Looking for New Ways to Make Footwear?
Footwear made with programmable circular lace braiding has a lot of potential since we can make the fabric for a complete upper, sized correctly, in one step. The second fabric we patented called ALX unifies groups of spiraling filaments through links that, when locked out, naturally distribute tension. The result of this behavior is increased comfort and wear. The tensioned, non-elasticized fabric "grabs and holds" a foot along readily morphed ”structural” lines creating a massaging, effect, we think, due to the rolling of the fibers as they adjust to distribute tensions throughout the unified whole.
Designs options are vast with this technology. Our current experiment involves a footwear upper comprising one piece of patterned material having partially connected inner and outer layers in a toros design.
Decades ago we began this "invention braiding process" when un-successfully seeking a stable, unbound mesh material that was impact resistant and conformal, for a sport product called Birdball. We never would have guessed that a good bit of our life would be spent developing these fabrics and processes!
You never know who else might be looking for this sort of material -- hoping to inspire you with our experiments! Please reach out if you'd like to learn more.