[TC]² Technology Communicator

March 30, 2011


In-Clothes 3D Scanning for Size Selection
[TC]² Seminars Scheduled for 2011
Jud Early Retires
It’s Always the Patternmaker’s Fault!
[TC]² Activity - Apparel Sourcing Show 2011
[TC]² Activity - FESPA Americas 2011
Member Profile - Asheboro Elastics Corporation (AEC)
[TC]² Annual Meeting
Evolving Textiles: Competition. Innovation. Transformation
SEAMS Association - Spring Networking Conference
Digital Textile Printing Conference – Europe
Lean & Fast Fashion - At the Fashion Institute of Technology
Important Dates
A Look Ahead
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[TC]²’s Revolutionary In-Clothes 3D Scanning for Size Selection
and Virtual Fashion at Home and at Retail

By Dr. David Bruner, [TC]²

Leveraging recently released low cost scanning devices for home use, [TC]² has combined that low cost power and availability with its Size Selection, Avatar Creation, Virtual Fashion, and Weight Loss Visualization technologies developed over the years for use with high-accuracy 3D full body scans. The result is an extremely high value-low cost solution for retail, at-home, and web-enabled smart phone applications.   

There are already 10 million of these devices in homes now in the form of the Kinect device for the Microsoft Xbox 360.  Microsoft has publicly announced that it will be formally supporting external applications of this type later this year. [TC]² intends to launch its applications as soon as the support is commercially available. Due to [TC]²’s 20 year history in high end 3D body scanning, we are able to create human avatars with sufficient accuracy to support apparel size selection. [TC]²’s face-from-photo application enables the customer to make digital avatars that are not only correct dimensionally, but also represent a personal likeness.

In the meantime, [TC]² has begun demonstration of its current beta version at its Cary, NC facility.  The entire process of scanning only takes a matter of seconds and garment try-on can be displayed in seconds also. 

“The apparel industry has been asking for a low cost, small footprint device automatically controlled by the consumer that can capture a customer’s body data while wearing street clothes, with the capability to provide high value services like garment size recommendation and visualization of the garment without trying it on – and finally it will happen this year,” comments Susan Simon, [TC]²’s Senior Software Engineer.  

The Kinect-based technology will be on display at [TC]²’s annual meeting of members April 27th  in Cary.  It is also scheduled to be shown at the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds conference at the National Defense University in Washington DC May 11-13 and at the British Clothing Industry’s Interactive Sizing & Fashion Technology Workshop May 17-18 in Leicester, UK.

To schedule an appointment to see the technology or for more information, complete our contact form.


[TC]² Seminars Scheduled for 2011

Pattern Development – May 2-4

Do you want to engineer patterns for consistent fit and less production waste? 

[TC]² offers this three day apparel patternmaking program emphasizing relationships between body measurements, pattern contours, and styled garments.

Learn to manipulate scaled slopers using two flat pattern techniques, draft a woman’s pants sloper from body measurements, apply grade rules for one upper body garment, make a scaled marker, and develop an understanding of key product development terms.

This seminar is especially beneficial for product developers seeking ways to obtain consistency in garments that are specified for production.


Grading for Fit – May 23-25

Proper grading ensures good fit of a manufactured garment. Learn basic principles of fit and grading. Hands-on projects include deriving grade rules and manual grading of three basic garments.

Seminar Highlights:

• Analyze designs to determine where grading is needed
• Derive grade rules from specs and measurements
• Calculate grade rules
• Apply grade rules
• Emphasize grading to meet specifications and production requirements

Attendees should understand patternmaking, general grading
principles, and basic CAD functions.

Small class size guarantees individual attention and participant networking to enhance the learning process. Seminars will be held at [TC]², 5651 Dillard Drive, Cary, NC.

For additional information or to register, contact Debra Gill via telephone at 919.653.3501, or use our contact form.


