furniture, fashion or even sculpture, it is true craftsmanship. 

Hyper-Realism: Idyllic Scenography 

A response to months of lockdowns, hyper realist renders are optimistic windows looking on a natural and dreamy outside. The sceneography, which pitches modern architecture against natural landscape backdrops, plays on the contrast between the ultra-realism of these virtual spaces and the calm of the natural landscapes. Tonal, moody colour palettes reinforce the serene feeling, softening the architecture to blend inside with outside. This trend, however, is purely aesthetic, with the sole purpose to create dreamy yet contemporary scenes and environments to showcase products virtually.

Wine Leather

To reduce the use of harmful chemicals some tanneries use vegetable-tanning – using leftovers from winemaking to create fully vegetal leather. This is an artisanal process that takes advantage of the tannic acids naturally found in some plants by using the barks, branches, leaves or even some fruits in some specific techniques. One leading example is wine leather (also called grape leather) made by an Italian technology company, Vegea. Vegea uses waste products of Italian wine production with the aim of creating a 100% recyclable, vegan leather alternative that can be used in the Italian and international fashion industry. The development started several years ago and will soon ready to be tested by the first major brands. Wine leather is soft, smooth, stable, 100% sustainable and can be recycled. Wine leather is also 100% vegan; no animals are harmed and no animal products are used during the production process.

Mycelium and Biofabrication

Biofabrication is an alternative process to plastic production using Mycelium – the vegetative part of a fungus colony. Mycelium is a living network of fine fungal roots, which cleanse the earth and allow plants to transfer nutrients between each other. As Mycelium breaks down debris on forest floors it creates a web of thread-like filaments (hyphae) that branch out to consume organic matter. This natural process can be grown into virtually any shape or form to create infinite variations of product packaging. The functions of mycelium-based products are ideal for packaging applications. The products have high shock resistance for protection and can be shaped to suit a variety of packages. Fungal packaging is also a super insulating - keeping warm products warm, and cool products cool. The material can replace some packaging and offers an alternative to styrofoam and breaks down within 30 days once discarded.

Radiation Reducing Materials

Dutch textile and interior designer Rian Smolenaers believes that tactility and colour are the keys to bridging the gap between humans and technology. Her passion is to create innovative, smart materials for spaces and apparel, but most important: to find new tactility in this world where technology development is growing faster than ever. Smolenaers’ collection of clothing Feel at Ease protects wearers against the unknown effects of electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices by introducing conductive materials from industrial gear and transforming them into everyday outfits. Electromagnetic waves are partly blocked by integrating conductive metals like copper and silver into the fabric. A multi-functional jacket, a sporty jumpsuit and a casual hoodie protect against potential damage done by keeping a phone in your pocket, working with a laptop on your knees, or passing a transmission tower.

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