From Historical Silk Fabrics to Their Interactive Virtual Representation and 3D Printing

Georgia Lo Cicero, Maurizio Vitella, Raphaël Troncy, Jesús Gimeno, Marcos Fernández, Cristina Portalés, Pablo Casanova-Salas, Thibault Ehrhart, Arabella León, Mar Gaitán, Manolo Pérez, Piotr Twardo, Pawel Twardo, Elena Ribes, Besher M. Massri, Dunja Mladenic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The documentation, dissemination, and enhancement of Cultural Heritage is of great relevance. To that end, technological tools and interactive solutions (e.g., 3D models) have become increasingly popular. Historical silk fabrics are nearly flat objects, very fragile and with complex internal geometries, related to different weaving techniques and types of yarns. These characteristics make it difficult to properly document them, at the yarn level, with current technologies. In this paper, we bring a new methodology to virtually represent such heritage and produce 3D printouts, also making it highly interactive through the tool Virtual Loom. Our work involves sustainability from different perspectives: (1) The traditional production of silk fabrics respects the environment; (2) Virtual Loom allows the studying of silk heritage while avoiding their degradation; (3) Virtual Loom allows creative industries to save money and materials; (4) current research on bioplastics for 3D printing contributes to environmental sustainability; (5) edutainment and gaming can also benefit from Virtual Loom, avoiding the need to acquire the original objects and enhancing creativity. The presented work has been carried out within the scope of the SILKNOW project to show some results and discuss the sustainability issues, from the production of traditional silk fabrics, to their dissemination by means of Virtual Loom and 3D printed shapes
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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