Jud Early Retires

By Dr. Mike Fralix, [TC]²

After twenty years of service to [TC]², Jud Early has decided to retire effective April 30, 2011.  Jud has worn a lot of hats during his career and especially at [TC]².  His most recent array included those of Corporate Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and Secretary/Treasurer.

Jud came to [TC]² in 1991 after twenty-one years at Haggar Apparel Company as our first Director of R&D. He started and built the Technology Development team and managed [TC]²’s U.S. Department of Commerce research grant for most of his tenure.  Jud has spent his life studying, inventing, and implementing technology.  He holds more than twenty-five patents.

Jud is one of those people that is liked by everyone and will be missed by his [TC]² family. He will be giving his farewell address at our annual meeting in Cary, N.C. on April 27.  If you can attend, I know Jud would be happy to see you. Please help me wish him continued success as he journeys into the next phase of his life.


Mike Fralix

P.S.  The caricature above comes from the home page at www.techexchange.com where many people have gone to “Ask Jud” questions about technology and related topics.  The question I have for Jud now is “What are we going to do now to get our questions answered?”


It’s Always the Patternmaker’s Fault!

By Elizabeth White, [TC]²

If you have worked in the apparel industry, you have probably heard this statement.  But do you know why this is common?  Why would poor construction be blamed on the patternmaker? What about substandard cutting? Or difficulty sewing?

There are several reasons why the patternmaker is blamed for multiple apparel process failures, but it is important to first understand the role of patternmaking.  Patternmaking is the process of developing a pattern from design specifications to manufacture in a production environment, transport to retail or directly to a consumer, and fulfill consumer end use needs and requirements while the retailer and producers make reasonable profits.  This is quite a tall order for one processing step!  Depending on the individual garment and its requirements, there are many opportunities for error in the processes required to produce this garment.  So why is the patternmaker often blamed? 

Four reasons are covered in this article.  Future articles will elaborate on the role of patternmaking from other viewpoints. 

To read the entire article, go to the techexchange library...


[TC]² Activity
Apparel Sourcing Show 2011
Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America

By Arturo Rodriguez, [TC]² Industry Services for Latin America

The Apparel Sourcing Show is now 20 years old. This year’s Central American trade show was far better attended than last year; business seemed thriving with new players coming into the market. Mike Fralix and I were again honored to have been invited by Vestex to deliver two presentations - one on Lean Product Development and the other on Trends and Technologies for our industry.

With 156 apparel producing companies and 38 textile mills in Guatemala, it is one of the 6 players of the CAFTA-DR region. By the way, this year CAFTA-DR is entering its 5th year of existence. The show itself had about 80 + exhibitors that spanned the entire fiber/textile/apparel supply chain with a very complete academic track.

To many outsiders, since 2005 China (and the Far East) has dominated the textile/apparel world scene. Yet while it is true that the Far East has gobbled up the USA apparel market – to an astonishing level of 40% – it is also true that simply to put all the eggs in one basket is risky. To support this, Vestex named one of the panels at their Leader’s Forum as “The Western Hemisphere as a Risk Mitigation for Sourcing.” In this panel, moderated by Mike Todaro of AAPN, ideas such as “cotton as a risk factor” was mentioned by Carlos Arias, president of Denimatrix, the leading denim apparel producer of Guatemala.  He concluded that IF cotton is grown in great quantities in the USA and Brazil, then WHY send it to the Far East to have it transformed into apparel that is then shipped back to the Western Hemisphere? He stated that there is a cotton supply/demand issue going on worldwide that will cause extreme volatility in all of 2011 and that availability of cotton supplies will re-shape the supply chain.

More members on this panel included:


Kurt Cavano, CEO of TradeCard, who stated that in the last ten years, a surging middle class in China and India has come of age which means a scarcity in commodities. Oil and food prices are only going to go up. This string of events gives the CAFTA-DR region an amazing second chance! If this region is close to the USA market (3 to 4 days by boat from Central America to the Port of Miami), if it can give the same lead time as competitors from the Far East and if can integrate the complete fiber/textile/apparel supply chain then this second chance can become reality.

