Epson, a manufacturer of printers, projectors and scanners, has teamed up with garment industry specialists to demonstrate a live end-to-end sportswear production workflow on its Fespa stand. The aim was to show how much more quickly and accurately garments can be produced with a fully automated, digital workflow, with garments produced from lay-out to finishing in just half an hour, on the booth.
Time pressures are now increasing significantly in the fashion industry. While earlier there would be around four collections a year, now there are 10 or more. Also, now garments are designed in Europe but the production is mostly done in Asia or Turkey. With digital production the process can be shortened by around 80 per cent.
The on-stand production line includes design, pattern editing, 3D modeling, proofing, dye sublimation printing, heat transfer and final garment construction. Patterns are produced using cad.assyst, which imports customer measurements from body scanners or tables of measurements to show on screen how a design fits and drapes. Adjustments can be made which automatically alter the 2D pattern being produced.
Proofs are printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 printer. Final designs are printed on Epson’s SureColor SC-F7100 dye sublimation printer. After heat transfer, garments are constructed using a Flamis flatbed welder, which works not by stitching, but fusing the fabric with heat and adhesives.