Barnsley-based Cutting Technologies has developed a new laser cutting technique for latex that has helped it to access new markets.
The Yorkshire laser cutting specialist has traditionally supplied services to the electronics industry, cutting neoprene rubber sheets.
But recent R&D work has allowed it to transfer its capabilities to the cutting of latex – a process the company described as “tricky”.
The move has opened up the glamorous world of high end latex fashion and fetish wear design and the company’s handiwork was recently displayed at the Paris Couture Fashion Week in Charlie Le Mindu’s Gold Sabah collection.
Cutting Technologies collaborated with pioneering latex fashion designer Atsuko Kudo to produce a range of garments for the collection including delicately patterned latex lingerie. Atsuko Kudo has dressed celebrities including Lady Gaga and developed a pop up shop in London’s Selfridges.
Jane Robinson, co-founder and director at Cutting Technologies, explained the challenges of transferring its capabilities to the cutting of latex.
“Latex is a notoriously tricky substance for laser cutting,” she said. “The heat of the lasers returns the latex to its natural wet state – so we had to experiment with various solvents and applications.”
Developing the process for use on Cutting Technolgies’ large bed 3m x 2m machine means that the company can now laser cut latex on a large scale.
The first application of the new capability was with fetish-wear brand Cathouse Clothing. Ms Robinson says: “The effects were superb.”
She is pleased at the 30 employee company’s ability to diversify its markets. “The sky’s the limit now,” she commented.