Mike Fralix, President and CEO of [TC]², commented on the viability of a healthy ROI (pay back) on state-of-the-art technology…for example being able to have production approved without ever having produced a single physical sample. As he put it, on average 5.2 physical samples are produced in a typical product development cycle. Why produce 4.2 samples of waste or muda (as the Japanese define it)? By accessing “cloud based” applications, even small- and medium-sized companies can obtain programs that would permit them to compete globally. He finalized by pointing out that some years ago, cheap prices in the Far East outweighed by far Lean practices. This abnormal situation has been reversed and now with raising costs in the entire supply chain it pays to be as Lean as possible.

Walter Wilhelm, president of WWA, talked about how in El Salvador, because of the government backing up an integral textile/apparel plan for the nation, were they able to save 100,000 jobs. He mentioned that the major problem in the CAFTA-DR region is finding capital funding for this industry. He also made a point regarding the region’s second chance by stating that in the case of cotton scarcity, finding production capacity in China would be difficult.

My conclusion in regard to this fabled “Second Chance” is that IF the CAFTA-DR region can come true with a critical mass of fiber/textile/apparel producers in the region then the apparel buyers of the US market will flock to it, as had seemed to start happening at this year’s show. At the [TC]² APSS 2011 booth we had several visits and interest of two major firms during the 3 day show to discuss Lean initiatives for their suppliers in Central America.

Congratulations to Carlos Arias and his team at Denimatrix for winning the US Department of Commerce’s 2010 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) in the small to medium enterprise category.


[TC]² Activity
FESPA Americas 2011

By Kerry King, [TC]²

Digital print enthusiasts and dedicated readers of the [TC]² newsletter will recall our reports of trends in technology development and application for digital textile printing arising from FESPA’s annual European trade show.  FESPA also delivers events and programs in other locations around the world and in late February, the organization co-located with Graphics of the Americas for a trade show and education program in Orlando.  Mike Fralix and I had the opportunity to attend the FESPA event which was initially scheduled to include a one day textile conference focusing on advances in digital printing technology and current applications of relevance to the textile market.  Although organizers had to cancel the conference prior to the show, they were able to integrate key topics and speakers into the Global Business Forum and the Innovation Theater program that took place on the show floor. Highlights of the education program included the Digital Textile Debate (details to follow) and a presentation on sustainability initiatives by Martin Wragg from Nike.

Innovation Theater and the Digital Textile Debate

The Innovation Theater was our first stop upon arrival at the show. Here Mike joined the panel for the Digital Textile Debate.  This discussion was hosted by John Scrimshaw who is the Editor of World Textile Information Network, publisher of Digital Textile Magazine.  John Provost, an independent technical consultant and Technical Editor for Digital Textile, kicked off the session and provided a brief overview of the conventional and digital textile printing markets.  He also spoke about technology development for the digital side. 

Provost estimates the current digital market excluding direct to garment (DTG) at approximately 250 million square meters annually with the largest percentage arising from the sublimation transfer application and reactive dye printing following at a distant second place.  Provost pointed to large growth in the DTG market noting that the use of pigment white represents 50% of the inks consumed in this market.  He also pointed to the evolving signage market that is transitioning to the use of super wide systems as a replacement for printing of PVC substrates.  Companies offering technologies for digitally printing fabrics of up to 3.0 meter widths currently include Durst, Agfa and Hollanders Printing Systems.
In terms of hardware development, Provost described the current crop of digital textile printers for roll to roll applications as fitting into two general categories – fast machines vs. mass machines.  ‘Mass machines’ generally refers to equipment that falls into the $50,000 price range and is often of the Mimaki/Mutoh/Roland variety - systems that have historically relied on Epson printhead technologies as the ink delivery mechanism.  He described the use of this type of machine in China for production printing of higher value product targeting western markets.  ‘Fast machines’ refers to a class of equipment making use of more robust printhead technologies such as those offered by Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Seiko, Fujifilm Diamatix (Spectra) and Kyocera – technologies being used by printer hardware vendors including Konica Minolta, d·gen, Hollanders, Zimmer, MS Macchine, Mimaki and Reggianni as examples.  At the upper end of the fast machine class we are beginning to see the development and introduction of very high speed equipment targeting upwards of 500 square meters per hour.  Furthermore, Provost indicated we will continue to see development of super wide or grand format systems.  He also suggested that DTG (direct to garment) systems – currently dominated by Epson type hardware – will increasingly incorporate the use of more industrial printhead technologies as has been the path for vendors including Kornit Digital and Brother.

