The COVID pandemic laid bare the frailties of the global supply chain. There was much discussion in the textiles and apparel industry about how to mitigate the issues experienced when shipping product from Asia—included more consideration of reshoring or near-shoring to Latin America. Cary Sherburne looks at the post-COVID state of re- and near-shoring textiles production.
Digital printing has been a boon for efforts to make textiles and apparel, including home decor, more sustainable. And with both businesses and consumers looking for interior decor options, customized wall coverings are gaining popularity as well. In this article, compliments of Debbie McKeegan, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor, she profiles Italian company Emiliana Parati, based in the province of Cremona and in business for almost half a century, with a focus on how they have integrated digital printing into the mix.
In the world of e-commerce, providing exceptional and personalized shopping experiences has become a must. Once, personalized offerings, intuitive user experience, and seamless returns were the hallmarks of a standout online store. Now, they are the expectations of modern consumers. In this space, we’ve written a great deal about personalized, customized and on-demand production of textiles and apparel to meet these consumer demands. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we take it a step further—giving consumers even more power to customize their own designs, and avoid the increasingly undesirable requirement to purchase mass-produced clothing.
In recent months, we have seen a number of printer manufacturers jump into the digital direct-to-film (DTF) market, some with equipment dedicated to that application, and others hybrid DTF/DTG (direct-to-garment) solutions. Senior editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current lay of the land.
Are you looking for ways to make your textile printing business more sustainable? Here are six ways to accomplish that, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan and Anne de Brouwer of SPGPrints. It starts with current state—calculating your environmental footprint with a lifecycle assessment. For many companies, transportation is a big part of carbon emissions, so that’s one to tackle early on: sourcing materials and producing product as close as possible to the point of need. And, of course, shifting as much of the production to digital and on-demand as possible will also make a big dent. Even with digital printing, consider which inks, fabrics, and pre- and post-processes use the least water. And examine your supply chain to ensure you are using the most reliable partners. Read the full article for more detail!
The fashion industry has been under fire for some time over its excessive carbon footprint and the pollution it generates. Now a new metric is being thrown into the mix: Traceability. In this article, we define traceability and cite several reports that paint a not-very-flattering picture of progress the industry is making.
The Alpha generation (2013–2025) is acutely aware of the environmental crisis. Climate change will have catastrophic consequences within their lifetime. Influenced by their millennial parents, this generation will also soon have the power of purchase, and as such, their choices will increasingly inform and make a significant impact on the textile industry. They are born as eco-conscious consumers and will choose and actively source environmentally secure products. This is beginning to drive systemic change in the industry, as pointed out by Debbie McKeegan, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor, in this article originally posted on the Pixel to Parcel blog.
This article from Heather Kendle, Manager, Product Management, Epson Europe BV, provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, points out that the processes and materials at work in the fashion industry are fast approaching their expiration date. Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato has partnered with Epson to help accelerate the needed change for fashion to achieve a more sustainable future. This includes the benefits of newly developed dry fiber technology.
The volume of returns of unwanted purchased goods has skyrocketed, especially for ecommerce retailers. In fact, the value of returns in 2021 was greater than the U.S. government spend on national defense! There are programs in place to help mitigate this wasteful practice, including aggressive actions by Amazon and others to help with landfill diversion.
Vintage is in! Learn why certain vintage designs pass the test of time, and in fact, are growing even more popular. In this article, originally published in Print Pattern Archive and provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, Cheryl O'Meara shares her expertise in finding, identifying and making available unique and timeless vintage designs.
As Earth continues to heat up, brands, retailers and consumers alike are looking for innovate cooling technologies for textiles and apparel, and there are a number of them already on the market. As we note in this article, however, this is very much a “buyer beware” market, as not all cooling fabrics appear to operate as promised. Read on to learn more.
In this article, originally posted on the Pixel to Parcel blog and provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, the role of the next decade's designer is explained. As a creative, the designer must now onboard a deeper understanding of the product’s components, the manufacturing process, the data and information held within the supply chain, and the final product’s subsequent circularity in order to deliver a product with a defined and credible plan for end-of-life. This will soon be regulatory. Designers should be preparing today for this new focus.
Mosquitos are the biggest killer on the planet, killing more than 725,000 people per year. That’s more than humans, snakes, dogs, and other creatures. But help is on the way. Researchers at North Carolina State University have done groundbreaking research on insect-proof textiles. Learn more!
SPESA, the Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas, is an industry association that represents suppliers to the industry, and plays a key role in the ability to streamline supply chains, bring textiles work back to the Americas, find more ways to automate the sewing process, and attract new talent. Cary Sherburne talks with SPEA president Michael McDonald.
In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, she provides an update on digital textile printing via Future Markets research, and also explains why increased interest in custom home and interior décor is poised to further spur market growth for digital textile printing. Digital share for digital textile printing still hovers around 10% of all printed fabric.
The latest developments in digital textile printing vastly reduce the factory footprint for technology while also reducing (if not removing altogether) the need for ancillary machinery. Wet-on-wet printing is widely recognized as one of the main facilitators in this simplification. WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan takes a deep dive into wet-on-wet, one-step textile printing solutions.
This article, complements of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan and the Pixel to Parcel blog, reports that ITMA 2023 in Milan marked a significant turning point for textile innovation, AI, and creativity. In fact, this article was created using AI, with search terms recycling, fashion, and environmental! It covers the need for the textiles and apparel industry to step up its action on reducing its environmental footprint and preparing for an onslaught of regulatory changes over the next few years. Read on!
In a digital world, many expect color management to be an exact science, a simple and automatic function of the print process—simply place your on-demand order, and voila—your print arrives on time and just as you imagined it. But unfortunately, that’s far from true. In this article, complements of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan and the Pixel to Parcel blog, color management—and how to get it right, first time, every time—are explained.
Green-washing, green-wishing, and any terminology in between no longer washes. Consumers are becoming more aware of the damage the textile industry does to the planet. The industry must quickly reevaluate the fashion supply chain. Ethically conscious consumers evaluate their purchase decisions around the sustainability and traceability of the manufactured product. To evaluate the integrity of these products, the consumer must rely on the quality of the certification provided to reinforce their choice. Gone are the days when buzz words like “eco-friendly,” “organic,” and “sustainable” will suffice. See how the EU Digital Product Passport may help in this article compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
All hail the power of print, for ITMA didn’t disappoint. Packed with innovations at all levels, the show proved to be an incredible success. Visitor numbers reached 111,000 from an impressive 143 countries, and exhibitors peaked at 1,709 spread across an incredible 200,000 square meters of exhibition space. The venue was well organized, easy to reach, and well-serviced; and for those that exhibited and those that visited, was credited as a truly successful experience. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares her perspective.
Epson has long been a leader in direct-to-garment printing. With the launch of the new SureColor F2270 to the North American market, Epson is bringing its third generation of this popular affordable mid-level direct-to-garment (DTG) platform to market with a number of enhancements that benefit quality and productivity, and have sustainability characteristics as well. We spoke with Epson’s Senior Product Manager, Tim Check, to learn more.
This guest article written by Jos Notermans of SGPrints, and brought to you compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, dives into some of the objections or concerns of textile printers who have not yet stepped into the digital world, and explains why they should be making the move to digital, sooner rather than later.
ITMA, the International Textile Machinery Association, opened the doors for its quadrennial show in Milan, running from June 8 to 14. Owned by CEMATEX and organized by ITMA, this edition is focused on “Transforming the World of Textiles.” For those of you in the printing industry who may not be familiar with ITMA, it’s the drupa of the textiles industry. In this article, we present some of the show highlights as of this writing. Stay tuned for more!
Kyocera printheads are popular components in many digital textile printing systems. Now, Kyocera has applied that knowledge and expertise to its first digital textile printer, FOREARTH, making its first public appearance at ITMA in Milan. In this interview, Sho Taniguchi, Kyocera’s Deputy General Manager, IDP Business DevelopmentDivision, explains the strategy behind development of this system and why they believe it is beneficial to the textiles market.
Levi’s turns 170 this year, but it’s not letting its age get in the way of its innovation. The company reports that it has allocated 25,000 hours to a team of in-house robots over the past year. These robots, though, are not replacing employees. Rather, they are making work more efficient and enjoyable by freeing employees from performing a number of often repetitive and tedious tasks, and making more time for them to focus on more strategic activities. And Levi’s isn’t alone in harnessing the power of robots to make work more efficient. Here’s a quick pre-ITMA view of robotics in textiles, with more to certainly come from the world’s largest textile industry trade show, this week in Milan.
As commercial printers, in-plants, and sign and display graphics printers look for ways to expand their businesses and offer new products and services to their customers, expansion into the textiles industry looks like an interesting opportunity. Cary Sherburne explains how.
From DTG & DTF to screen printing and from digital inks to consumables, the scope of innovation was evident to all attendees who showed great interest in the 70+ new product launches at FESPA. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan offers some highlights of the most notable unveilings that took place at this global show.
Simon Platts, CEO and Co-founder at RE-UP, has been a fashion industry practitioner for more than three decades and has the knowledge, experience and industry insight to successfully navigate change. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, she and Simon discuss the systemic change required in the fashion industry and how it could be changed at warp speed through collaboration, transparency, and knowledge transfer.
In this article, sponsored and written by Durst, learn about the Durst P5 TEX iSUB dye-sublimation printer. With a 3.3m width, the P5 TEX iSUB can print direct-to-fabric as well as on transfer papers, and offers Dual- and Multi-roll options.
Dye sublimation continues to grow in popularity as a digital fabric printing technology. Critical to the quality of the print are the inks and transfer papers. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan reviews both.
The Graphene Council recently hosted a webinar on the current state of the graphene market. Senior editor Cary Sherburne provides some highlights.
Milan Design Week is the final event in a European trilogy of fashion extravaganzas, which also includes events in Paris and London. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, she provides event highlights, including a new vision of fashion success designed to be both circular and strategic.
DTF (direct-to-film) apparel printing is making a real impact on the decorated apparel market. Machine manufacturers now offer ever more successful industrial solutions for this growing technology that just a few years ago seemed to be the preserve of the small craft manufacturer. In a global market for DTG (direct-to-garment) printing that is predicted to reach nearly US$1.9 billion by 2032, the DTF process is gaining ground by the month—as it offers new and unique advantages to trade printers. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares more information in this article.
The global digital textile printing market size which was valued at US$2,669 million in 2022 is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% from 2023 to 2030 when it will reach US$8,957 million according to Grand View Research, and the use of dye-sublimation technology continues to grow. In fact, Grandview Research also found that 52% of all digital printing used dye-sublimation inks, making it the largest ink type by usage in the digital textile print sector. Learn more in this informative article compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
This article is the first in a series on inkjet for textile printing. It is intended for companies not currently involved in textile printing other than signage. The goal is to assist companies to evaluate, optimize and grow their businesses using inkjet with a focus on roll-to-roll inkjet textile printing, choosing the best technology and equipment fitting their specific needs. It’s essential to consider the production process and its distinct but related stages getting the best results from a digital textile printer.
In its second year, the Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week, held in late March, demonstrated the newest advancements in digital fashion with a theme of Future Heritage. It was a global virtual event with more than 60 iconic brands, digital fashion houses, artists and independent designers showcasing their latest creations, leveraging the latest digital technologies for a fully immersive experience. To learn more, be sure to read this fascinating article from textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
Today we are sharing another “Meet the Designer” story compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan. Sarah Thorley is a recent graduate of Bolton University BA(Hons) Textiles and Surface Design and was recognized in the Green Grads-ECO STORIES Textile Challenge. Learn how Sarah is leveraging technology in developing her product range and how she is learning about commercial life in real time (as a solo designer) in a challenging marketplace with her Pink Tiger Design brand.
Graphene was discovered in 2004, has been described as a miracle material, and its discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 as a completely new material. We’ve written about graphene before, and usually there’s a graphene item in our weekly Friday Around the Web feature. But for more depth, this article reviews a recent study on products claiming graphene content and also encourages materials suppliers and manufacturers to do their due diligence and to seek certification that their materials and/or products actually include graphene. Spoiler alert: 80% of the products tested had no graphene content!
Digital textile printing has grown more slowly than projected, but an emerging new business model perhaps promises a boost to that growth. In this new model, digital printing as a service, the digital print enterprise offers a managed virtual shop for the designer, where their designs and styles are presented online to the public, but where all the shop functions, comprising order handling, payment processing, digital printing, and drop-ship delivery are handled by the digital printer. Learn more about this trend in this article provided by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
The fashion industry is in need of radical transformation in order to reduce its deleterious effect on the environment, including excessive wastewater, carbon emissions, impact on landfills, and more. In this article, we review a recent study produced by Aptean, which approaches the problem from the perspective of the value of an effective, purpose-built ERP, but we also note that the industry must go beyond that with a holistic view of the entire life cycle of its products in order to have any hope at all of meeting aggressive 2030, and even 2050, sustainability goals.
Leeds Arts University graduate Estelle Pearce, who earned a Masters in Digital Fashion, was selected to showcase her work at Digital Fashion Week New York and London Fashion Week. She works in both physical and digital media and has more than 15 years’ experience in the fashion industry. In this interview, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we learn more about her work and how she utilizes technology to explore her creativity.
After seeming to stall for some time, the digital textile industry is now projected to grow by 14.4% to 2030 according to Grand View Research. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we recap the research and why it is important to the industry and to the planet. The growth will be driven by the success of web-based on-demand business models—the urgency of the sustainability agenda—and the sheer economic efficiency of digital textile printing, according to the research.
How much fungi do you expect to see in your future? There is a tremendous amount of research and development ongoing to develop various forms of fungi—including mushrooms and their “roots,” mycelium—into replacements for everything from meat to leather and more. Read on!
