Weffan – Weaving Sustainable Trousers in 3D  

Weffan shortens production cycles by minimising fabric and resource waste. This is achieved by way of automated 3D weaving method technologies that integrate textile production and garment manufacturing into one fluid step using existing jacquard loom technology as a base. 

The Weffan x Liquid Editions collaboration was winner of the Design Futures Innovation Prize 2022.

Collaborating with Future Fashion Factory 

Weffan tackles the dilemma of unsustainable, unresponsive garment production supply chains by revolutionising how clothes are made. By partnering with Future Fashion Factory and the University of Leeds’ Dr. Lindsey Waterton-Taylor, Weffan was able to accelerate their mission and engineer fully-fashioned 3D woven garments in a single step. By merging textile and garment manufacturing, Weffan has been able to simultaneously create the structure of the garment in the weaving of the fabric, thus shortening the supply chain by reducing production steps, saving time and costs, and enabling near zero waste impacts. 

To achieve this, Weffan collaborated with the University of Leeds’ 3D Weaving Innovation Centre and S Dawes Weaving Ltd, a high-end jacquard manufacturer. Together, they prototyped different state-of-the-art weaving machinery and associated ancillaries, exploring sustainable material capabilities and finishing methods. The project was able to develop a proof-of-concept trouser range, which formed the basis of further collaboration opportunities.  

The FFF project has been instrumental in developing Weffan’s business; we have been able to develop a range of 3D woven proof-of-concept trousers that have led to Weffan’s first collaboration with its customer fashion brands. The trouser collection, designed in collaboration with fashion brand Liquid Editions, highlights the low-waste nature of Weffan’s 3D woven production method. This collection received the Design Futures Award by the Fashion District and sponsored by Pangaia.

‘Without the FFF grant, our 3D woven trousers would not have been proven, and therefore without this enabling activity successful milestones would not have been reached. The partnership with the University of Leeds has been instrumental in our research success and has led to a continued partnership to continue our research.’ 

Graysha Audren, Founder and CEO.

What’s Next for Weffan? 

The potential ramifications of the collaborative project are many. Not only did the partnership shape the trajectory of Weffan as a business, but will bring exciting new 3D weaving IP into the industry. The new sustainable production process will undoubtedly diversify the UK manufacturing landscape, while also creating employment opportunities by supporting the training of skilled UK textile labour while maintaining the same level of production costs to the long run. Fundamentally, the project represents innovative, scalable technology that doesn’t require much space or capital investment with a low barrier to entry and adoption.  

‘The research of the Proof-of-Concept 3D woven trouser has been the foundation for developing an entire 3D woven garment production method that exemplifies zero-waste, localised garment production.’ Graysha Audren. 

Graysha Audren, Founder and CEO