By Kim Anderson, [TC]²
At this year’s Apparel Sourcing Show held in Guatemala City, on April 17th-19th, at the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel & Convention Center, one particular theme permeated the exhibition hall—Central America needs to offer services throughout the textile and apparel supply chains. After U.S. yarn mills revealed a cache of innovations at this year’s show, creating exciting new products must have seemed a lot simpler for the DR-CAFTA region.
Buhler Quality Yarns Corp., located in Jefferson, Georgia, is well known for their fine count combed cotton yarns. Now Buhler is one of the few spinners to offer yarn made from 100% organic Pima. The yarn comes in a variety of counts ranging from 30-95’s Ne. David Sasso, Vice President of International Sales, says the yarn produces luxurious fabrics that are soft and bright. Other new products include Royal Spun and Swiss Silver yarns. A new spinning method is used to produce Royal Spun yarn. Fabrics constructed with Royal Spun have enhanced sheen and softness, improved strength and a high resistance to pilling. Swiss Silver yarn consists of a blend of silver and Pima cotton for fine count applications with permanent antimicrobial properties.
Tuscarora Yarns, Inc., located in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, is the leading manufacturer of heather and mélange yarns. At this year’s show Tuscarora showcased a line of yarns that zeroed in on the “green,” “organic,” “recycle” and “sustainability” craze. Tuscarora is offering yarns blended with organic cotton, bamboo, flax and recycled polyester. Peter Hegarty, President of Tuscarora Yarns, says spinning custom blends and colors is their forte. They can create any combination of fibers desired by the customer.
Clovertex, LLC, located in Clover, South Carolina, keeps on the cutting edge with continuous development. One of their latest introductions is a yarn comprised of 50% polyester and 50% recycled cotton. The yarn produces a linen look fabric. Tom McCall, New Business Director, says they plan to manufacture the yarn with recycled polyester for an extra environmental boost. Clovertex continues to explore the opportunities of Pro Tura—a treated cotton that dyes deeper and quicker than untreated cotton. A soft mock twist yarn comprised of untreated cotton and Pro Tura can be seen in a knit terry and corduroy construction. The yarn produces a fabric with a unique antique appearance.
R.L. Stowe Mills Inc., located in Belmont, North Carolina, showed their tried and true combed ring spun yarns in a variety of colors and counts. At this year’s show R.L. Stowe also introduced a modal/cotton blend available in a range of counts. Modal is mainly derived from the cellulose of beech wood. The yarn produces fabrics that have an excellent hand and drape and are resistant to pilling.
Although global competition is rampant, for companies that produce innovative products—opportunities abound. Innovative yarns produce innovative products. At this year’s Apparel Sourcing Show attendees had quite a selection of unique yarns to choose from.
The Supply Chain Leadership Committee Meets the Product Innovation Council
By Jim Lovejoy, [TC]²
A joint meeting of the AAFA Supply Chain Leadership Committee and the newly named and re-missioned Product Innovation Council met in Key Largo, Florida last week to explore cutting edge topics of interest. Starting off with a trade update from Steve Lamar of AAFA, the group was exposed to a steady stream of pending tariffs and trade agreements before the US Congress. Lamar pointed out that although textiles and apparel are only 6% of the total value of US imports, they represent 45% of the trade tariffs collected.
Another hot topic, “Environmental Sustainability”, presented by Betsy Hauser of Bureau Veritas, is receiving a lot of attention because of restricted compounds, including azo dyes, which can be produced as an unintentional byproduct of dyeing and finishing fabrics and yarns. John Eapen of American and Efird, reviewed the work of the AAFA Environmental Task Force which is creating a restricted substance list with country bans and limits. Rick Horwitch of Bureau Veritas added some war stories about companies having product problems because of restricted substances.
Speed to Market is of interest to all companies in the softgoods supply chain. A panel consisting of Randi Nolan from Liz Claiborne, Jennifer Pritchard from JCPenney, and John Windham from Kellwood outlined their companies’ strategies and experiences. Randi reported at Liz Claiborne, the focus is on making decisions when they need to be made, consolidating the vendor base and using information technology to gain time in getting products to market. Jennifer talked about JCP growing private brands, reducing the supplier base, implementing new tools, and centralizing planning to reduce the 52 week cycle to 30 weeks. She added that this will be a continuing effort with a goal of 17 weeks. John Windham pointed out that at Kellwood, speed is not the focus, it is a byproduct of a more efficient calendar with people accountability, teams, and collaboration with customers. It is also important to think about the whole supply chain. Success is when products are purchased by consumers at full price.
Other topics presented were “Striving for Work Life Balance in a Trend Setting Industry” and “Transforming Your Business: Altering Your Apparel Approach to Best Fit."
[TC]² Participates in the 2007 Apparel Sourcing Show
By Kim Anderson, [TC]²
For over a decade, [TC]² has participated in the Apparel Sourcing Show held in Guatemala City. This year's show was held on April 17th-19th at the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel & Convention Center. It was attended by 5,192 people from 27 countries. Approximately 1,000 attendees took advantage of the 27 seminars and workshops that were offered.