Stellar growth in the use of direct-to-garment (DTG) digital textile printing machinery continues to provide a unique and highly successful business model, gaining traction worldwide. As a technology built to deliver speed to market, it’s built for on-demand production and as such sustainable manufacturing—driving down inventory and production costs. In this article, provided by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, you'll learn not only about DTG opportunities, but also the growing field of direct-to-film for garment printing.
The earthquake in Turkey was a truly devastating event. The death toll is nearing 50,000, a toll that is expected to grow significant over the coming days and weeks, making it the worst disaster in the country’s modern history. The only good news is that, miraculously, rescue teams are still pulling survivors from the rubble, including three that were rescued 11 days after the event, which occurred on February 6. The Istanbul Fashion Connection was scheduled for February 8 to 11 in Istanbul. Hanna Abdulla, News Editor for Just Style, was in the country for the event. We share a few of her insights about how the industry is working to help during this crisis and some background on the textiles industry in Turkey.
Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato chose Paris Fashion Week to launch his latest collection. He seeks to deliver garments that enhance the life of the wearer whilst seeking to improve the environmental impact of the fashion Industry and ultimately to democratize couture. His work symbolizes the reform of apparel—where design and materials combine to deliver a biophilic experience, nurturing the body and the planet simultaneously.
As fashion week hits New York’s runways it's a good time to review the state of the industry and its progress...or not...toward a more sustainable future. Here we provide high level results from a research report produced by The Climate Board in partnership with Textile Exchange: “Friction Points in Fashion and Textiles: Removing Barriers and Accelerating Climate Action.”
The textiles and apparel industry overall has seemingly made little progress toward stated sustainability goals, but there are bright spots that light the way to a more sustainable future for the industry. In researching this article, we spoke with three thought leaders in the industry who we hope will act as an inspiration to others, accelerating the industry transformation that must ultimately occur, including Adobe, Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Spoonflower.
The U.S., for several years, has been trying to bring back manufacturing across the board, including textiles and apparel. The pandemic and the resulting supply chain crisis spurred more action toward this goal. But simply bringing back manufacturing and doing the same old things, only here in America, I don’t believe plays into the American ingenuity theme. That’s where new shoring comes in. Yes, bring back manufacturing. But do it in a way that is innovative, automated, sustainable, and yet competitive. For more details about new shoring, there is an excellent article available on “The Sourcing Journal” (subscription may be required).
This video interview, conducted by and provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, discusses digital textile printing with Adele Genoni, senior vice president and general manager of EFI Reggiani. They discuss new printing technologies and Adele shares her insights on industry trends and how EFI Reggiani technology is evolving to fulfil market demands.
There is no denying the negative impact the multi-trillion-dollar global fashion industry has had—and continues to have—on the planet. Some fashion brands are making honest and open efforts to reduce their carbon footprints; some are greenwashing; and some are simply doing nothing. Until consumers take a stand and drive Fast Fashion out of their wardrobes, not much is likely to change. But there is hope on the horizon, according to Paul Foulkes-Arellano of Circuthon Consulting. In this article, learn about Regenerative Fashion, benefit from Foulkes-Arellano’s deep insight, and think about how you can change your buying habits to help reduce fashion’s impact on the planet.
Have you been wondering whatever happened to Adobe Textile Designer? In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we learn what Aquarios, who is now licensing and further developing Adobe Textile Designer, has up their sleeves. It is also important to note that the software supports a PDF workflow, which can be more efficient than a workflow dependent on image files.
One of the challenges for textiles and apparel with regard to its abysmal sustainability performance is weaning itself away from petro-based fibers, including polyester and polyester blends, which account for about 60% of garment fabrics today. We've written about a number of alternative natural fibers that could replace these detrimental fossil-based plastics. Most recently, seaweed has surfaced as a potentially viable alternative. Sound icky? It’s not. Be sure to read this article compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan that describes the potential of AlgiKnit yarns to make a difference in sustainability for textiles and apparel.
Last summer, we asked our readers, “Are you ready for the Gen Z work force?” As we enter 2023 and the balance between open jobs and available employees still has not balanced out, it’s time to revisit this topic again. Remember that Gen Zers will make up 25% of the workforce by 2025, when they will range in age from 13 to 28. They are a rich source of potential employees—now and for years to come. We thought it would be good to review what they are looking for, how to hire and retain them, as we enter 2023 with an economy this is still a bit chaotic.
Events like Epson Design Awards are critical to helping new talent get recognized and established. It is this new talent that is the hope for our future. This year, the recipient was Megan van Engelen. In accepting the award, she said, “I really want to tell my story, and I think that’s more important than saying that the world is dying, because at this point, we need to show people how we can offer solutions and I think that’s what designers are for, and that we show people how we can be more sustainable.” Thanks to textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan for sharing this story.
Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor rounds up the textile and apparel technologies that were introduced and shown at PRINTING United.
We’re hearing more and more about demand for customized wallpaper—or at least there are more providers offering this solution, ranging from family-owned Raspberry Creek Fabrics to Shutterfly-owned Spoonflower. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, Phil McMullin of Epson talks more about the trend.
This was a year of recovery for textiles and apparel as supply chain issues began to settle a bit, and suppliers were back online after the pandemic. Consumers were also buying—both online and back in-stores, which is good news for brands. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks back at how the industry has slowly started to embrace sustainability and some of the initiatives to keep an eye on in 2023.
Looking for an athletic garment that is both waterproof and breathable? With new developments from Polartec, that will become easier as its new Power Shield laminate is incorporated into garments expected to come to market in the fall of 2023. We spoke with Michael Cattanach, Polartec’s Global Product Director, to learn more.
As we get back to in-person trade shows, suppliers to the textiles and apparel industry are proud to show off the latest innovations, assuring producers that despite the difficulties of the pandemic, supply chain and more in recent years, their development efforts continue. In this industry round-up, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares some of the latest innovations that are driving digitization across the supply chain.
For some time now, we’ve been asking, “What’s in your closet?” This is in the context of making your lifestyle more sustainable as the world struggles with a growing climate crisis. While governments, NGOs, corporations, and others are working to improve sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint, it really will take all of us to get this done. Learn how serious reconsideration of your wardrobe can be a contributing factor.
Andy Wilson, the owner of Kent UK based PressOn, a wide-format printing company, entered the print industry some 28 years ago and has been a disruptive force ever since. He has consistently questioned the norm to develop and deliver new products, applications, and commercial opportunities—often in challenging times. We share his story here, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
There is a lot of discussion around companies and governments reducing their carbon footprints, aiming toward carbon neutrality by some date, and changes they plan to make to accomplish these sustainability goals as part of the effort to bring the climate crisis under control. But little is being said about a companion approach: carbon capture and repurposing. This article defines carbon capture and presents its current technological state.
The design of textiles now demands speed, accuracy and embedded data. The patterns we create are no longer single use, and in a digitized world, their final product form, material application, and flexibility must now be considered and often incorporated into the original artwork. WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan looks at Aquario Textile Designer offers a comprehensive suite of professional apparel and textile design tools with which to prepare and perfect the origination and production of a textile pattern or product.
As the digitization of the textile industry accelerates, on-demand textile printer Caspar’s business model is built for a new decade of industrial manufacturing using smart technologies—they have equipped their smart factory with necessary tools for success. This interview, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, tells the story.
Printer manufacturer Epson and fashion innovator LABELEDBY are organizing once again this year the Epson Design Awards, scheduled for November 15th. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we take a look back at last year's winner as an example of what we can expect from the 2022 awards.
Do you ever wonder why some people get bitten by mosquitoes more than others? A recent CNN story says mosquitoes like the smell of cheese and feet. Now Microban and Cosmo may have an answer…at least for the feet part. Their partnership is another example of applying technology to add value to textiles and apparel.
We’ve been writing about sustainability issues in textiles and apparel and some of the advances that are being made, as well as the barriers—addition to Fast Fashion being one of the latter. But we haven’t really addressed a big segment of the market: shoes. In this article, we delve into some of the advances that will make shoes more sustainable, and also caution our readers not to become over-consumers—of shoes or anything else!
We’ve been writing a great deal about sustainability options for the textiles and apparel industry with the hope that brands and consumers will be inspired to change their wasteful behavior, including getting rid of the fast fashion concept in lieu of longer lasting, more sustainable apparel, use of non-petroleum materials, more local and on-demand production, and more. In today’s article, we take another look at some of the advances in more sustainable fiber that can reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan does a great job of keeping up with the latest industry news especially as it relates to sustainability. We were pleased to read this post on her site, and thank her for allowing us to reprint it: The U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program is another example of how textiles in North America, from field, to fiber, to fabric, is working to become more sustainable and this grant awarded by the USDA will help in establishing adoption of climate smart practices on more than one million acres of cotton. Actions like this will be key to more reshoring of textiles to North America.
“Digitization” and “digitalization” sound similar, and it is common for people to confuse their meanings. Digitization focuses on the data required to objectively communicate product requirements, while digitalization is the process required to implement that workflow. ColorKarma’s Shoshana Burgett explains how the apparel industry needs both to successfully lower costs, speed product launches, and deliver sustainability targets.
Sometimes—or maybe even most times—it seems like progress toward sustainability and a more circular life cycle moves at a snail’s pace. But behind the scenes, the industry’s suppliers are making amazing progress. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan tracks many of these initiatives at Texintel’s Eco News. Here are some recent headlines.
Graphene is a miracle material with the potential to revolutionize textiles. Senior editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current state of graphene-enhanced textiles.
50+ participants in the GREEN GRADS program shared their ideas to help heal the planet. Each submitted a portfolio with patterns that reflect their environmental concerns and/or love of the natural world, taking into account eco-friendly textiles, dyes, and methods of production. Green Grads is a not-for-profit event, organized with goodwill and with all time given freely. Read the full story.
In this space, and across many other industry spokespeople, the call for an end to fast fashion has been resonating loudly. But are the brands and retailers—and consumers—taking this call for a reduction in unnecessary consumption seriously? It seems not.
One of the trends that emerged from the pandemic was an increased focus on décor -- home, office and otherwise. And that included a resurgence in interest in wallpaper. New technologies, including high quality production inkjet printing and equipment designed specifically to output short runs of customized wallpaper, have made it easier than ever before to produce bespoke wallpaper. And designers and producers alike are taking advantage of this trend. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we highlight the work of John Mark Watson of John Mark LTD as an inspiration to others.
As we have been discussing in this space, graphene, a miracle material discovered in 2004, has begun to make inroads into the textiles industry, with a growing number of products that are graphene-enhanced, either with coatings, inks, or covalently bonded to the base fiber. We recently came across Czech-based GrapheneUP, who has added graphene-enhanced inks and coatings for textiles to their product mix.
What's the latest advice for sign and display graphics operations that want to print soft signage more sustainably? In this article written by Ella Faulkner of Soyang Europe, provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, it is pointed out that public sector spaces are under ever-increasing pressure to offer a sustainable environment filled with sustainable products. So, too, are educational and health facilities. But the biggest market is found in retail where showing off green credentials is demanded by customers. The article explains what types of textile printing are greenest and technologies that can limit waste and reduce water and energy usage.
Are we starting to see a resurgence in the US textiles and apparel market? In a recent article, we addressed some of the activity relative to localized cut-and-sew operations, the “last mile” for apparel manufacturing. In this article, we take a deeper dive into what Hodges International has done with Sparty Mill to help this resurgence along.
As part of our ongoing series featuring the next generation of textile designers compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we welcome you to read about Lily Elo. Her current project INTERFERENCE focuses on the phenomena of light interference creating an iridescent color spectrum.
If you’ve been paying attention to some of this year’s new DTG printer launches, you may have noticed that the traditional gap between commercial and industrial printers appears to be closing. Today’s DTG devices are delivering faster printing speeds, better print accuracy, and more advanced technologies—all with a smaller footprint and a lower price tag. This article offers a brief overview of the devices that are blurring the lines between commercial and industrial printers.
One of the key barriers to reshoring textiles and apparel has been the lack of sewing talent, the final mile, if you will, of localized apparel and home décor manufacturing. Recently we have seen a number of new cut-and-sew operations pop up across the nation, an encouraging sign for the future of the American textiles and apparel industry.
With the return of in-person trade shows and events in 2022, suppliers to the industry have plenty of technical developments on display, and the industry is poised to see accelerated growth and a continuing transition to digital technologies. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan highlights a few of them.
In this space, we have had a great deal of discussion about sustainability, supply chain, and the need for dramatic change in the textiles and apparel industry. In today’s article, we look at some of the important research and journalistic organizations that are helping drive this change, the important role they play, and some of their upcoming events.
Live events are back in play and here to stay! They support and connect the print community by providing a window of opportunity where networking and the transfer of knowledge go hand-in-hand. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan talks with Jason Burroughs, Managing Director of Perfect Colours, about why their workshops offer the visitor such a valuable experience.
Before the pandemic, I never dreamed I would be writing about supply chain so often. But then, before the pandemic things were different…or were they? The problems were there back then, but they were exacerbated and brought to the forefront due to pandemic-related issues. With all the supply chain noise, we wondered whether there would actually be meaningful solutions soon, and/or whether reshoring and digital production would be accelerated. A Forbes article on the topic sheds some light here.
In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we take a look at textile sustainability innovations and insights, with a focus on the supply chain, greenwashing, and truly sustainable initiatives.
Shutterfly acquired Spoonflower one year ago. Senior editor Cary Sherburne checks in with the company for a progress report.
Greenwashing is rampant in the fashion industry, but there is growing scrutiny on this unethical practice. Will it be enough to reduce the tide of discarded clothing and other textile items that are burned or dumped in the landfill? Will we really get to any kind of circular life cycle for fashion? There are encouraging signs, but we are far from reaching any kind of critical mass.
Design writer, curator, and photographer Barbara Chandler, who has been writing about design and decoration for more than 40 years, has documented the New Designers in Residence program at the Business Design Centre in Islington, UK. She has meticulously recorded their details in an ongoing commentary on Flickr and has a huge archive going back some 15 years. In this article, provided by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, you will see and learn about the program and some of her favorite images.
