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Technological developments in the clothing industry
published in Issue 8, 4th Quarter 2009
Recent technological developments in clothing production equipment have centred around machinery for knitting, linking, pleating, decorating and embroidering. In particular, new computerised flat knitting machines have enabled knitwear to be created in one piece without the need for linking or sewing. In linking, an intelligent machine has been developed which features an easy-to-use screen and an intelligent camera. In pleating, a Japanese machine has been invented which takes the physical strain out of the pleating process. In decorating, Barudan has produced a machine which makes it possible to cross-seam embroidery on the legs of finished jeans for the first time. TPM Germany has launched a machine which can perform many printing and finishing operations, while several companies have developed special systems for lasering patterns on to jeans. In embroidery, Barudan has introduced one of the first triple combination machines, Brother has developed a machine which allows appliqué to be attached at the same time as mainstream embroidery, and Koma-Tech has invented a machine to produce three-dimensional fuwari embroidery.
In the area of electronic textiles, Fraunhofer IZM and TU Berlin have developed an interactive dress which is able to “translate” movements of the body into visual patterns of light by using electronic stretchable circuit boards. King’s Metal Fiber Technologies and AiQ Smart Clothing have jointly produced garments which utilise specially developed electronics for lighting, sound, heating, solar panel recharging and body monitoring. And G24 Innovations has introduced dye-sensitised thin-film solar cells, which provide enough power for smart textiles to be used effectively in garments.
In the field of anti-counterfeiting technology, a number of companies have introduced “textile DNA”. Schoeller Technologies has developed DNAtex—a unique code which can be applied to chemicals, fibres, fabrics and finished products and identified by using a scanner—and Amann has launched Blue Sky Technology, a treatment which enables sewing thread to be identified using a laser pen.
In other areas, Shapely Shadow has launched a new form of mannequin—called RealForms—which can be moulded by an item of clothing, thus enabling observers to see the effect which tight clothing has on the skin. Smartfiber has developed SeaCell active plus, a health enhancing cellulose fibre. Inocatec has developed Inocatex, a patch of material designed to be incorporated into the gusset of women’s panties to alleviate premenstrual pain and eliminate odour, and HT Concept has developed Reflect Line Gold, a waterproof breathable temperature-regulating polyurethane membrane which also provides stability.
Table of Contents
Technological developments in the clothing industry
Clothing production machinery
Electronic textiles for futuristic clothing designs
Realistic mannequin from Shapely Shadow
Health-enhancing algae for sportswear, workwear, underwear and hosiery
Underwear which provides relief from menstrual pain
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