Arturo Rodriguez, Manager, Latin America at [TC]², presented two seminars at this year’s show. The first presentation, It’s All About Service in the CAFTA Region, gave attendees an insight into the multitude of ways that excellent customer service can lead to world class success. Rodriguez’s second presentation, titled Lean Manufacturing Supporting the Quick Response, detailed the importance of applying lean manufacturing to the work environment and the ways in which these practices can lead to quick response—a necessity in today’s fast-paced apparel industry.
Kim Anderson, Writer and Researcher at [TC]², gave a presentation entitled The Latest Developments in 3 Dimensional Tools for the Apparel industry. The presentation showcased some of the latest tools designed to help apparel companies produce fewer samples, reduce approval times, improve quality and increase customer satisfaction.
Richard Atwell, Manager, Contract Services and Engineering and Education at [TC]², gave two presentations—Computer Technology Drives Successful CAFTA Efforts and Supply Chain Management – The Inside Story. Atwell used his vast industry knowledge and education to give attendees insightful and straightforward information designed to empower them to be competitive in today’s global environment.
By Karen Davis, [TC]²
Can you imagine shipping a product before it is manufactured? Can you imagine applying color to fabric that does not need to be pre-treated or post-processed? Can you imagine trying on garments using your cell phone? Can you imagine developing and selling a product without ever making a physical sample? Can you imagine a body scanner built into a standard retail dressing room? Can you imagine a “Magic Mirror” that provides information on coordinating items, or shows you what you look like in a digital outfit? Can you imagine having a full-size mannequin of yourself?
The answers to these and many more questions will be featured at the SPESA Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center May 8-10. The “Cool Zone”, at 4,000 sq. ft., is the largest exhibit combining multiple suppliers at the Expo. [TC]² is coordinating the exhibit which is designed to showcase leading edge technologies that are in support of a totally digital supply chain.
[TC]² has partnered with an array of companies to showcase leading edge technologies, some of which have not been viewed previously in the Western Hemisphere. A summary of the companies and technology demonstrations follows.
Alvanon - Alvanon will showcase its proprietary method to customize a tailor’s mannequin (the AlvaForm) from a fit model’s scan. Through the use of a body scanner or by precise specification acquisition techniques, a subject’s exact body measurements are extracted. After the data has been adjusted and approved, the information is used to create a mold that produces durable and long lasting dress forms for product development and quality assurance in the field. Alvanon is located at Booth 1215.
American & Efird - A&E manufactures and distributes Premium Industrial and Embroidery Threads on a global basis. Its thread and yarn is used for apparel, automotive, upholstered furniture, home furnishings, footwear, bedding and mattresses, and other sewn products. A&E embroidery thread is used for the decorative and personalized garment embellishment, craft, and hobby markets. A&E is the Thread supplier for the t-shirts being sewn in the Cool Zone. See American & Efird’s complete product line at Booth 762.
Assyst-Bullmer – Showcases its Vidya 3D visualization tool, and PDM product offerings. Vidya operates in real time interactively with the CAD system, allowing a garment to be displayed on an avatar in adjustable poses to determine the fabric’s behavior on the body. Fit problems or issues with drape are immediately apparent, and a tape measure and virtual pins provide the vidya user with familiar tools to make alterations and view their effects. Pattern pieces are checked using 3D visualization to detect any possible flaws prior to the initial cut. For additional Assyst products and services, visit Booth 1100.
Audaces - Digiflash software digitizes patterns using digital photographs, making a camera support, digitizing table or any other equipment unnecessary. Possible problems such as distance, framing, perspective or photo distortion can be corrected by the system. Using artificial intelligence, the software generates a digital reproduction by automatically detecting the contours and control points. Audaces exhibits at Booth 814.
Gerber Technology – Supplier of the DCS 3500 conveyorized GERBERcutter® system, the ideal cutter for apparel manufacturers and for those that cut material to fulfill custom orders or require matching of patterns. Gerber’s AccuMark V-Stitcher 3D pattern visualization software is also being demonstrated in the Merchandising area. One of four business units of Gerber Scientific, Inc., Gerber Technology provides design, product lifecycle management, and automated production solutions for the sewn and flexible goods industries. In addition to its line of cutters and spreaders, other product offerings include the AccuMark™ pattern design suite; AccuNest™ marker making software, and Fashion Lifecycle Management. Gerber Technology is in Booth 914 demonstrating its entire suite of automation solutions.
i-Fashion - Exhibits Mass Customization concepts for purchasing custom garments virtually using a personal avatar. Consumers can pick any type of clothing and can coordinate the details (necklines, waistlines, sleeves, buttons, pockets, prints, textile, etc.) to his/her own taste, and then drape the garments onto an avatar procured from a body scanner.
Lectra – Demonstrates its Modaris 3D Fit virtual prototyping solution in the Product Development area and Kaledo 3D Trend for animated storyboard creation in the Merchandising area. Lectra is a worldwide leader in integrated technology solutions that automate, streamline and accelerate product development processes for the soft goods industries. From enterprise software that optimizes every element of the product lifecycle and manufacturing process to the world’s most sophisticated cutting systems, Lectra provides specialized solutions to a broad array of markets including fashion, automotive, aeronautical, marine, leather goods, industrial fabrics and furniture. Visit Lectra at Booth #614 for more product offerings.