The textiles industry is blessed to have many young, innovative and creative designers entering the field. Maria Begum is just one example. She was recently awarded the Epson "Design in Context Award" for her work titled "The Floating Fields of Bangladesh," which combined dye sublimation printing and laser engraving to achieve stunning results. Thanks to textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan for sharing this story with us.
We all love bright colors in our garments and home decor, but much of this color comes from toxic dyes that have deleterious effects on the environment. We congratulate professionals like Phoebe Lewis, an industrial designer focusing on developing products that help restore marine ecosystems and coastal communities, for her work in creating natural dyes from seaweed that could replace some of those toxic alternatives.
How vegan is vegan leather, and what is the future of this alternative to animal-based leather? In this article, we summarize the literature on the topic, including how damaging animal-based leather is to the environment, the different types of so-called vegan leather, and the future of truly 100% plant-based leather, an important element of a sustainable future.
Home decor is a hot market, and wallpaper, which had fallen into disfavor over the years, is making a comeback, fueled largely by the high-quality, fast turn, customized wall covering products now enabled by digital printing solutions. Printer manufacturers like Xeikon are offering turnkey wall covering production solutions, and companies like Spoonflower see high demand for custom wall coverings from its maker community. In this article, complements of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, PONGS Group explains how they use digitally printed wallcoverings to add drama, scope, and style to their designer kitchens.
In this story, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, five winners of the prestigious Central Saint Martins Maison/O Green Trail competition demonstrate how the next generation of textile professionals is working to address the climate emergency. Their submissions range from transformational garments to production methods that scale textile dyeing with bacteria and spatial design that supports reforestation.
Utah-based Raspberry Creek Fabrics recently received a patent for unique web-to-print software for roll-to-roll fabric printing which automates the step-and-repeat process in a way that creates the smallest possible file, speeding the printing process. Senior editor Cary Sherburne talked to co-founder Justin Rammell about the process.
Subscription services and fashion boxes for apparel—the ability for consumers to sign up for periodic boxes of personalized clothing selections—predated the pandemic, but arguably, these services prospered along with the rest of ecommerce as a result of retail closures, work-from-home, and a general concern with going out in public. Will that success carry forward as we enter the endemic stage of COVID? And how do these services rank from a sustainability perspective?
Quite often errors only become visible once a textile design is printed on fabric. The printing machine is blamed most of the time for these errors, especially when the resolution is so high that every file error becomes visible when printed. In this article, provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, Jos Notermans of SPG Prints explains how to avoid these costly errors, beginning with proper design.
Sourcing Journal recently conducted an in-person sustainability summit in New York titled “The Road to 2030.” Sourcing Journal Founder and president Edward Hertzman spoke with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne to explain why this summit was different from other sustainability events and why he is optimistic that substantial changes will occur in the industry by the time 2030 rolls around.
As the industry and the world returns to in-person events, the recent FESPA exhibition in Berlin is a good example of the pent-up energy after a long virtual experience induced by the pandemic. FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 brought the specialty print community together for four motivational days in Berlin (May 31 to June 3, 2022), in an atmosphere of overwhelming positivity that affirmed the industry’s readiness to bounce back from the challenges of the last two years.
It is estimated that some 60% of apparel is made of petroleum-based polyester or polyester blends, but there are several initiatives underway to develop more sustainable fibers that are made from natural materials. Cary Sherburne looks at four of these new, cutting-edge fibers being developed for apparel.
As so often happens, entrepreneurs in the textiles and apparel industry are driving change in the U.S. market. While digitally-driven businesses have not yet reached critical mass, there are good examples of companies that are taking advantage of new ways of working and doing business to build the businesses of the future. We’ll be discussing this in an upcoming WhatTheyThink webinar scheduled for July 20 at 1 pm ET!
Leading up to the UK’s Design Futures 2022 competition, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan spoke to one of the judges, designer Phoebe English. A dynamic thinker with a careful, considered approach, Phoebe is on an ever-evolving search to better her practices, making her the perfect judge for this year’s innovation challenge which is focused on design for circularity. Learn more about her advice to designer applicants.
In this space, we have written a great deal about how the digital transformation is proceeding in the world of textiles and apparel. Mostly we have looked at supply chain, including the digital technologies that make reshoring more viable and production of textiles and apparel more sustainable. In this article, we take a look at how the fashion industry is jumping on the NFT bandwagon, generating an amazing amount of revenue, and, they hope, more customer loyalty.
Last week we wrote about British home decor firm Gillian Arnold leveraging digital printing to bring production of wall coverings in house. This week, we share another wall covering success story that started with digital production of 200 square meters of wall covering by Digital Space for Marriott Hotels.
ColorKarma’s Shoshana Burgett reports from Texprocess Americas, the theme of which was “Sell Then Make,” and identifies the five trends shifting the apparel industry,
This British design house adopted digital heat transfer dye sublimation printing for on-demand manufacturing of home decor. Now they have turned their attention to wallpaper, bringing production in house with latex printing. The success they have achieved makes them a role model for a production process for sustainable home decor that gives creatives more flexibility than ever before.
Several U.S. Senators are sponsoring the FABRIC Act to drive protections for garment workers in the U.S. and encourage more reshoring of the industry. This article explains why it is important, how it can benefit the industry and the environment, and encourages outreach to your own Senator to express your support. The legislation has already received the support of various stakeholders in the fashion industry, including designers, manufacturers, and industry bodies.
At UK-based Imageco, sustainability is a key focus. When the current owner took over, he brought with him his passion for a more sustainable future and took steps to improve the company’s sustainability profile. Today, Imageco provides their customers with affordable, versatile products that are manufactured using a responsible production process, sustainable materials, and best practices wherever possible. Read the full story.
There is so much hype around fashion trends—the more different trends that can be hyped, the more fashion that gets sold, I suppose. But it’s not only bad for our individual pocketbooks, it’s devastating for the environment! In this article, we cite two other must-read articles that point out why we should not be following every transitory TikTok trend that comes our way.
The British Fashion Council announced that Saul Nash is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The Award was presented by the Duchess of Cambridge on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen in this Platinum Jubilee year. The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design was initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy and to spotlight young designers who are talented and making a difference to society through either sustainable practices or community engagement.
Sustainability seems to be the latest buzzword to grab hold of the business community, and I hate to even call it that due to its importance to the future of our world. But when companies talk about sustainability, are they truly looking at the whole picture, or just a part? And can they even affect the whole picture? Organizations such as the Responsible Sourcing Network and others are dedicated to giving brands and retailers broader insight into just exactly how sustainable they are.
When you want to create an authentic replica of one of the most famous and treasured historic artifacts ever discovered, where do you turn? If you are the curators of the Shroud of Turin, you turn to EFI Reggiani. Heidi Tolliver-Walker looks at this unique printing project.
Another sign of the growth in customized interior décor is the increased interest in using white ink in producing higher quality and more diverse interior décor products. This includes such applications and materials as signage and graphics, window displays, wallpapers, vinyl, glass, wood, aluminum, cork and even printed leather to name just a few options. Participants in a recent HP sponsored webinar discuss how the addition of white ink has helped them successfully expanded their businesses and product portfolios.
Many in the textiles and apparel industry struggle to find enough workers, as there is a lack of skilled workers in North America due to the outsourcing to Asia and other parts of the world that began in the 1970s. As brands have become interested in reshoring at least some of the production, how do they find those workers? Cary Sherburne talks to a few of the organizations that are working to grow the textiles and apparel presence in North America.
When we talk of nearshore or close proximity production, there is always an unspoken truth: sewn manufacturing (or CMT to those within the industry) and its local availability. Once printed, textiles are almost always cut and sewn into a final product. Supply chain challenges of the last two years have exposed a sewn skills gap, and further highlighted a significant lack of manufacturing knowledge readily available in the UK (and other developed countries), making the reshoring of sewn goods in any volume a difficult proposition. This initiative is designed not only to incorporate more digital printing into apparel production but also to harness existing sewing skills in the UK and train sewists on the latest technology. There also lessons here for US apparel production. It’s a good example for other regions, such as North America, to follow.
A critical factor in the future of textiles and apparel is the education of new talent in the world’s fashion and design schools. Increasingly, these schools are bringing in digital technologies, including digital textile printing, to prepare their students for the changing world they will be entering. Cardiff School of Art and Design is one of the schools that is doing just that, as explained in this article compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
In this space, we have written about the damage Fast Fashion—the creation of inexpensive garments that are often worn once or twice and then tossed—does to the environment. Now let’s take it a step further and expand the concept to Fossil Fashion—clothing made with petroleum-based feedstocks, estimated at more than 60% of today’s production—and how the fashion industry is hiding behind so-called sustainability initiatives that are actually not sustainable at all.
In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares a summary of a recent webinar with a panel discussion about how the business of interior decor has changed, the influence of digital textile printing, and the value of a printing system that includes white ink.
A little over six months ago, four young graduates joined the “Creatives in Residence” project based at the CMYUK demonstration facility in Shrewsbury. After a difficult two years with little access to their university facilities from 2020-2021 the CIRL initiative presented a unique opportunity to explore digital manufacturing technologies and build their commercial knowledge. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan summarizes the results of the initiative.
Direct-to-film (DTF) printing is a transfer technology that enables users to print designs onto polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film using water-based pigment inks. This article offers an overview of this up-and-coming technology and also explores how it compares to other printing techniques.
It seems that everything is accelerating these days, and the apparel business is not immune. Digital technologies help brands address both acceleration and changing trends while giving designers more freedom and agility to create. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan explains.
There is hope for improved sustainability in textiles and apparel, but it is not without its challenges. Cary Sherburne explains how a major need is to get a handle on how to make the supply chain more sustainable—but the efforts to establish take-back programs and find ways to recycle, resell and upcycle garments are not trivial either and present options for all of us to participate in this important effort.
Cary Sherburne talks to Mike Scrutton, director of print technology and strategy at Adobe, and Ray Cheydleur, printing and imaging portfolio manager for X-Rite/Pantone, about the similarities and differences between color management for commercial print and for textiles, and some best practices for textile-based color management.
Robots and cobots are increasingly being used in a variety of manufacturing and warehousing operations, but they have not yet made their way at scale into apparel manufacturing. Do you have one in your home or business? I do. Three actually. Here we talk about how robots and cobots are being used today, and give an example of an apparel factory that is leveraging robots for increased accuracy and efficiency.
Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares the story of Dubai fashion designer Michael Cinco, who has turned to digital textile printing to create truly amazing designs.
We've been pushing in this space to remove the concept and strategy of fast fashion from our minds and hearts and the way forward for brands. It is an unsustainable and destructive path for the industry and the earth. This piece, authored by Printful and provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, provides compelling arguments that reinforce that message.
If you are not immersed in the world of graphic design, and perhaps even if you are, you may not realize the suite of Corel solutions is still quite popular. Founded in 1985 by Michael Cowpland, with its first product, CorelDRAW, a vector-based illustration program designed to bundle with desktop publishing systems, being released in 1989. Today, CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation. It is also the name of the Corel graphics suite, which includes the bitmap image editor Corel Photo-Paint as well as other graphics-related programs. And now the company points to suite as a solution for textile and apparel design, according to this article provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
There’s a lot of talk about a broken supply chain for the textiles and apparel industry. But what’s actually being done to fix it? And what happens if we don’t? Last fall, the Sourcing Journal hosted a Sourcing Summit that addressed these issues. Some excerpts are included in this article, along with a link to the full report, well worth reviewing if you have any supply chain concerns at all!
As we move towards a sustainable future, each and every product we consume has an environmental impact. Every choice that we make as designers and printers matters and collectively, we can make a significant contribution to the environmental impact of the products we create across all commercial sectors. Together we can drive effective change for a sustainable future. So says Wilbert van der Lans, Strategy Director at Make Sense, in a presentation he delivered as part of HP’s Sustainable Impact Series. Learn more.
With many of us barely beginning to understand what is meant by Industry 4.0, we’re now moving on to Industry 5.0! Acceleration is certainly a factor in today’s business and industrial environment. In this article, we define both Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0, and provide examples of how the textiles and apparel industry in North America can accelerate along with the market trends.
As part of an ongoing series featuring designers in the world of textiles and apparel, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan interviewed Design Pool founder Kristen Dettoni. Founded in 2019, Design Pool is an online business that combines licensing of Kristen's fabric designs with a program linking designers with printers that can do a quality job of producing according to design intent. Learn more about Design Pool and Kristen's award-winning Cryptology designs, the latest addition to her portfolio of designs.
As digital technologies have evolved, their ease of use and affordability continue to drive the digital disruption of the home furnishings marketplace. In this article, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we learn how British firm Art of the Loom has leveraged digital technologies to evolve its offerings over time. The family has been involved in textiles since 1815!
In today’s world, we are inundated with misinformation and disinformation, and it is a constant daily battle to separate the wheat from the chaff, the truth from fake news. This is not limited to politics and healthcare. It’s also a factor in how the fashion industry—in cotton in particular—is portrayed. This article is a summary of a recent report by Transformers Foundation highlighting common myths about cotton. We recommend reading the full report and/or listening to a recent Supima webinar for the entire story.
As part of our continuing “meet the designer” series, compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we introduce you to Lucy Swann, who has been designing beautiful surface patterns for the fashion industry for many years. She talks about her journey, how the industry has changed over the years, and her diversification efforts.
Digital textile printing is starting to gain steam in the contract furnishing marketplace! Find out how this development is benefiting Mallion & Knowles! Our thanks to textiles expert Debbie McKeegan for sharing this story.
Cary Sherburne recently spoke with Adele Genoni, senior vice president and general manager at EFI Reggiani, to get the latest information on what the company has been up to. Despite the pandemic, it doesn’t seem that R&D efforts have slowed down, with three new products announced in just the past few months.