Figure 1.  Teleios Digital Textile Printer by d·gen

With respect to colorants for digital textile printing, Provost suggested that there will be continued focus on the development of chemistry types that shorten the processing method for digital printing – pigments as an example.  Developers are also looking back in textile chemistry history at bi-functional reactive dyes as a means of promoting higher fixation for this class of colorant within the digital delivery environment.

Provost’s overview was followed by a discussion with panel members including Kevin Kelly, President of Blue Heron Industries who addressed the state of technology and applications for the DTG market.  Kelly pointed to the growing acceptance of DTG product (t-shirts primarily) within the consumer and retail circle over the last twelve months.  In terms of benefits of DTG, he highlighted production on light colored goods as rivaling the quality achieved via carousel printing.  He also indicated that DTG printing supports higher dollar volume per employee than that of traditional printing methods for t-shirts.  While colorfastness was once a significant concern for DTG he indicates that Blue Heron’s printing method currently registers at the 4-5 level with respect to wash tests.  According to Kelly, the primary issues for adoption relate to print speed and the need for continued development of pigment white and garment pretreatment.  He indicates that Blue Heron uses DTG technology from Kornit Digital and that they expect  an approximate 20% increase in color gamut later this year from Kornit. 

During the panel session, Mike Fralix highlighted issues and technologies surrounding mass customization and solid coloration of fabrics.  As part of this discussion he pointed to [TC]²’s ongoing initiative to monitor technologies that will support the transition of our industry to waterless coloration of fabrics.  He also highlighted our applied research into the translation of marker information through the digital print and single-ply cutting processes – one part of an overall strategy to support integration and adoption of digital printing within the sewn product manufacturing process.  To learn more about these initiatives, visit the educational area of the Inkdrop Printing digital print website.

Global Business Forum

The Innovation Theater also provided the setting for the Global Business Forum, which ran half way through the second day of the show. While some of the content arising from the forum sessions was not specific to textile or apparel applications, there was still plenty of value and information to take away. 

The first half of the forum was primarily devoted to business development and strategy for the print industry.  Marcus Timson and Frazer Chesterman from FESPA set the stage for this topic with a focus on ‘macro forces’ impacting individuals and businesses.  They spoke of the transition to a global economy and the historic movement from a predominantly agrarian society through ages of industrialization and information.  They described the 21st century as a ‘conceptual’ age where creativity and high value are essential to competitiveness.  Timson and Chesterman emphasized the continued importance of networking and collaboration.  They indicated that new technologies and media support tremendous volumes of information at our fingertips. They spoke of the impact of  ‘too much information’ and the importance of effective communication in this context, as well as the need for personalization and creation of enriched experiences for the consumer. They also pointed to the idea that businesses will need to connect with consumers across multiple media to be successful. 

The Impact of Electronic Media
Speakers that followed elaborated on these themes and spoke of strategies for marketing, sales and opportunity for customer engagement, retention and growth within the printing industry.  An interesting concern arising from this discussion was the growing impact of electronic media on the print business.  Information that was once delivered via physical signage is now increasingly being delivered via ‘traditional web’ and related mobile devices and via social media.  Aside from the obvious connection to the retail environment for apparel, this discussion had me thinking about the future of apparel itself.  Our industry has largely transitioned to a time when design and product information is created, managed, and delivered to the manufacturing environment in digital form. We are now developing technologies that deliver the product to the consumer in virtual form for style and fit review and for dressing personal avatars.  Will there come a time when the clothing we purchase for daily wear is an electronic depiction that supports modesty, style, sustainability and the ultimate freedom in terms of comfort and mobility?  A bit way out, but food for thought?   

