2 min read

Fabric in a Can

Last week, a clip showing Bella Hadid getting a spray-on dress at Paris Fashion Week went viral. She walked onto the runway almost entirely nude while two people sprayed her as if she were a car getting a new coat of paint.

But this wasn’t spray paint. It was a sprayable polymer that bonds to itself without sticking to the person. Once the material had set, a designer then styled the spray-on fabric into a dress. It was mind-blowing.

The company behind it is called Fabrican – “fabric-in-a-can” – and was developed by Dr. Manel Torres.

Fabrican has developed a way to bond and liquefy fibers so that textiles can be sprayed out of a can or spray gun straight onto a body or dress form. The solvent then evaporates, and the [non-woven] fibers bond, forming a snug-fitting garment. – Time

Dr. Torres was inspired by silly string and imagined how it could be applied to clothing. Because they can alter the fiber compound and thus the properties of this spray-on material, Fabrican’s process for suspending fibers in liquid form has many applications outside of fashion.

Use cases for Spray-On Materials:

  1. Fashion – As shown in the Bella Hadid campaign, Fabrican could be used for customizable fashion-on-the-go. Imagine a world where you only need to pack a can of Fabrican for vacation.
  2. Healthcare – Sterile, form-fitting medical gauze, bandages, and patches. The compound can also be changed to bond sturdily as a cast. And medicine can be infused into the material, creating a slow-release mechanism for medicine.
  3. Industrial – Custom fabrication in the manufacturing process, such as automobile seats and interiors.
  4. Design – Custom home furnishings such as wallcoverings, carpets, lampshades, and upholstery fabrics. Instead of throwing out an old couch, consumers can renew it with a fresh spray-on material cover.
  5. Consumables – Fabrican can be used to instantly design household products like wipes, sponges, towels, mops, deodorant pads, panty liners, diapers, and hygienic wipes.
  6. Environmental – This process can be used in oil and gas spill management by creating instant containment barriers, clean-up materials, and recovery operations.

When I first saw the spray-on dress, I knew it was an innovative concept and definitely a future I’d like to sign up for. But as I dug into the other applications Dr. Torres envisions for this product, I realized how revolutionary this silly-string-inspired idea really is.

In the age of convenience, I believe Fabrican’s patented process for creating spray-on materials will be one of the most influential inventions of the 21st century.