Graphene, a much-touted miracle material, was only discovered in 2004. Since then, it has permeated many different industries with products and solutions that deliver improved performance or new and innovative capabilities. Now, just a short time after its discovery, it’s beginning to make its way into consumer-level products. Is there some graphene in your future? Let’s take a look!
Choosing to purchase their own machinery and not to outsource the manufacture of their products will give the husband-and-wife team at The African Print Company absolute control of their supply chain as they gear up the business, removing the requirement for keeping inventory on hand. And importantly, giving them the freedom to listen to their consumers and create the designs and products that their loyal customers love. They intend to implement customized manufacture and on-demand production from day one.
There has been significant focus on improving sustainability in the textiles and apparel industry, and that concern for the planet is also affecting what customers are demanding in signs & display graphics, especially looking for more sustainable soft signage. What type of textile printing is greenest, and what can be done to reduce waste? These are just two of the topics addressed in this article provided by Ella Faulkner of Soyang Europe, compliments of Texinel.
We all love our jeans, but consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the massive environmental impact of the denim dyeing process—chemistry, water usage, potential pollution of water sources, and so on. But there are encouraging developments underway in the world of more sustainable denim. We explore a few of them here.
Want to find out what constitutes the Best in British Hospitality Product Design? Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan is anxious to share! She interviews the team at this year's award winner, The Monkey Puzzle Tree. Cool name. Even cooler designs!
Cary Sherburne looks back at some of the notable new products and trends that the textile and apparel industry saw in 2021—from a growing emphasis on digital printing, new inks (especially pigment-based), and the reshoring of apparel production.
As we move towards a sustainable future, each and every product we consume has an environmental impact. Every choice that we make as designers and printers matters and collectively, we can make a significant contribution to the environmental impact of the products we create across all commercial sectors. Together we can drive effective change for a sustainable future. That’s the message that global retail sustainability strategist Steve Lister is communicating through his participation in HP’s Sustainable Impact Series. Don't miss this important read! Or view the recorded presentation.
The fashion and textiles industry is one of the world’s worst offenders when it comes to impact on climate. There’s lots of talk from brands about how they will reduce this impact, but it’s not as straightforward as it may seem. To truly drive change, there are many friction points across the entire supply chain that need to be aggressively addressed. We discuss a few of them in this article.
When we talk about digital print for fabrics, we are often dealing with woven fabrics. But digital print can be used with knitted fabrics as well, as demonstrated by the success of Eurojersey in introducing digitally printed knit collections. The company, based in Italy, has been around for nearly 70 years and continues to lead the market in technical fabric innovation and sustainable sourcing. With its digitally printed Sensitive® Fabrics, the company uses digital printing to give the fabric a different appearance and different properties compared to its plain color products. Learn more.
As the world continues to struggle with the climate change crisis, methane emissions have been tagged as a key contributor that needs to be mitigated. And cows are being targeted as a key contributor to these greenhouse gas emission levels. Do we eliminate cows completely? Or are there other solutions? This article dives into those issues.
Over the years, digital textile printing appears to have become much simpler; and that is a tribute to the research and development teams, who have now perfected textile printing on an industrial scale by fine tuning physical manufacturing technology alongside digital innovation. But each unique combination of design, substrate, ink type, print process and post finishing has a cumulative impact on final printed output. This article, compliments of textile expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, explains.
Kornit Digital showed a 118% year-over-year revenue increase for the second quarter of 2021. The company also has shifted its strategy a bit and made a couple of acquisitions that reflect this shift. In this Executive Q&A, Chief Marketing Officer Omer Kulka shares insight about Kornit’s strategic focus and the state of the industry at large.
We talk a great deal about on-demand manufacturing in textiles and apparel, but it takes more than talk. Los Angeles Fashion Week may have been a tipping point between talk and action, according to on-demand apparel manufacturer Kirby Best. Why? Take a look at this article compliments of WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan that demonstrates what can be done with digital technologies to change the way we think about—and produce—fashion.
We always talk about the fact that the textiles industry is the world’s second largest polluter. Raising this awareness is helpful, but only if companies take the initiative to change the way they operate to reduce pollution, water and energy use, shipping, and transport, all while treating workers well and providing a living wage. In this article, we document some of those initiatives that can act as a template for others to follow.
Proper fabric preparation can maximize the intensity and brilliance of the printed colors and control how the ink spreads on the fabric, optimizing printing definition and delivering a better-looking end product to delight brands and consumers. As brands and designers increasingly look for ways to use cellulosic fibers such as cotton and viscose, Huntsman Textile Effects offers good advice in this article provided compliments of Texintel.
You might be surprised at the volume and type of textiles being used in today’s vehicles—including woven, knitted, and nonwovens. Cary Sherburne takes nonwoven fabrics for a test drive, and identifies business opportunities—perhaps not so much in mass manufacturing of automobiles, but in customization of vehicles, which is growing in popularity.
In this piece, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan interviews Dutch designer Irene Van Ophoven about her journey to establishing her own design studio, including how digital technologies have enhanced her ability to create innovative, stunning designs.
Among the many sustainability issues the textiles and apparel industry is facing, textile waste in landfills is near the top of the list. In this article, we talk with Ben Grossman about SwagCycle, his attempt to give back with a goal of landfill divergence for textile-based products, contributing to a reduced footprint and increased circularity.
As more companies in the textile and apparel industry look to digital printing for more efficiency and a smaller environmental footprint, it can be confusing to determine exactly where digital textile printing fits. In this guest post from SPGPrints, compliments of Debbie McKeegan and Texintel, Jos Notermans highlights seven different factors that help with that decision process.
As we have been discussing in this space, attracting new talent to the textiles and apparel industry is a key challenge. The industry is quite different than it was 40 years ago! Yet it still has a reputation from those days. UK firm CMYUK is making a contribution with its Creatives In Residence program. In addition to winners learning with hands-on experience at the firm, anyone can join the learning virtually. We need more programs like this! Meet the winners and learn more about the program.
As we look ahead to the upcoming COP26—UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties—in November, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the developments in textiles that will help the industry move forward in a more sustainable fashion. Just Style hosted a COP26 apparel panel discussion to explore these moves and we summarize here.
Sustainability is a hot topic in textiles and apparel. One move that is set to help reduce the carbon footprint for the industry is reshoring—producing goods closer to the point of need—which reduces transportation costs and can include establishment of microfactories utilizing digital rather than the often more wasteful analog manufacturing processes. Find out how and why Poland is leading the reshoring charge in Europe in this guest article provided compliments of textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
In the fashion industry, it's been like long-distance runners who have time to finish the marathon. But now they realize they need a sprint. In this article, written by Yoram Burg of Embodee and provided courtesy of Debbie McKeegan, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor, the role that 3D can play in fashion, beyond simply design, is explored and explained.
The pandemic placed stress on most industries, but arguably one of the most affected was the sewn products industry, which was already facing challenges pre-pandemic. In a recent interview, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne discussed the state of the sewn products industry with SPESA President Michael McDonald and steps that could be taken to ameliorate those challenges.
Thanks to textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, and Tim Phillips of IMI Europe and Catenary Solutions for this informative article that explains the drivers behind the transformation underway in the textiles industry with respect to industrial digital textile printing.
Despite the constraints of the pandemic, manufacturers of digital direct-to-fabric printing solutions have been hard at work bring innovative solutions to a market which is already bouncing back. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan highlights the most important developments and product launches in this growth area.
Back in 2015, the United Nations adopted an aggressive sustainability agenda with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve the environment. Participation is voluntary and adoption has been sporadic. That led WRAP, a global sustainability charity to establish Textiles 2030, also voluntary, but aiming to transform the way the UK supplies, uses and disposes of clothing and textiles over the next 10 years. Is this a framework the textiles industry in other countries can adopt?
Last month, we ran a long article about the pros, cons, and challenges of carpet printing. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan interviews the CEO of Zimmer, a pioneer in innovative technologies for screen and digital printing (including carpet), coating, dyeing, steaming, and technical textiles.
Are you a prosumer or do you know one? Or is it even a term you are familiar with? This article explains who prosumers are and the impact they can have and are having on the fashion industry, as well as how each of us can play a role as well in helping move the fashion industry to a more sustainable future.
When The Fabricant was founded in 2018, digital fashion barely existed as a concept, and the idea of a digital atelier crafting couture for the non-physical environment? Forget it. Micky LaRosse, Head of Content & Strategy with Fabricant, says the trouble with creating something utterly new is the complete lack of reference points to guide your path. He offers advice to others pursuing this path in this article provided by Texintel.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, more than 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, a record high, and even more plan to do so as we exit the pandemic. If people are quitting due to boredom or unhappiness but still want to work, where will they look? And how can the textiles and apparel industry, which has long struggled to attract new talent, generate interest among those looking for something new?
Manchester Print Services in the UK is one of a growing number of companies driving new business models in the textiles industry, including digital production of interior décor, as well as specialized textile printing for events, exhibitions, and retail display.
With so much emphasis being placed on customization of interior and home décor enabled by digital printing technologies, can we even customize our carpets now? Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares this Texintel guest post by Bob Balings of Bob Mats B.V., which highlights different carpet printing technologies and their pros and cons, with lots of great advice about selecting the right technology for your work.
We’ve been speculating about how the textiles and apparel industry will come out of the pandemic—how much will change, how quickly, and how much will remain the same? To help with this thought process, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University has published a study entitled "Repeat, Repair or Renegotiate? The Post-COVID Future of the Apparel Industry." We summarize the results in this article.
One of the critical needs in the textiles and apparel industry is attracting new talent. CMYUK is helping address this need by launching a worldwide competition to recognize emerging talent. Its “Creatives in Residence” program will give two young surface designers and one talented videographer an outstanding opportunity to undertake a six-month placement at CMYUK’s advanced digital training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury in the UK. While this might seem UK-centric, it is a worldwide opportunity. If you know a talented young person that would like to participate, please let them know about this opportunity! Learn more...
Throughout history, silk has been recognized as one of the most, if not the most, exquisite and luxurious fabrics available. Now fabric printers are having huge success with digital printing of this glorious textile. In this article, textile expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares an example from Italian firm Mantero.
We’ve written a great deal about sustainability—or the lack thereof—in textiles and apparel on this site. In this article, we highlight some of the less discussed but equally important textile finishing technology that is driving sustainability in the industry
Fashion week on film? Richard Quinn unveiled this unique approach to debuting a new collection at the recent AW21 collection at the Electric Theatre, London. Is this a sign of what's to come from other designers? It would seem it is partly the result of the many things we have learned about virtual events and digital technology during the pandemic.
New players are introducing new technologies for textile and apparel production and are poised to up-end the industry. Upheavals in the supply chain and rapidly changing consumer demands are starting to increase a sense of urgency, and more brands are looking seriously at how to effectively work on-demand or made-to-order manufacturing into their go-to-market processes.
It has never been more important to shine a light on the achievements of students graduating with expertise in the textiles and fashion industry. Like many other industries, finding new talent is difficult. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares the story of one award-winning graduate we hope will be an inspiration to future generations of students who might consider careers in textiles and apparel.
Direct-to-consumer retail for apparel, once the domain of upstarts, is now being more seriously pursued by larger brands, a move that has been accelerated by the pandemic. What does this mean for brands and retail? Is another upheaval coming?
Adobe announced a creative alliance with Aquario Design and NedGraphics, two elements of the textiles portfolio of FOG Software Group, a division of Constellation Software. The alliance was announced by Adobe’s Mike Scrutton at the Smithers Digital Textile Printing conference underway in Arizona.
The textile manufacturing industry is on the cusp of dramatic change, driven by increased focus on restructuring fragile supply chains and growing consumer demand for more sustainable practices. Learn why heat transfer dye sublimation fabric printing can help meet these challenges by enabling responsive on-demand production of textile-based products.
The pandemic has placed increased focus on supply chain issues in textiles and apparel, but a lot of this has been figuring out how to manufacture the same items more efficiently, especially Fast Fashion. But underneath it all, there is a burgeoning interest in better ways to extend the life of existing textile and apparel items—from reuse and recycling to upcycling. Will this be the next big thing for the industry, and how will it adapt?
Digital pigment technologies have helped shape the customization culture that is prevalent among many of today’s online shoppers, and this technology is now making its way into textile DTF (direct-to-fabric). This article explores how pigment solutions are helping to fuel a revolution among textile printers.
Much of the discussion around the benefits of digital textile printing have focused on apparel, and its associated development and manufacturing processes as well as its supply chain issues. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan points out that home décor is also a high growth opportunity for digital textile printing and other forms of inkjet printing, including wall coverings.
As things start to return to normal, conference organizers are looking for creative ways to reengage with their audiences. In the case of Smithers Digital Textile Printing U.S. (and its sister conference, Digital Print for Packaging U.S.), they have chosen to adopt a hybrid virtual/in-person model for both presenters and attendees.
There is a lot of focus on digital textile printing for apparel, but another great market opportunity for digital textile printing is interior décor. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan talks with Terry Raghunath, Business Development Manager for Printed Decorative Applications based at HP Barcelona, about market trends and how HP focuses its development efforts to meet them.
In its first in-person trade show appearance since the pandemic began, EFI Reggiani displayed its dedication to ongoing innovation for textiles, even during this difficult time. Three new products were announced at ITMA Asia in Shanghai last Friday, as well as ink manufacturing capabilities in Asia and updates to the EFI Reggiani BOLT. Read the full story.
Upcycling has become an important element of the circular economy, and furniture is no exception. Learn how this creative team is using digitally printed fabric to increase their ability to upcycle furniture and more!
As we begin to see the end of the pandemic (we hope), we wonder what things will look like on the other end. WTIN recently conducted a very informative webinar that touches on this topic and more. Worth a view! This article contains a summary of key information provided.
With the growing interest in and functionality of pigment inks for digital textile printing, you might wonder why one would still use acid inks. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan explains.