Digital Printing and Sustainability
The second half of the forum was primarily devoted to the theme of sustainability with a selection of speakers addressing issues surrounding applications, technology, and certification.  Stephen Goddard, Head of Sustainability at HP, noted that environmental approvals can apply to different aspects of the digital printing industry including printers, inks, media, and print operations.  He spoke of a selection of certifications of relevance to this industry and highlighted HP’s transition to a more sustainable product line for digital printing.  As part of this discussion he pointed to programs, organizations and certifications including Energy Star, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC),  Chlorine Free Products Association (CFPA), Oeko-Tex, GREENGAURD, LEED, ISO, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). 

Paul Lilienthal, Director for SGP, followed Goddard’s presentation and provided further insight into the mission of SGP and achieving/maintaining SGP certification.  He emphasized that the SGP certification addresses product, process, envelope, and metrics for a printing business.  It addresses social aspects of a business as well as environmental considerations and emphasizes continuous improvement as part of re-certification for existing partners.  Follow the link to learn more about this partnership.

Nike Keynote Presentation
For the textile and apparel audience, the highlight of the forum was a keynote presentation, delivered by Martin Wragg, Materials Quality Manager - Product Integrity for Nike.  Wragg indicated that ‘transparency’ is the guiding ethos of Nike’s sustainability efforts. He emphasized four areas of focus for the company including energy, waste, water, and toxics.  He also pointed to the development, use and subsequent sharing of Nike’s Considered Index as a tool that supports informed development of products from an environmental perspective.

Wragg spoke of a variety of Nike initiatives including the Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program and NikeGrind -  which grinds shoes and shoe materials.  Once purified the product is incorporated into materials for sports surfaces such as playgrounds, running tracks, and basketball or tennis courts.  Nike continues to find additional application for the Grind strategy.  With respect to fibers, he emphasized that Nike is largely a polyester brand and thus the use of polyester from recycled bottles has been a key part of the sustainability program.  He also indicated that Nike has worked to increase the percentage of cotton coming from organic sources.  Wragg noted that reduction in material waste has an impact on resource consumption overall and he pointed to efforts underway to increase marker efficiency rates to 85% from the current efficiency level of approximately 80%.  Wragg also spoke of the use of wind turbines at a Nike facility in Belgium as well as the collection and reuse of rainwater. 

On the toxics front, he highlighted the transition to water based adhesives for shoes and the transition to silicon and water based inks for printing applications.  Nike announced a PVC phase-out in 1998.  Currently screen printing is the only area still using PVC within the company’s product range.  Nike has set a goal of eliminating PVC in this segment by Spring 2012.  Wragg spoke about this particular challenge in greater detail given his expertise and responsibilities in this area.  He emphasized the disconnection between ink suppliers and printer vendors.  In an effort to address this issue, Nike employees monitor innovation/development of relevant chemistry and attempt to direct development of more sustainable options.  Information collected is then shared with Nike vendors in support of the transition to more sustainable methods and chemistry types within the manufacturing process for printed product. 

To learn more about Nike’s sustainability initiatives, visit http://www.nikebiz.com/responsibility/   

Highlights from the Show Floor and Beyond

The show floor…
Outside the digitally printed fabric walls of the Innovation Theater the show offered a collection of exhibits from companies serving the digital and screen printing markets.  We walked the floor with an eye toward technologies and systems for textile and apparel applications.  One of the more interesting advancements that caught our eye was a software solution from EskoArtwork that supports close nesting of contour images within graphic files.  This is achieved by generating a contour line and mask around the image.  The system is then able to overlap the perimeter regions of the rectangular file in relation to the mask for closer nesting of the print area. The same system also supports placement of registration points to guide cutting, as well as assignment of a barcode image. A barcode reader is integrated into the cutting system allowing the operator to automatically pull up the correct cut file for the print project.  While this software solution has not been designed for textile applications, the idea has relevance and would support improved processing in an integrated print, cut and sew environment.