Paxar – RFID enables retailers to enhance the shopping experience and positively influence purchasing decisions. magicmirror™ provides retailers with a means to reach customers on an emotional level and positively influence purchase decisions at the moment of choice by communicating the story of each tagged product, facilitating a highly innovative and personal means of product discovery and providing an emotional experience that transcends rational argument at POS. magicmirror™ seamlessly integrates into existing systems architecture, inventory management systems and RFID middleware applications
magicmirror™ is designed for 3 product options making it easy to integrate into different store environments: full-length display, full-length fitting room, counter top that displays rich, personal content including: Brand message and product proposition; description of the garment, size and color; availability, location and stock information; and mix-and-match style guides and accessories. Paxar will be in Booth 1700 in Technology Solutions.
CF Rimoldi (and Rimoldi of America) – Supplier of mock safety stitch and lockstitch sewing machines for garment assembly in the Cool Zone. Rimoldi will also demonstrate its Digiflex RFID solutions, which are ideal for textile/garment manufacturers who make several products on a single production line, or manufacture complex or customized products. Assembly line personnel can use an RFID reader to verify which processes have been completed, to determine which inspections or tests are required and to automatically update the central production database. And, production planners and inventory control personnel can use the Digiflex RFID tags to automatically update the customer database and finished goods inventory, using an RFID reader and PC, rather than manually creating data entry sheets, which could introduce errors into the system. In a separate application, Rimoldi will demonstrate RFID tracking of individuals in the Cool Zone. To view other Rimoldi products, visit Booth 944.
Schmetz – Manufacturer and provider of sewing needles for Cool Zone products. A Schmetz Application Team through their SERVICEHOUSE is available to assist customers in identifying the best needle to meet product specifications during the various stages, starting with development of new products, through full production. Schmetz also will develop custom-made products or modify existing needles to meet almost any application. See the Schmetz product lines at Booth 978, or contact Schmetz in the USA at email@example.com.
Shima Seiki – WholeGarment™ knitting, producing one-piece seamless knit garments in 3D. Typically, a knitted garment consists of separate parts--the front and back body panels and the sleeves--which are sewn together afterward. In sharp contrast, Shima Seiki's revolutionary WHOLEGARMENT® knitwear is produced in one entire piece, three-dimensionally, directly on the knitting machine, requiring no post-production labor. Bulky and annoying stitches at the shoulders, sides and underarms are eliminated, offering fit and comfort superior to that of any other textile product. Shima Seiki also demonstrates its 3D product development software and Shimatronic Screen System to view garments in 3D.
SK C&C – Showcases its personal avatar creation technology which can be viewed in the Magic Mirror to virtually try-on clothing. SK C&C’s Ubiquitous Fashion System (u-Fashion), will provide consumers with another alternative to choose clothing in a user-friendly, efficient high-tech manner. The u-Fashion service offers an array of choices in fashion and apparel inside a ‘Virtual World,’ where anyone can virtually experience an unlimited number of choices utilizing a personal avatar.
Shapely Shadow – FastFit captures and views a garment in 360o for on-line fit approvals. It is a visual communications software tool that allows users to capture movement and view garments in 360 degrees. Users can also record live video or import existing video into a computer using a digital video camera. The video camera can then be connected to a computer to download the video to create rotating images of garments in a matter of seconds. More company products and services are available at Booth 1124, including Shapely Shadow’s Powered by SizeUSA dress form.
[TC]² - The NX-16, [TC]²’s newest generation white-light 3D body scanner is unveiled. At 20 sq. ft., it is designed to fit into retail dressing room areas. Data acquisition is completed in seconds, and hundreds of measurements are captured. In addition to apparel, the scanner has been designed for several applications, including athletic, health and fitness management, and medical applications. [TC]² has a separate booth, 677, across the aisle from the Cool Zone.
Tukatech – In the Merchandising area, Tukatech’s e-fit Simulator views a model in a draped garment in 3D, with simulated movements to fit and comfort analysis. The application also shows how bone structure can be applied to body models. In Product Development, Tukatech will demonstrate a frame-by-frame video application for fit approval without the need for physical samples. Visit Tukatech at Booth 1510 in the Technology Solutions area.
Yuhan-Kimberly – A ladies’ fashion t-shirt is being designed, printed, cut, sewn, and distributed in the Cool Zone. Yuhan-Kimberly is providing the designs and fabric, and its DTP printer with nano-colorants, which require no pre- or post-treatment. Show attendees will be unable to tell the difference in the hand of the fabric between the printed and unprinted areas of the t-shirts.
In addition to the exhibits by these companies, there will be live presentations during show hours, describing the various technologies and pavilion activities in depth, beginning at 10:45 a.m. each day and running every 45 minutes each day.
To register to attend, or for more information, go to www.spesaexpo.com.
For detailed information about industry events, visit www.techexchange.com