The Direct-to-Garment (DTG) business is booming. During the pandemic, businesses with online ordering capabilities explored new ways to add new solutions or capacity to their portfolios, and DTG was one of the key ways to do so. Learn more.
We recently suggested that the Fast Fashion trend should come to an end sooner rather than later, especially in today’s more sustainability-conscious environment and increased focus on solving climate change issues around the globe. In this article, we share insights from recent UBS and other research supporting this position and suggesting what happens if consumers cut back on fast fashion.
As digital workflow increasingly makes its way into the textiles & apparel supply chain, how do you simplify the complex process that carries a creative piece of artwork through print production? That’s the question that Debbie McKeegan, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor, addresses in this article.
In this week’s article from textile expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, we get an inside look at how Kirath Ghundoo, the Queen of Geometric Wallcoverings, has leveraged technology to build her own brand and a thriving business.
Designers are increasingly selling their designs directly to consumers for a variety of fabric-based applications. WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan highlights the successes artist Gillian Arnold has had with this approach using the HP Stitch digital textile printer.
Kornit recently upped its direct-to-garment (DTG) game with announcement of the Kornit Atlas MAX printer, incorporating new technology that allows much more detail to be printed on garments than before. MAX technology is expected to be available for direct-to-fabric printing in the future.
COVID-19 fueled a surge in ecommerce, leading to increased demand for digitally printed garments. This article offers a brief discussion about the changing dynamics of consumer buying habits, explores why the pandemic accelerated digital print on-demand, and considers how supply chain and GTM strategies will be forever changed as a result.
The latest trend in the analog-to-digital transformation underway in textiles is creating home and other decor on demand. In this article, WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan shares how Epson's developments in pigment inks are transforming home decorating.
The best way to figure out how to deploy technology to accelerate adoption of emerging trends is to use it yourself in a real-life operation. That’s exactly what software and services company Ziel is doing. Learn how the company is leveraging its own on-demand apparel manufacturing platform to develop industry-changing solutions for those wishing to implement a sustainable, on-demand manufacturing model for their businesses.
There has been increased focus on reshoring manufacturing from Asia to Europe and the Americas, perhaps accelerated by the recent Suez Canal debacle. But as many experts have pointed out, including those cited in this article, written by Guy Alroy of Early.Vision, the new jobs that result from reshoring efforts cannot be using the same processes. They must be a more technology based on-demand model that is more sustainable as well.
Is Rialto’s growth a sign of the times? The UK-based digital textile printer thinks so. The company prints millions of meters of dye-sublimation prints onto polyester bases but is also investing in the future with technologies that can print digitally onto a wider array of fabric types.
COVID-19 has accelerated the sustainability agenda, and implementing these various initiatives across highly complex supply chains will take a great deal of dexterity and commitment—but there can be no going back. Read what textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan has to say about the emergence of more sustainable fibers for textiles.
Sustainability is a hot topic in the textiles and apparel industry, as well it should be. Discussions have heated up even more as a result of the pandemic and the associated supply chain difficulties it has presented for the industry. Expect to see increased use of the terms recycling, upcycling, and even return of rentals as the industry works to adjust to a wide range of new realities. Lenzing Tencel is a good example of the type of environmental stewardship that is needed to make the industry more sustainable. Other examples are included in this article as well—and there are many more in the works or already in the market.
Digital technologies deliver sustainable production at any scale. As we move forward into the next decade, we move into a new era of digital textile production and the technologies that enable change. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan outlines a few of the latest developments in roll-to-roll digital textile printing.
Fast fashion became a thing around the turn of this century. It’s the process of churning out low-quality, you could even say disposable, clothing to take advantage of every passing fad and trend. But in this writer’s humble opinion, this has to stop! We are choking our oceans and landfills with junk clothes. Can we put more focus on quality and durability? Just sayin’.
Working with top-end designers to create exclusive short runs means the fabrics printed at Forest Digital are not contributing to the “cheap-throw-away fashion” landfill that is so damaging to our world. In fact, we should be eliminating the term “fast fashion” from our vocabulary and our practices! Learn more about what this leading producer is doing to bring more sustainability to the industry.
One of the key components of the digital textile printing ecosphere is inks—and increasingly, sustainable inks. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan reviews the latest developments in ink technology for digital textile printing.
Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan says the biggest driver of change in the textile industry is its past history. Now exposed as the second largest polluter of our planet, the conventional textile industry needs to clean up its legacy production processes and evolve. Greendrop of Italy is doing just that.
In a recent TexProcess/TechTextil webinar, panelists discussed what is happening with respect to the textiles and apparel supply chain, especially what has been accelerated by the pandemic. Has there been a sourcing shift? Is there a balance shift between Western and Asian sources? What key elements do brands and suppliers need to address to bring about needed systemic change? How many are even capable of driving systemic change? These were some of the questions and issues discussed in this very interesting session.
Imageco is on a mission to greater sustainability, driven by their own sustainability concerns and customer demand. In this article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan explains how the company is pursuing these goals with the latest HP Latex technology.
A push toward a more sustainable textiles and apparel industry is underway, largely driven by consumer demand, and, to some extent, by brands who are working to restructure their supply chains post-pandemic. Key considerations include not only the adoption of more digital technologies, about which we have written extensively, but also the further development of fabrics created from bio-based materials, and a significant change in consumer behavior with respect to their wardrobes. Learn more about the pros and cons of bio-based materials, some of the emerging developments, and behavior changes that can reduce your personal textiles-based environmental impact.
Over the centuries, fine art and textile design have always been close companions. Today's textile designers can take advantage of a number of outstanding archives of vintage designs that can act as inspiration, or be licensed for use. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan highlights a few.
Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan recently attended a very interesting session on the possibilities digital print offers for home décor. Presenters included a variety of industry experts with excellent insight. The piece also includes links to replays in case the reader wants to hear directly from the experts.
Sustainability is moving to the top of the to-do list in textiles and apparel as we as we enter a new decade and beyond. Sometimes it seems like not much has changed, but in this informative article, textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan lists many of the sustainability achievements we saw in 2020.
As Industry 4.0 takes greater hold on the textiles and apparel industry, it is estimated that more than 25% of all work activities will be displaced by automation by 2030. But what does this mean for textile designers? Surely a robot can’t replace a designer! Designers have already moved from paintbrush to pixel, and while they won’t be replaced by robots, their roles will surely change. Read what textiles expert and WhatTheyThink Contributor Debbie McKeegan has to say on the topic!
Poshmark (ticker: POSH) shares entered the public market last week, with shares soaring nearly 142%, opening at $97.50 and hitting a high of $104.98, with a Thursday close at $101.50, making it up 141.7%. This kind of feels like the 90s dot-com boom. Will it lead to a bust? The Poshmark CEO thinks not.
If you are a designer working in a larger organization, you probably have access to formal color standards. But there are a growing number of freelancers starting their own businesses, and creating color standards that ensure what gets printed carries out your design intent is not a trivial process. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie Mckeegan rides to the rescue with a free color chart to get you on your way.
A recent report from McKinsey stated that 58% of fashion executives expected that assortment planning was a key area for 2021. The direct result means “less is more,” holding less stock and replenishing at speed in-tune with data and sales analytics. But how do they get that done? It means overcoming decades of doing things a certain way, and we all know that change is difficult. Further driving the need to make these changes are increased focus on sustainability and the need to restructure supply chains. These can be accomplished by, among other things, simplifying fabric printing, and as textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan points out in this article, that requires increased use of digital technologies across the board.
If you are interested in textiles and how they are woven through human history (pun intended), The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World is a well-written and very informative history of how fabrics have been part of human history from the beginning. In this article, we take a look at silk—not it’s history so much, but at where it might go from here.
How do you switch an entire industry to sustainable technologies and increased profitability? It’s been done in the past, of course, but never on the scale of the multi-trillion-dollar textiles and apparel industry. While it may seem impossible to turn this large ship in a new direction, the past year has caused some significant shifts to happen. Here’s what textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan has to say about this shift and what it may mean for the future.
Cary Sherburne talks to Diana Wyman, Executive Vice President at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), about the state of the association, the occasion of its 100-year anniversary, and its upcoming plans.
The COVID crisis laid bare the weaknesses and fragility of the textiles supply chain, and brought to the fore a renewed interest in and need for digital textile production and more environmentally sustainable practices. Cary Sherburne takes a look back at the year in textiles.
As was the case with so many events this year, the Digital Textile Printing Conference, hosted by AATCC and the PRINTING United Alliance, was held virtually over two days. The inability to meet in person didn’t stop these organizations, their speakers, and attendees from spending quality time reviewing the latest trends and looking ahead to 2021 and beyond.
UK-based Screenworks is accelerating its growth by blending screen printing with digital printing, including investments in tools and solutions to enable production of a catalog of protective, antiviral, promotional, workwear, and day-to-day wear products and accessories. Read more from textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
Manufacturing automation in textiles and apparel is moving ahead apace, accelerated by advances in digital technology. But the remaining “last mile,” sewing, continues to be a barrier to reshoring of apparel manufacturing on a large scale. This article explores some of the efforts underway to automate sewing and what impact that could have on the future of apparel manufacturing in North America and Europe.
Looking for a growth opportunity? Look no further than the digital textile industry. A recent report from Allied Market Research predicts that digital textile printing will grow by over 230% by 2025. This is at least partly driven by a reduction in the cost of digital textile inks. Read what textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan has to say about this opportunity.
As we wrap up 2020, let’s take a few minutes to look back over what has been a difficult year and highlight a bright spot for the textiles and apparel industry: increased efforts to reinvent the textiles and apparel supply chain, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and the resulting economic disruptions. Inside that effort is an increased focus on sustainability from both establish brands and suppliers and new emerging players.
Sourcing fabrics is a complex field, and finding sustainable textiles is not as easy as it sounds. It’s much easier for the large vertical brand than it is for the smaller-volume printer. All of which is further complicated by the variance in digital textile printing applications. Textiles expert Debbie McKeegan offers strategies on how to build knowledge and seek new partnerships and stakeholders.
From the outside, digital textile printing can look like a plug-and-play operation; but for the specialist practitioner, the commercial reality is often quite different … until now. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares insight into some of the technology advances that can make the process easier without sacrificing quality and accuracy.
There is no question 2020 has been an unusual year across the board, and especially in the textiles and apparel industry. As the year comes to a close, be sure to attend the 2020 Edition of AATCC and PRINTING United Alliance’s Digital Textile Printing 2020 conference, packed full of the information you need to finalize your plans for a successful 2021 and beyond. Check out the details.
One thing the pandemic has boosted is online shopping. And one application that is experiencing terrific growth is direct-to-garment printing, allowing consumers to personalize their T-shirts and other items. Guest contributor Peter Wright, Managing Director of Amaya Ltd., shares more information.
The story of how Lilly Pulitzer got started as a fashion designer is fascinating, and so is the story of how the company has leveraged digital printing technologies to streamline its workflow and unleash increased design creativity. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Margaret Getty, Lilly Pulitzer Senior Associate for Woven Fabric and Trim, to learn more.
UK-based Bolton School of Arts, School of Textiles and Surface Design, has worked closely with its graduates to help them find new ways to overcome the pandemic hurdles. In this article by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, several of its award-winning graduates are featured.
Fashion and apparel brands are trying to reshore textile production, but the finishing part of the process is proving challenging: cut-and-sew. Automation has its limitations, and skilled sewists are hard to come by domestically. Cary Sherburne looks into some of the solutions to these challenges.
Even before the pandemic, there was lots of discussion about how the textiles and apparel industry needed to re-examine its supply chain both for increased efficiencies and to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. Has the pandemic accelerated this? Learn more.
It’s always exciting and rewarding to view the launch of new careers in fashion design. In this week’s article, we share the story of recent graduate Amelia Hughes and her hopes for the future in an interview conducted by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
The COVID-19 crisis has upended the fashion industry, but it has also given the industry an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent itself for the better. Texintel CEO Debbie McKeegan discusses the supply chain, sustainability, and the impact of digital technologies on textile production.
Back in early 2016, Ricoh acquired AnaJet, a leader at the time in direct-to-garment (DTG) printing. Since that time, the company has continued to develop its DTG portfolio, recently adding a new, more productive printer to its line. We spoke with Deputy General Manager for Ricoh’s Industry Print Business, Christian Compera, to learn more.
In order to reduce the ecological footprint of textile printing, a lifecycle assessment of the entire printing process is essential. In this SPGPrints guest article first published on Texintel.com, Jos Notermans talks about how digital technologies can improve the sustainability position of the textiles industry and reduce the environmental footprint of textile printing.
In order to achieve the change required in the textiles and apparel industry, brands and manufacturers must be able to deliver product diversity at any scale – a new generation of agile manufacturing. While this clearly requires the adoption of digital technologies, like other industries moving along the analog-to-digital continuum, it doesn’t mean that analog technologies are going away. Read this insightful piece by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan.
Thanks to James Andres from S&S Activewear for contributing this week’s textiles article. Streetwear is a style of casual clothing which became global in the 1990s. The COVID-19 pandemic and increased work from home models have also increased demand for more casual clothing. Andres talks about how streetwear has contributed to art, creativity and philanthropy and profiles the response of four streetwear brands.
Amazon has revolutionized retail sales and personalized/customized service. Now it looks like the company is taking it to the next level with the addition of a massive digital textile printing investment as part of its luxury stores where Amazon Prime customers can buy a wide range of top luxury fashion labels. This is part of Amazon’s Climate Friendly Pledge, helping customers make sustainable and eco-friendly purchasing decisions. Read more.
The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) has a robust program of educational webinars. Most recently, the organization has sponsored a series of three important sessions related to testing and standards for PPE, especially important during this COVID-19 pandemic which shows no signs of ending. Of particular interest to our readers is a Duke University research project that developed a low-cost method for testing the efficacy of facemasks.