The exhibition also provided an opportunity to connect with digital print system providers.  Printer hardware vendors including Mimaki, d·gen and DigiFab were present with their latest textile printing technologies on display.  Ink chemistry providers including Huntsman, Stork Prints, and Sawgrass Technologies were also exhibiting.  In terms of technology development, vendors appeared to be working toward FESPA Digital 2011 (May 24-27, Hamburg) and ITMA 2011 (September 22-29, Barcelona) for launching new products for the textile market.  Expect to hear more about Stork’s Sphene printer and the NEBULA reactive dye ink set formulated for Kyocera print heads via the Hamburg event.  Here is a link to details recently announced by Stork.

and beyond…
Of course digital printing was not the only highlight of the week.  Toward the end of each day sore feet and the need for a bit of fresh air took hold.  On the first day of the show at approximately 4:50 pm, the weary could be found perched on ledges curbside.  All eyes were looking upward to the overcast sky in hopes of catching Discovery’s last launch.  It was a thrill to be present, but in the end, quicker eyes than mine were needed to find the shuttle through breaks in the clouds!  Even so, the moment was yet another reminder that technology and innovation continue to move forward.


Member Profile
Asheboro Elastics Corporation (AEC)

By Karen Davis, [TC]²

Asheboro Elastics Corporation (AEC) is a privately-held narrow fabrics manufacturer headquartered in Asheboro, NC. The company manufactures in Asheboro and Central America, and distributes its products worldwide for use in the apparel, automotive, home furnishings, medical, military and public safety, recreational, and technology industries.

Building on a firm foundation of excellent quality, good value and superb service, Asheboro Elastics Corporation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with new visual branding and launching into its future with a continued commitment to its customers. Twenty-five years of growth fueled with well-designed narrow fabric products, investment in new technologies, and expansion into worldwide markets have positioned AEC as a significant supplier with major apparel, medical, home furnishings and industrial markets.

Keith Crisco, one of AEC’s founding partners and North Carolina’s current Secretary of Commerce, commented, “When we started our company we were in the insert elastic business; now we make a wide range of narrow fabrics. We’ve built our company over time by taking good care of our customers and diversifying our products to reach broader audiences.  Now, our narrow fabrics are in everything from clothing to mattresses, medical devices and automobiles. However, our mission, company culture and commitment to Asheboro haven’t changed. ”

Employees have been recognized in celebrations of the 25-year anniversary for their role in the company’s success.  “Asheboro is our company headquarters and our community,” noted John Crisco, Vice President. “Our family has engaged in leadership here and we support many local organizations from the Asheboro City Council to the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, the North Carolina Zoo, the Boy Scouts and Rotary.” AEC is a family company: sons Jeff and John Crisco and son-in-law, Gifford Del Grande have provided years of leadership for the company’s marketing and development efforts. 

With the 25th year milestone, AEC is celebrating its most successful year yet and is energizing its branding with a new logo. In creating a new logo, AEC’s management team chose to honor the company’s history using its initials and the opportunities for continued growth with a positioning line simply stating: Narrow Fabrics. Infinite Possibilities. “The product possibilities we see on our horizon are incredible,” said Jeff Crisco, Vice President. “Our customers ask us to solve problems for them and our research and development team does a fantastic job of creating solutions.  As new needs crop up, we can creatively address them with new products.”


Annual Meeting of Members and
The Board of Directors – [TC]²
April 27, 2011

[TC]² cordially invites all members to attend the annual meeting at its Cary, NC facility on April 27th.  The meeting will commence at 8:30 a.m. with updates on [TC]²’s activities, followed by industry presentations. 

