KSU Fashion School’s newest technology resource, TechStyleLAB, brings fashion into Digital Age

Jake Green

Phantashia Hall is excited as she opens the lid to the laser cutter and finds her design perfectly cut into a large sheet of fabric. The machine roared for ten minutes and achieved a level of accuracy that would be nearly impossible to cut by hand.

Hall, a senior fashion design major, is working on her senior collection in the TechStyleLAB, the Kent State Fashion School’s newest resource.

“I really like being able to develop my own fabrics,” Hall said. “I’ll be able to show employers that can use the software they’ve already been using.”

The lab, which opened earlier this school year, houses cutting-edge fashion technologies. Laser cutting, digital fabric printing and digital embroidery are just some of the technologies available.

“The main idea of [the TechStyleLAB] is to allow students and the public to prototype or make a small line of garments using some, or all of the technology we have here,” TechStyleLAB manager Kevin Wolfgang said.

The TechStyleLAB was created to bring technology into the Kent fashion world. The fashion industry is shifting its thinking to smaller production, more-sustainable techniques, and the TechStyleLAB is designed to help with just that.

“This is a new tool for the toolbox,” Wolfgang said. “What we have here is now industry standard.”

Wolfgang said, however, that working sustainably requires a lot of extra thought.

“We have to think atypically about everything,” he said. “We develop patterns in a way that will allow us to use all of our scrap for something — a pocket facing or lining; every geometrical piece,” Wolfgang said.

The TechStyleLAB is open to students across all disciplines and accessible for the public to use. Find out more information about what’s available at the lab on its website: http://www.tech-style-lab.org/.

Contact Jake Green at [email protected].