Meet New York Textile Designer Elizabeth Halpern. She started out studying architecture but switched gears to work in the New York fashion district. In this Texintel interview, Halpern shares the story of her journey from architecture to fashion to life as an independent designer. What has inspired her and what is her biggest takeaway from her work in the fashion industry. Find out more!
Spoonflower was a pioneer in the field of on-demand textile printing and production. As the rest of the industry races to catch up, new CEO Michael Jones is aiming to take Spoonflower to the next level. Cary Sherburne talks with Jones and senior vice president of research and development Kerry King about their vision for the future.
The textiles industry is a huge polluter. Although there are many sustainability initiatives at play, there is still more that can be done. Just ask multidisciplinary researcher Roya Aghighi. She’d like you to reimagine your wardrobe as living things. Find out what that means!
One of the ways the textiles and apparel industry is starting to adjust to the stresses exposed by the pandemic is to accelerate adoption of digital technologies. But what is the appetite for change, really? Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares her insights.
Guest contributor Michael McDonald, president of SPESA, provides an update of how the association has been helping its members in the sewn products industry cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and what its updated roster of events looks like.
This article by textile expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan was originally published on Which PLM. In it, she notes the fashion industry is broken, not a surprise to anyone who has been following it, and suggests where we can go from here and why it might not transform as quickly as we would wish.
What’s driving customization in the textile manufacturing sector, and why do we need to redefine fast fashion production? These questions are answered by textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan, who offers a look at Fashion Enter, an ethical, sustainable business that manufactures sewn products and which has embraced digitization and continue to invest in the future.
Did you know that St. Louis, Mo., was a fashion hub from the turn of the 20th century until the end of World War II? Now there are significant efforts to reestablish the city’s fashion prominence, led by the Saint Louis Fashion Fund. We spoke with co-founder Susan Sherman, and the CEO of high-tech knitting manufacturer Evolution St. Louis, Jon Lewis, to learn how their initiatives are progressing.
There has been a great deal of discussion here and elsewhere about how the pandemic has accelerated efforts to restructure the textiles and apparel supply chain, resulting in both companies exiting China for destinations such as Vietnam and India, as well as reshoring of textiles and apparel in the US and Europe facilitated by the growing availability of digital technologies that enable new ways to design, manufacture and distribute textiles and apparel. This article contains a review of a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future.” Well worth reading in full!
Kornit is expanding its digital capabilities through the acquisition of Custom Gateway, positioning itself to offer a complete end-to-end digital production process. Textiles expert Debbie McKeegan explains.
Epson’s new SureColor F10070 sports new features and capabilities, sure to help spur growth in digital textile fabric printing. Cary Sherburne takes a look at this new printer.
In light of the global pandemic, increased attention is being paid to antimicrobial coatings for fabrics. Formerly reserved for medical and healthcare interiors, these fabrics are now in demand across multiple segments.
As digital textile printing continues to gain steam in light of a needed supply chain restructuring for the industry, it can be confusing, especially for new entrants to the field, which ink is best for each fabric type and application. Textiles expert and Texintel CEO Debbie McKeegan explains the differences between five different digital textile printing ink sets.
We’ve been following some of the research on graphene for some time now. Developments and innovations are continuing, especially in the European Union. Here we review the EU Graphene Flagship Initiative and some of the developments related to the textiles and apparel industry, including how graphene can affect advances in wearables.
As the global pandemic crisis has evolved, the print community has sprung into action, converting capacity freed up by declining demand to production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first-line workers and average citizens. This includes, of course, face masks, which has turned into big business. Read about one example of how a supplier has provided tools to make production of these life-saving masks easier.
Do you know how much water it takes to make a single pair of jeans? The answer will likely shock you. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne explores how a commitment to zero-waste fashion—and some emerging technologies—can save precious water and protect our planet yet still let us enjoy those comfortable jeans and other fashion items.
As machine manufacturers increasingly add hybrid functions to textile solutions, production costs go down while throughput goes up; in fact, the EFI Reggiani BOLT can produce more than 5,400 linear meters per hour and can include two analog stations for embellishments such as metallics. These speeds and the accompanying functionality rival traditional analog solutions and have a hugely smaller environmental footprint. Learn more.
What will the fashion industry look like post-COVID? It is broken in so many ways, and has been for some time, with the disruption of the pandemic laying bare the weaknesses and the fragility of the global supply chain. Check out this summary of the discussion at the Kornit Digital Live Talks event, titled “Business Unusual,” featuring Achim Berg, Global Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company.
Most people understand there is a benefit to wearing a cloth mask to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But with so many mask types available, how do you choose the most effective type? Senior Editor Cary Sherburne digs into the latest research on this topic.
Based on a conversation with experienced buyer Steve Brown and Kornit’s Omer Kulka, textiles expert Debbie McKeegan digs into the impact of data on creative fashion. As the industry’s most valuable currency, data, when used correctly, has the power to transform the industry and paves the way to greater transparency within the supply chain.
Diana Rammell wanted better fitting clothes but was disappointed in the selection of fabrics she could find. So she took matters into her own hands, founding Raspberry Creek Fabrics in 2010 to create more compelling fabric designs. When her dreams got a little out of control, her attorney husband, Justin, stepped in to help. Today, the company produces some 40,000 yards of custom fabrics every month and continues to grow.
Textiles expert Debbie McKeegan asks why it takes a pandemic to change the fashion industry, which has long been recognized as the world’s second largest polluter. Perhaps change is on the way, with manufacturers forced to re-examine fragile supply chains. Still, a lot will depend on changing consumer demands!
As we proceed into the second half of 2020, Cary Sherburne rounds up some of the top textile and apparel trends we have seen thus far this year.
Earlier this month was World Environment Day, founded by the United Nations in 1974. It’s a good time to step back and re-examine how the textile industry, the world’s second largest polluter, can make changes to become more sustainable. Textiles expert Debbie McKeegan notes that sustainability can’t be a luxury item; it has to be an essential element.
How much of the post-pandemic “new normal” will involve on-demand manufacturing for textile-based products? Already we are hearing from on-demand manufacturers that their businesses are seeing increased demand, both due to the pandemic-related supply chain disruption and a general move in the industry to more efficiency, less waste, and more sustainability. In this story, we provide examples of how an on-demand manufacturer is helping both startups and brands achieve these goals.
What can we expect in the textiles and apparel industry post-COVID-19 and what might the new normal look like? Will there be more room for micro-brands? Will consumers shift focus to more sustainable solutions? Textile expert Debbie McKeegan addresses these and other questions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the fragility of the global supply chain for textiles and apparel. This is driving brands and retailers to give more thoughtful consideration to how they can streamline that supply chain, bringing production closer to the point of use and eliminating at least some of the inventory risk inherent in the current process. In this article, we explore the role of the digital front end (DFE or RIP) for digital textile printers in making this a viable alternative to the current offshore bulk manufacturing of printed textiles and apparel.
There is growing demand for customized home décor as well as sustainable fabric solutions. Textile expert Debbie McKeegan explores five sustainable furnishing fabrics and why it is important to choose eco-friendly textiles.
With more than 1.8 million design options in its library, and with the availability of easy-to-use mask kits, Spoonflower and its designer community have responded in force to the need for masks, making more than 150,000 non-medical-grade fabric masks. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Michael Jones, Spoonflower’s new CEO, and Kerry King, Senior Vice President of R&D, to learn more about this outstanding response and to get an update on what’s new at Spoonflower.
The British Fashion Council and the CFDA both call for the industry to slow down, adopt sustainable practice and reject over consumption. It’s a big ask, and many in the industry want this change, the reality may be that “fast fashion” has created a consumer neurosis within retail and that will take some undoing. Read the full article
Since it appears that masks will be part of our wardrobe for the foreseeable future, we continue to look for unique yet functional mask solutions and the companies that are converting their manufacturing operations to help address this critical need. We wrote about Tailored Industry last year, and recently heard they were knitting masks, so we checked in to get more detail.
Debbie McKeegan has a conversation with Thimo Schwenzfeier, the Show Director of Neonyt and Director of Marketing Communications for Messe Frankfurt, about sustainability in the fashion industry, and how demand for sustainable fashion will only accelerate post-COVID.
Hear from a university student about why she chose a career path in interiors, what drove her university choice, and what some of her biggest challenges have been as she develops new designs and collections.
It’s been almost two years since we wrote about the work that Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is doing to develop functional fiber computing solutions that will likely be the basis for moving us into Industry 5.0. Seems like we don’t even have Industry 4.0 under our belts, but technology does move fast these days! We spoke with the AFFOA team, including CEO Alexander (Sasha) Stolyarov, Chief Marketing Officer Eric Spackey, Senior Director of Business Development Natasha Spackey, and Chief Technology Officer Jason Cox, to get an update on what has transpired in the past two years.
Digital printing technologies have enabled a wide range of entrepreneurs to get into the industry, something that was more difficult before. An example is Cotton Bee Fabrics in Poland, which has leveraged Mimaki printing technology to transform a side hustle into a viable business.
In light of event cancellations during the pandemic, many companies are turning to virtual events to get their news out. Mimaki held a virtual press event recently, packed with industry news and announcing a five-week Virtual Print Festival to keep the industry informed and ready to move forward. We tuned in to learn more.
In a changed world, will we see more functional fabrics that include such things as antiviral and antibacterial capabilities? Fashion and textile expert Debbie McKeegan thinks so. She discusses the future of smart textiles in the context of PPE, wearables, and protective clothing for fashion, sportswear, interiors, and hospitality.
As the textiles and apparel industry works to improve supply chain management and reduce its environmental footprint, many view pigment inks as the Holy Grail—print on any fabric, no need for pre- or post-treatment in many cases. What’s not to like? The hand feel, that’s what. Here’s what Kornit is doing to address that issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity for the Fashion Industry to seize the moment and radically reset an aged, inappropriate business model. Textile expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares insight from the Fashinnovation worldwide talks, conducted virtually via Zoom on April 20 and 22, 2020.
PrintFactory offers a RIP-based workflow for wide format printers in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The company has about 17,000 active installations, supports more than 2,000 physical devices, and has about 40 employees. Find out more.
Textile mills continue to work toward delivering more eco-friendly fabrics to the market. A case in point is Premier Digital Textiles, which has expanded its environmentally certified textiles collection, a collection with the provenance that the consumer now demands.
As consumers increasingly turn to online shopping, brands and retailers are looking for ways to enhance the customer experience and to reduce product returns when the product the consumer receives doesn’t fit or otherwise doesn’t meet expectations. Volumental has an answer for shoe retailers and brands.
Global demand for T-shirts continues to grow with direct-to-garment printing being the top technology choice for decorating them with an annual double-digit growth rate projected. Learn why pigment inks are key to maintaining—and even accelerating—this growth rate.
One of the more popular means of digitally printing to fabrics is heat transfer dye sublimation where images are printed on a sublimation transfer paper and then processed through a heating unit (calender) to sublimate the image into fabric. Until now, this process has been limited to polyester or polyester blends. Neenah Coldenhove is addressing this shortfall with its new digital transfer paper for natural fibers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant shortcomings in today’s supply chain structure. As companies look to reconfigure their supply base, do they also nee to think about radically restructuring manufacturing processes? This thoughtful piece from textiles industry expert Debbie McKeegan addresses that issue.
A growing number of companies are popping up in North America that offer custom apparel produced on demand. This is an important supply chain shift, both from an environmental and economic perspective as weaknesses in global supply chains have increasingly come to the forefront. Not everything, of course, can be produced on demand. But companies like California-based Equipe are demonstrating that local production is not only feasible, but a viable alterative for a growing variety of apparel and home décor items.
We have a new word for you: “printfullness”! A digital state of mind and machine that is spawning the next industrial revolution. It’s a growth of design, process, production and demand. Learn more!
One thing about a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is that it can bring people together to come up with creative ways to help. We are starting to hear stories about how players in the textiles and apparel industry are doing just that, converting operations to the production of much-needed masks and other PPE, and we wanted to share these inspiring stories with you.
The continued evolution of digital technologies, including printing, for textile-based products has opened the door to more reshoring of manufacturing as well as on-demand production, ease of customization and more. Florida-based Catalyst Fabric Solutions is taking advantage of all of these trends for business growth.
Designers are quickly becoming aware of the new opportunities offered by digital technologies for the fashion and home décor industries. In this article, we focus in on Jie Ren and his Fashion Collections, reflecting a new era of fashion manufacturing.
We all love our blue jeans. They are comfortable, often stylish, but what about their impact on the environment? What if you could have a pair of jeans with an almost indistinguishable look on the outside, but silky soft on the inside, with a 97% water footprint reduction? Sound impossible? With new fabric printing technologies, it’s totally achievable. Read what Dalton Cheng of Intech has to say on this subject and more.
Expect to see accelerating developments in smart textiles through 2020 and beyond. A few of the more recent developments are explained in this article by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, who is keeping tabs on this market segment and the exciting news coming out almost daily. Be sure to check out WhatTheyThink’s Around the Web every Friday for additional smart textile news.
There have been many advances in ink sets for digital textile printing over the last several years. Are you up to date with the latest information? This article will give you insight into five ink types available, how they work, and which fabric types they are suited for.
With the growing share of digital print for textiles, software and workflow can often be more critical than the printing engine itself. In this article, we provide information about software RIPs and their role in the digital fabric printing process.
As the market for wearable technology continues to evolve, UK-based Dresscode has taken a unique approach with CashCuff, the world’s first smart payment shirt. See what founder and CEO Andy Boothman has to say about the origin of the company and its strategy for the future.
The push and pull between creatives and production professionals occurs in just about every industry, including textiles. Creatives want bold designs that enhance their portfolios and bring beauty to the world. Production folks just want something that they can produce! Helping bridge that gap is the topic of today’s article by WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan.
To pang-wangle is to live or go along cheerfully in spite of minor misfortunes. That’s exactly what Jennifer John is doing with her Pang Wangle fashion business, creating sustainable fashion ideal for hot, buggy climates such as is experienced in her home state of Louisiana. We spoke to Jennifer to learn more about her background, her growing business, and the challenges she faced finding just the exact right fabric for her unique creations.