Following the meeting, lunch will be provided. To help us make luncheon arrangements and to plan seating, please RSVP by April15th via email to dgill@tc2.com or call 919.653.3501.

Nearby hotels include the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites across from [TC]²’s facility on Dillard Drive. Please call 919-851-1220 and use group TC2 when making reservations. A Four Points Sheraton is behind the Holiday Inn on Caitboo Avenue.  Call 919-900-8840 to book a room there, and indicate you are visiting [TC]² for a reduced room rate.

We look forward to your presence on April 27th.


Evolving Textiles: Competition. Innovation. Transformation
Conference at North Carolina State University
May 12, 2011

The College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, in partnership with Textile Exchange and the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel, is bringing a conference on transforming the textile value chain to North America on May 12, 2011. The Evolving Textiles conference will focus on how manufacturers, brands and retailers can transform how they do business in the 21st century in order to build more innovative products and increase their competitive edge in the global marketplace. During the one day event at the College Of Textiles in Raleigh, North Carolina attendees will learn how existing companies have already started integrating social and environmental strategies into their long term growth objectives with excellent results, and how entrepreneurs can build new, successful businesses on these principles. Designed to start a real dialogue between manufacturers, brands and retailers about what it means to transform the textile value chain, how to implement new practices and how to communicate an organization's commitment to long term value to consumers and stakeholders, the day will include several round table discussions as well as time to network with peers.

Presentations on product integrity, responsible textile processing, and sustainable textiles will be included. Attendees will also hear directly from the U.S. Department of Commerce on its Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (SMI), a public-private dialogue to raise awareness of sustainable business practices and to link the private sector with public resources to address both the opportunities and challenges of adopting such practices for U.S. industry competitiveness and profitability. Speakers include Dr. Blanton Godfrey, Dean of the College of Textiles; Rick Elmore, Vice President of Global Supply Chain Support, HanesBrands, Inc; David Flowers, Belk, Inc; and Charlie King, Corporate Product Development Manager, Unifi.

Registration for the event is $350 and includes all meeting sessions, breakfast and lunch. To register, go to the conference website:http://www.tx.ncsu.edu/departments/texed/evolvingtextiles/index.cfm or contact Marissa Langford, Business Development Specialist, 919-515-2663, at marissa_langford@ncsu.edu


SEAMS Association
Spring Networking Conference
USA's Reshoring: Are You Onboard?

The SEAMS Association is hosting its biannual Networking Conference Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, 2011 at the Marriott at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The SEAMS Association is a non-profit trade association focused on promoting the resurgence and growth of the United States Sewn Products Industry.  Headquartered in Columbia, SC, SEAMS consists of over 150 Made-in-USA Companies across 23 states from all levels of the supply chain.  SEAMS Members do everything from suppliers of goods and services to the industry to manufacturers and contractors who work directly with cloth, to designers, testing facilities, and educational institutions and programs, and everything in between.

This important industry event will include two conference sessions featuring speakers on relevant industry topics such as Cotton Prices and Availability, Changing Retailer and Brand Requirements, Reshoring and Export Opportunities, and Shifting Supply Chain Roles.

SEAMS will also be hosting two networking receptions and dinners, and a golf outing at Myrtle Beach’s oldest golf course, the Granddaddy at Pine Lakes Country Club.

Everyone is encouraged to attend, including prospective members, and those interested in networking opportunities.

For more information, visit the SEAMS Events Page at www.seams.org/events or call the SEAMS Office at 803-772-5861 to learn more.


Digital Textile Printing Conference – Europe
Hamburg, Germany
May 25, 2011

As digital textile continues to push the boundaries of innovation within wide format print production, the need for information is in greater demand. To meet this demand, FESPA is delivering another of its successful Digital Textile Conferences in Hamburg.
Held alongside FESPA Digital and FESPA Fabric on May 24-27, 2011 at Messe, Hamburg, this one-day conference will provide an international line-up of digital textile printing experts, ready to share a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight into the latest innovative products, trends, case studies and trade secrets.

