More fashion firms turning to technology

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-05-02 10:00:00 – Singapore

More fashion firms in the local business seek to improve productivity and revolutionize their products by turning to technology in a bid to fend off the challenges of shorter product cycles and rising competition.

Mr Mark Lee, president of the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore, said that as buyers get more demanding, technology is increasingly critical for the fashion industry - not just for designers, but also across the spectrum, including manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

Also the shift towards e-commerce has forced many brand owners to adapt and change the way they run their business.

Matex, a chemical company that specialises in making eco-friendly dyes for the textile industry has teamed up with Octagon Studios, to create a clothing collection known as Curiosity Wear 4D+, in order to give itself a competitive edge.

The collection, which was launched last November, incorporates augmented reality into the T-shirt designs. This means a four-dimensional version of the print on a shirt can be viewed using a free mobile app called Wear 4D+.

In such a competitive market, everyone is always asking for the next new thing, said Matex executive director Dro Tan.

They are one of the first in the world to implement augmented reality on clothes. Beyond style and comfort, this is what gives them the innovative edge.

The brand has three retail outlets in Malaysia selling the 4D T-shirts. The shirts are also available on the brand's website as well as hobby and specialist sites.

Pleatation, another local company specializes in making pleated items that are often heavily printed are looking for a competitive edge. It began collaboration with print company Epson Singapore in March. Epson helped to digitally print items such as bags using its innovative dye sublimation and direct-to-garment printing technologies.

Unlike traditional screen printing, which is done by hand and can take two to three months, digital printing can be finished in an hour or so. This shortens turnaround time and enables printing in small volumes for customised prints.

Pleatation will incorporate machines next month that will slash the hour-long pleating process by around half.

Pleatation founder Chiang Xiaojun said that with rising consumer demand, technology needs to be infused as a complementary method of production. However, while they increase their productivity, companies need to ensure quality of the products.

Retailers can now have designs on the rack faster and customers can enjoy higher quality and more vibrant designs.

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