At the recent EFI Connect 2020 conference, Lynn Smith from The Sourcing Group spoke on the customer panel, sharing The Sourcing Group’s unique story. We followed up with her afterward to get more details on this print-related Business Process Optimization (BPO) company.
As the world’s second largest polluter, the textiles and apparel industry has placed a huge focus on improving supply chain management to reduce its environmental footprint. WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan talks about how digital textile printing can be a key to this effort, unlocking the supply chain while offering speed and sustainability.
You can’t attend any textiles and apparel events or speak with industry professionals without the subject of workforce challenges arising. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Marilyn McNeil-Morin about the Fashion Exchange program at Toronto’s George Brown College that has programs in place to help address these issues.
At last month’s AATCC/SGIA Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0, I had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Tio and his brother Patrick of California-based Prima-Tex. His active and informed participation in the conference discussions were an inspiration, and he agreed to a subsequent interview for this article.
Any time textile professionals gather, color management is always a topic of discussion. It becomes even more complex when introducing digital fabric printing into the mix. WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan shares insights on achieving the perfect print.
At the AATCC/SGIA Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0 last December, one of the high points was a presentation by Kathy Phillips, Vice President of Design/Trend at Springs Creative, a show-and-tell that highlighted the company’s rich history in textiles, beginning with the founding of the Fort Mill Manufacturing Company in 1887 by Samuel Elliot White. We talked with Phillips to get more detail on this fascinating story to share with our readers.
If you grew up, as I did, watching Captain Kangaroo, you’ll remember Mr. Green Jeans. These days, Green Jeans has an entirely different meaning, and San Francisco/Hong Kong based unspun set out to define the category.
In the printed textiles market, pigment inks are a hot topic due to their ability to print brilliant colors on a wide variety of fabrics, often without pre-treatment. WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan explains why.
For the fourth straight year, AATCC and SGIA joined forces to bring the Digital Textile Printing Conference to the industry, a forum that addressed pressing issues and provided nearly 140 attendees with the ability to learn, network, and provide feedback that will help the associations continue to meet the needs of an evolving industry.
The Maker movement continues to grow around the globe. In this post, WhatTheyThink contributor and textiles expert Debbie McKeegan outlines how digital technologies are spurring even further growth and opportunity in the UK market. These trends are relevant to North America as well, enabling creative individuals, designers, and artisans to build their own unique businesses and together generate a vibrant craft Industry in ever increasing numbers.
At the recent SPESA Executive Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Krasley of Shimmy, a company that provides training for garment workers using gamification (to make it more engaging) and artificial intelligence for localization, among other things. With automation increasingly expected to eliminate jobs in the textiles and other industries, upskilling of these workers is a critical investment in our future—and theirs.
For decades, digital printing for the fashion, décor, industrial, and graphics industry was relegated to sampling and short-run printing. With the advantages of innovative inkjet technology, the industry is now addressing the demand for environmentally responsible output, innovative designs, and the need to improve supply chain operation. This article examines the latest textile industry trends and the dynamics of digital innovations on this massive industry supply chain, and looks at innovations in design and digital print, as well as cutting and sewing of textile-based products.
Spandex, Lycra, elastane: Whatever would we do without these stretchy, comfortable fabrics. And digital textile printing adds even more flexibility to what can be done with them. Textiles guru Debbie McKeegan explains.
Cary Sherburne looks at how print businesses can profit from offering heat-transfer dye-sublimation services, including textile-based products, as well as mugs, metallic substrates, and more.
The Digital Textile Printing Conference 4.0, jointly presented by AATCC and SGIA, is a great way to wrap up a year full of dynamic change for the industry. It’s a full agenda designed to address the needs of everyone, from those that need a primer on digital textile printing, to those looking to expand their digital footprint, to developers who want to bring to market solutions closely attuned to existing and emerging market needs.
As the textiles and apparel industry continues to take heat for its highly negative impact on the environment, some companies are taking creative approaches to not only creating sustainable garments, but pushing the industry to take more aggressive steps toward carbon-neutral operation. Sheep, Inc., is one of those companies.
Digital textile printing is being used for more than apparel. Interior design is a hot market as well! Textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan explores the effect of digital printing on an industry with many similarities to that of fashion: the interiors sector, including wall coverings.
OnPoint Manufacturing has been looking for a digital textile printing solution that could keep up with the rest of its manufacturing process for some time. The company has determined that the new Kornit Presto digital textile printer fits the bill. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Chairman Kirby Best to learn why.
As ink and machine prices tumble, with print speeds and quality increasing at an astonishing rate, there’s a huge opportunity for the digital print community to take advantage of new business opportunities, according to textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan. Read the stats!
Last week, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne had the pleasure of attending the Executive Conference sponsored by the Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) in New Orleans. This was the first major event planned by the new staff, led by Michael McDonald, President, and by all accounts, it was a huge success.
As we continue to look into the cannabis-related market, including how cannabis-related products are being used in apparel—more specifically, activewear—and the special packaging requirements the market has, we took time out to speak to Christopher Lackner of Mile High Labs in Colorado to gain an understanding of how the hemp plant is processed to deliver CBD-based materials for the market.
Textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares her thoughts about fashion on subscription—a new business model for the eco-conscious consumer. Today’s new shopping generation of digital nomads is quite comfortable ordering fashion online, and they idea of renting fashion holds a lot of appeal. Learn more.
When you think about digital textile printers and where they might be installed, your first thought isn’t a photo lab. But that’s exactly where the first North American HP Stitch S1000 production model went. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Mark Lane, co-owner of American Color Imaging (ACI), to learn how this printer will fit into its overall business model.
Fashion Designer Mary Katrantzou embraced digital textile printing in 2008 and has already become known as the Queen of Digital Print. Textiles guru and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan shares the story of her meteoric rise.
As PRINTING United approaches, we checked in with SGIA’s Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, to better understand what textiles and apparel solutions will be at this expanded show, and to get his advice on how commercial printers, display graphics companies, or other attendees interested in gaining a foothold in this dynamic market can most effectively get the information they need at the show.
As a proponent of the various benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was intrigued to learn about Acabada’s CBD-infused activewear. She spoke with co-founder and CEO of Acabada, Seth Baum, to learn more. Watch for the March 2020 issue of Printing News for more information on all things cannabis, from definitions to sourcing CBD to unique packaging requirements and more.
Join us in welcoming textiles guru Debbie McKeegan as a WhatTheyThink contributor! In this article, she weighs in on a hot topic in apparel—can we re-fashion fashion to use recycled polyester by 2030, and should we? She provides good insight into what polyester is and how it can be efficiently recycled—even polyester blends!
Twenty-seven years ago, David Gross identified heat transfer sublimation as an interesting market opportunity with good potential for future growth. Today, at Condé Systems, he has made that vision a reality. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Gross to find out how others can benefit from what he has learned.
Funxion was founded about a year ago as a spin-out from North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles, where its founders obtained their Ph.Ds. The company is focused on building out a platform for smart wearables that can be adapted to various use cases. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Dr. Raj Bhakta, co-founder and CEO, to learn more.
Web-to-print has become well-entrenched in commercial printing, and same on-demand production model is now making its way into the textiles and apparel industry. Cary Sherburne talks to Steve Smith, founder of DPInnovations, about the company’s Web2Fabric, a set of tools that can be modularly configured to meet the needs of individual companies.
Many of our readers will remember Wim Maes for his tenure as the CEO of Xeikon, a role he held from 2009 to March of 2017. From Xeikon to Summa, Wim Maes helps make the company a worldwide industry leader.
Last week, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne tuned in to an interesting WTIN webinar, Smart Textiles for Fashion, Entertainment, and Lifestyle. She summarizes some of the key points here, but recommends that industry professionals interested in smart textiles review the entire free webinar.
World Textile Information Network (WTIN) has released its latest data regarding worldwide digital printing of textiles and we recap some of that information here.
The topic of technical textiles can be a bit geeky. But there are always new and interesting developments in this area. Take P&G’s new smart diapers, or the protective lava suit for geologists from the University of Missouri working in volcanic areas, for example. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne digs into these topics and more.
Lectra offers solutions that give fashion, automotive, and furniture companies the means to embark on the Industry 4.0 journey. Its recent acquisition of data company Retviews is another arrow in the company’s quiver. We spoke with Maximilien Abadie, Chief Strategy Officer for Lectra, to learn more.
As part of our coverage of textiles and apparel, we look for interesting developments, both in the more conventional textiles and apparel market as it transitions to a more digital approach, as well as developments in technical textiles. In this article, we present the work being done at the MIT Media Lab to use knitting to embed conductive fibers in fabric in order to add functionality.
In the textiles and apparel industry, color management has historically been a given. Now with the introduction of digital textile printing into the mix, new color management challenges have arisen. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne takes a look at the current state of color management in the textiles and apparel industry, and where it goes from here.
Digital technologies, innovation and sustainability were key elements that drew a great deal of attention at the recent ITMA 2019 show in Barcelona. In this second ITMA article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights some of the advances she noticed during the show. This just scratches the surface of ITMA announcements but provides a feel for the speed with which the industry is adopting digital technologies that affect the entire supply chain.
ITMA 2019 Textile and Garment Technology Exhibition, the world’s largest trade fair for the textiles industry, is taking place in Barcelona from June 20 to 26. For our printing industry readers, this is like the drupa of textiles. Here are some of the highlights from the show, with a focus on how companies are addressing the growing need for an ecosystem approach to digital textile printing.
Adobe, Datacolor, and Color Solutions International (CSI), have teamed up to continue the enhancement of Adobe Textile Designer for Photoshop by making it easier for designers to seamlessly capture inspiration colors, sending them directly into Photoshop. Adobe’s Mike Scrutton explains the details.
FESPA 2019 in Munich was, by all accounts, its most successful show yet. The WhatTheyThink team walked all six halls, attended lots of press events, and did video interviews with a number of exhibitors that will be running over the next few weeks. Here are our key takeaways from the show.
Spunlace nonwovens have a compelling commercial future in expanding end-uses—including adult and infant wipes, home care, and industrial applications—according to the latest research from Smithers Pira.
FESPA Munich was an amazing show. If you didn’t attend this year, you should definitely consider attending next year in March in Madrid. There is something for everyone, regardless of which segment of the industry in which you play. Of particular note are the special features FESPA has organized to add to its educational value. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reviews them here.
In the world of interior design, finding the exact fabric needed for a commercial or residential interior design project can be difficult. But why not have the exact fabrics you need, designed and printed on demand in the exact quantity you need? That’s the concept behind Design Pool.
As consumers look to ecommerce for more and more of their purchasing, the fashion industry has a growing issue with costly returns—largely because items don’t fit as expected. Dresslife works with fashion brands and retailers, enabling them to offer a better customer experience and has launched a mobile app. We spoke with Dresslife’s marketing manager, Yvonne Georgi, to learn more.
Digital has become a viable method for printing a variety of fabric applications, and the technology is now extending its reach into the direct-to-garment (DTG) market. This article offers a brief discussion about the growth in DTG printing and discusses some key trends for the commercial and industrial printing sectors.
Six months ago, we reported on Adobe’s Project Paras, a public beta of an addition to Photoshop CC that made it easier for textile and apparel designers to do their work. We checked in with Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Technology and Strategy for Adobe, to get an update.
On Friday, EFI announced yet another acquisition, this time Turkish company BDR Boya Kimya, a leading manufacturer of reactive inkjet inks for industrial digital textile printing. We spoke with Adele Genoni, EFI Reggiani’s Vice President and General Manager, to get the inside scoop on this acquisition. While we had her on the line, we also asked for an update on EFI BOLT, the world’s fastest digital textile printer.
Back in early 2018, we spoke with Mike Horsten, then Business Manager for Large Format Professional EMEA at HP, about HP’s potential plans for entering the digital textile printing market. Now, more than a year later, HP has made its first announcements, launching the HP Stitch series of textile printers. The company held a media briefing to discuss its strategy.
Up until about 25 years ago, knitwear manufacturing was a big deal in Brooklyn. But since then, much of it has moved offshore. Tailored Industry is looking to revitalize knitwear manufacturing in Brooklyn using proprietary on-demand software and 3D full-garment knitting technology.
Are you a supplier to the sewn products industry? If so, are you a member of SPESA? And if you are not, this article from Senior Editor Cary Sherburne lays out why you should be. SPESA’s President Michael McDonald shares his thoughts on the association’s role in promoting and supporting the sewn products industry from the supplier’s perspective.
At TechTextil North America, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne stopped by the Cotton, Inc., booth to learn what’s new with this staple fiber (pardon the pun) and was amazed at all the uses cotton is being put to these days. It’s not just for T-shirts anymore!
The Fashion Institute of Technology and OnPoint Manufacturing yesterday announced a new development in fashion design that will enable more entrepreneurism to occur in this market. Unique.Fashion is a unique web portal for designers and buyers that is set to transform how fashion is marketed and produced. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with OnPoint Chairman Kirby Best to learn more.
We recently wrote about graphene as a miracle product. At TechTextil 2019, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was able to see graphene in action, courtesy of Kyorene. In this story, she speaks with Matt Reid, the company’s director of sales, about current and future strategies of the business, and how he expects to see graphene impact the textiles market.
While the retail and apparel industries are moving to more digital technologies and processes, many observers still believe we are in the infancy of the analog-to-digital transformation the industry will ultimately need to undergo. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently spoke to a digital advocate to gain insight into the industry’s progress. Kelly Price, Director of Business Development for consulting firm ArcherGrey, made some interesting observations.
Techtextil North America was a success by any measure. The show, which moved from Chicago to Raleigh N.C., drew more than 3,000 textile and apparel professionals and included an impressive symposium program. Cary Sherburne provides a quick summary.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Roland DGA President Andrew Oransky about the company’s entry into the direct-to-garment (DTG) market as well as its overall go-to-market strategy and its future plans relative to direct-to-textile printing.