Topics will include: industry trends, digital fashion, environmental impacts, digital textile inks, outdoor markets and more.

Hear from [TC]²’s Dr. Mike Fralix who will explore Sustainability, Mass Customization and the Digital Supply Chain. Mike will be examining the integration of digital printing and single-ply cutting, and highlighting issues related to pattern development, dimensional change of fabric, piece registration of cutting systems and developments in ink chemistry for digital printing. Mike will question whether all of these topics reinforce the transition to a totally digital supply chain that supports mass customization and sustainability at the same time?

Gain exclusive insight into the future direction of Digital Textile Printing, not only through the host of inspiring presentations but through discursive debate and the opportunity to network with industry peers.

Book before April the 8th and save €100 on the registration fee.  Go to www.fespa.com/dtc to learn more.


Lean & Fast Fashion
At the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City
June 14, 2011

Location: FIT, New York

Program Time: 9-4 pm

Registration Fee: $200

UK’s Industry Forum and [TC]² are joining together to present a new module in their continuing series investigating best practices using the Fast Fashion model as an example on June 14th at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In an uncertain consumer environment, speed to market and flexibility are critical. Fast Fashion companies in Europe have demonstrated that their model delivers higher return on capital employed with higher inventory turns and better same store sales growth figures. The workshop will cover the following elements:


• Why the fast fashion model is such an important development.
• The principles behind fast fashion and how the model is delivering superior financial performance.
• How applying the principles of lean improves the supply chain, delivering better products more cost effectively.
• How Fast Fashion improves the product development process to deliver on-time on-trend products.
• Why delivering fast fashion is a more sustainable solution which can generate a very positive outcome for the CSR report.

The presentations will include Fast Fashion examples of tools and techniques which have been successfully applied in Europe. [TC]² will show how Fast Fashion meets the sustainability agenda and how advances in digital technology will make processes even faster. 

This workshop is a must in understanding the management processes and behavior required to achieve speed and low cost - two key criteria in a recessionary market.

For information or to register, contact Debra Gill at 919.653-3501, or use our contact form.

Lawson is a Gold Sponsor of this program. 


Important Dates


24-April 5

Size Mexico Scanning at Walmart, Blvd Insurgentes No. 18015 Col Rio, Tijuana – Team 2

30-April 1

Prime Source Forum, Hong Kong. For more details, visit www.primesourceforum.com



Size Mexico Scanning at Walmart, Av Costera Miguel Aleman No. 500, Col Icacos, Acapulco


Size Mexico Scanning at Suburbia, Av Leona Vicario No. 502, Toluca


Annual Meeting of Members and the Board of Directors, [TC]², Cary, NC


Peru Moda, Lima, Peru.  For more information, visit www.perumoda.com



Pattern Development Seminar at [TC]², Cary, NC.  To register or for details, see our course catalog.


Emitex/Confemaq, Buenos Aires, Argentina.  For information, go to www.emitex.com.ar


FCVW 2011 Conference (Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds); National Defense University, Washington, DC. For further information please contact FederalConsortiumVW@ndu.edu


Conference at North Carolina State University - Evolving Textiles; Innovation. Competition. Transformation. For details, click here.


Grading for Fit Seminar at [TC]², Cary, NC.  To register or for details, see our course catalog.


Texprocess 2011, Frankfurt, Germany.  To register or for more information, click here.


FESPA Digital Printing Conference, Hamburg, Germany.  Visit www.fespa.com/digital to learn more.


For detailed information about industry events, visit www.techexchange.com

Thanks to the techexchange site sponsors
Apparel Magazine, Gerber Technology, Lawson, Lectra, Methods Workshop and Reach Technologies.


A Look Ahead in the Newsletter

[TC]² Annual Meeting

View previous editions of this newsletter


5651 Dillard Drive
Cary , NC 27518
Phone: 919-380-2156
Fax: 919-380-2181

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