As the analog-to-digital transformation heats up for textiles, the opportunities for entrepreneurs heats up as well. Experience in transformations of other industries shows that not only do opportunities abound for entrepreneurs, but established businesses risk the most from non-traditional competition. We share some of their transformative stories in this article.
An announcement from WeaveUp, a technology company offering digital print room solutions and customization tools for fabric, about its partnership with JOANN Fabrics, the leading fabric and craft retailer in the U.S., caught our eye. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne connected with Flint Davis, the company’s President, to learn more.
Once a 3D skeptic, Jordache Executive Vice President Shaul Cohen is now a true believer. Initially adopting 3D technologies from Browzwear to solve issues with getting fits right, Cohen not only achieved better fits and a rapid ROI, but is looking to expand its use of 3D technologies to solve other issues as well.
ShareCloth has developed an integrated cloud-based solution that is designed to fill the gaps that exist in the apparel design and manufacturing ecosystem to facilitate profitable on-demand manufacturing of apparel, minimizing forced markdowns, overstocking, and waste. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with ShareCloth CEO Sergey Moliavko to learn more.
Browzwear began its life as a 3D solution dedicated to fashion. While the initial concept back in 1999 was to create a virtual dressing room, a concept that was ahead of its time, the company has pivoted to create a suite of 3D solutions for fashion that can have a positive impact on all phases of the supply chain. We spoke with Browzwear’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lena Lim, to learn more.
As brands look to take time and waste out of the apparel design and manufacturing process, there is a strong focus on automation. Much progress has been made—yet the sewing stage has provided challenges. Softwear Automation is tackling that challenge with SewBots—robotics designed to automate the sewing process. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Softwear Automation’s Chief Commercial Officer, Pete Santora, to learn more.
Do you use sunscreen when in the sun? Of course you do. But if you are working under the powerful lights used to artificially grow plants—say, legal cannabis—are you taking the same precautions? Because that light can be as dangerous—or even more dangerous—than sunlight. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Daniel Jordan, founder of RayWear Clothing Company, who has made it his personal mission to provide clothing that will protect cannabis workers from the harsh environments in which they work.
On a recent visit to Miami, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne stopped by to visit Carla Llull at House of Llull Atelier, an apparel design and manufacturing operation focused on delivering high quality swimwear. House of Llull is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
I was intrigued to read in a recent Axios newsletter that fashion designer jobs are expected to increase by +148%, according to Cognizant, a technology and business services company. I reached out to Ben Pring, who runs the company’s Center for the Future of Work, to learn more. And boy, did I learn more!
For the most part, commercial printers are locked out of the existing supply chain for digital textiles. This article explores the more accessible textile segments that commercial printers can participate in, including textile-based sign and display graphics and direct-to-garment.
I first got to know Kirby Best when he was running on-demand book printer Lightning Source. And I was interested to see him turn up as Chairman at OnPoint Manufacturing, an on-demand garment manufacturer. We connected for a wide-ranging discussion at the recent Gerber Technology Ideation event, including the newly announced FashionTech Platform 1.0 initiative.
Officially launched in September 2018, the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) is another example of initiatives across the country that are working to revive the U.S. textile and apparel industry, both with innovations that improve efficiency and to reshore textile and apparel manufacturing. We spoke with RITIN steering committee chairman and CEO of textile company Trans-Tex Michael Woody to learn more.
EFI Reggiani held a gala launch event for its new EFI Reggiani BOLT single-pass digital textile printer at Reggiani’s Bergamo, Italy, headquarters. Attended by nearly 300 media, customers, and potential customers, the event generated a high level of excitement. With high-quality print speeds of up to 90 meters per minute, this press looks to be a game changer for high-volume digital textile printing.
Austin Community College in Texas has launched an innovative Fashion Incubator with the goal of creating a real-to-industry learning environment in partnership with the City of Austin, Gerber Technology, and others. This is a unique approach to bringing new talent into the industry and giving new fashion-oriented businesses a jump start.
The digital transformation in textiles and apparel is well underway. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne writes about the drivers for this transformation and how fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff is leveraging digital technologies in unique ways.
What were you thinking about at eight years old? Probably not the career that would be your life’s passion! That’s when Ariel Swedroe began her fashion career. At Age 11, she began exploring digitally printed fabrics. Today, at age 15, she has a full-fledged fashion business. But she’s not stopping there! You’ll love this story.
Designers in textiles and apparel typically use Adobe products to create their designs. But until now, there have not been textile-specific tools to make the task easier. To address this, Adobe has announced Project Paras, a set of tools that allow designers to stay within Photoshop CC and reduce the number of steps required to complete and preview a design. We spoke with Adobe to learn more.
Since launching its high-end Avalanche HD6 direct-to-garment printer and HD upgrade to most Avalanche systems with RAPID ink technology in the first quarter of this year, Kornit Digital has installed or upgraded a whopping 150 HD systems. Now the company has brought HD direct-to-garment technology to within reach of smaller businesses with the launch of the Storm HD6.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne recently traveled to Miami Beach to join more than 300 people at the Gerber Technology Ideation event, the company’s software users’ group. This educational and networking event is in its 20th year. The enthusiasm among the more than 240 customers and prospects in attendance reflects the efforts the company has made to listen to customers and stay ahead of the trends.
Microban recently released Scentry Revive, the second generation of a unique odor control fabric finish that was developed in response to brands seeking a more innovative approach to odor control. This approach could reduce the number of times a piece of clothing needs to be washed, its primary environmental benefit.
A great deal is being written about graphene, in textiles and other industries. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked to Vorbeck Materials Corp. President & CEO Dr. John Lettow to learn more about what many are characterizing as a miracle material.
Ongoing research and forecast data from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends shows that the digital textile printing market continues to grow. As the industry develops new manufacturing methods to meet this continued growth in demand, it is important to consider the environmental impact of these developments. This analysis explores some recent innovations in digital textile printing and considers the effect that these innovations may have on the environment.
In this next in the series of articles about technical textiles, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne speaks with Smithers Pira Associate Consultant for Nonwovens Phillip Mango to learn more about nonwovens—what are they, how is the market categorized, and what are some of their uses.
Consumer demand and technological innovations continue to drive growth within the apparel and home décor industries. This article outlines the key components of the digital textile printing industry and highlights how mass customization is fueling the adoption of various technologies.
In recent years, significant advances have been made in both aesthetic and functional fabric finishes. While some finishes are produced mechanically, the focus of this article, the latest in our series on technical textiles, is on chemical treatments or coatings that add functionality to fabrics for comfort or for specialized uses.
Consumer demand and technological innovations are driving growth in the apparel and home décor industries. This article explores some of the ongoing shifts that are occurring in the industry and considers how these shifts are affecting the digital textile market on a global basis.
This is the fourth installment of a series of articles by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne on technical textiles—how they fit in the industry, why they are important, and interesting new developments. In this installment in the series, Sherburne discusses geotextiles, an important but rarely discussed segment of technical textiles.
The mission of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is to enable a manufacturing-based revolution—what we could call Industry 5.0—with the transformation of traditional fibers, yarns, and textiles into highly sophisticated integrated and networked devices and systems. In a recent conversation with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne, the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer, Eric Spackey, explains.
As brick-and-mortar retail works to streamline costs by updating facilities with LED lighting, are they overlooking an important effect—how LED lighting will affect the way customers see the color of their products? Senior Editor Cary Sherburne looks into the pros and cons of LED lighting and how the retail industry is approaching this conversion.
This is the third in a series of articles by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne on technical textiles—how they fit in the industry, why they are important, and interesting new developments. In this installment in the series, Sherburne visits with Fabdesigns, an innovator in knitted technical textiles. The company helped Nike bring the FlyKnit shoe to market and much more.
This is the second of a series of articles by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne on technical textiles—how they fit in the industry, why they are important, and interesting new developments. In this installment in the series, Sherburne shares the Glen Raven story, a 138-year-old company that has almost completely reinvented itself.
This is the first of a series of articles by Senior Editor Cary Sherburne on technical textiles—how they fit in the industry, why they are important, and interesting new developments. In this first installment in the series, Sherburne defines technical textiles and provides examples of how they are purpose-built for specific applications.
Do we need another color system? Coloro thinks so. The company launched its color system last year, based on the 100-year-old Munsell system, and claims it to be the easiest to use and most logical system on the market. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Coloro Managing Director Thorsten Traugott to learn more.
Do you have a cat or a dog? Or would you like to, if only you or someone in your household weren’t sensitive to allergens shed by cats and dogs? Devan Chemicals has an answer that may help. The company recently launched a technology to make textiles free from allergens shed by cats and dogs. Purissimo™ is a probiotic-based solution and is completely natural. We spoke to the company to learn more.
Digital textile printing is taking off, and solutions that increase flexibility while maintaining high quality standards will help speed this analog-to-digital transformation. We recently spoke with Ann Sawchak, co-founder of Expand Systems, about the company’s DuraVibe fabrics and the role they play in enabling more digital printing volume.
Web-to-print is well established in the world of commercial printing, and web-to-fabric is now gaining steam in textiles, as the demand for shorter runs and faster turn times for customized and personalized textiles and apparel grows. We recently spoke with DPInnovations about its web2fabric workflow solution which has been installed in more than 20 customer locations.
Pantone has been providing color standards for the fashion, home, and interiors marketplace since 1987. Cotton standards were introduced in the mid-1990s. Since then, Pantone has developed additional textile color standards, including today’s announcement of 203 new colors for polyester. We spoke with Laurie Pressman, Vice President at Pantone Color Institute, to learn more.
MWW On Demand has leveraged automation and technology to gain its position as the single largest weaving and on-demand printing company for textile-based products in the U.S. The company employs digital printing technologies for heat transfer sublimation, direct-to-garment, and direct-to-textile, and is one of the few—or perhaps the only—company that maintained a large fleet of looms when others began sending weaving offshore. The result is a vertically integrated, environmentally sustainable, on demand manufacturing operation that is a model for the future of textiles.
What if you could cost-effectively color thread on demand? You know exactly how much of each color you need and in what order. You produce what you need, and you can do even very complex embroidery designs using a single head. That’s a dream that’s rapidly becoming a reality. Coloreel is another example of thread on demand in action. We spoke to CEO Mattias Nordin to take a deeper look.
For 50 years, Gerber Technology has been providing solutions for the fashion and apparel industry, from planning through sourcing and production. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Karsten Newbury, Senior Vice President and General Manager, and Mary McFadden, Executive Director, CAD Product Management, to learn about the company’s latest offerings and how they help the industry in the analog-to-digital transformation.
Pablos Holman is a serial entrepreneur whose latest venture is Bombsheller, an online source for leggings manufactured on demand. Customers can select from more than a thousand designs, or upload their own, and each pair of leggings, which are available in 10 sizes, is digitally printed, cut, and sewn, with shipment in 24 hours in most cases.
WhatTheyThink attended TechTextil/TexProcess in Atlanta, and one of the key messages that came out of the show was the fact that apparel microfactories are a reality. This brings many advantages to the apparel industry, especially in North America and Europe where there is a move to re-shore some part of apparel manufacturing.
For a dozen years, Forrest Leighton held marketing roles at Canon USA, and then spent four years with Marcomm Central. Today, he is Vice President of Marketing at MakerBot, a Stratasys company and a global leader in desktop 3D printing solutions. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with him recently to learn more about MakerBot and how 3D printing might be a relevant opportunity for commercial, sign & display graphics, packaging and textile printers.
Changing market dynamics, including the increasing proliferation of digital printing technologies for textiles and apparel, are boosting reshoring efforts in many countries. UK-based Standfast & Barracks has worked closely with digital textile printer manufacturer Durst to help accelerate this trend using its Durst Alpha Series digital textile printers. Read more.
Tel Aviv-based fashion designer Danit Peleg creates custom garments and accessories using desktop 3D printers. Today, Peleg is also in the process of creating and uploading to her site designs that can be downloaded and printed. Read on for more on her unique projects.
Fashion designer Michal Ratzman turned to digital textile printing to find a way to make her dress design business more attractive to buyers and more profitable for her. By switching to the sell-then-manufacture model from manufacture-then-hope-to-sell, she is able to provide more customized apparel solutions while eliminating returns, inventory and waste for her on-demand dress manufacturing business, byme.
In preparation for attending TechTextil/TexProcess in Atlanta in May, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne connected with Will Duncan, Executive Director of SEAMS, a trade organization dedicated to empowering the Made in America movement by supercharging the U.S. supply chain from concept to customer. Learn more about SEAMS and the benefits of joining the effort.
Can apparel be completely manufactured in an automated environment? Not yet. But it’s coming soon and will revolutionize apparel manufacturing. Learn how NextWave, and its partners EFI, Klieverik, Zund, and Henderson are creating an on demand microfactory, which will be on display at TechTextil/TexProcess in Atlanta in May.
Following its announcement of its formation as a joint venture between BOBST and Radex last July, Mouvent is now bringing its innovative textile printers to market. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with Ghislain Segard, Marketing & Sales Manager for Textile Machines at Mouvent, to get more details about the current product and Mouvent’s strategies for the future. Read more.
Retailers are seeing an unprecedented volume of returns, according to a recent eMarketer Retail story, and they are struggling with how to deal with this while still keeping margins at an acceptable level. Many are burdened with legacy supply chain issues that digital technology could mitigate. This post is a recap of some of the innovative approaches to digital textile and apparel manufacturing that are poised to revolutionize the world of textiles and apparel.
Are you going to FESPA 2018 in Berlin? If so, there’s a special treat in store that you will not want to miss. In this article, show organizer Duncan MacOwan explains FESPA’s Print. Make. Wear. exhibit that showcases how digital technologies are transforming textiles and apparel while also demonstrating the ongoing value that analog production processes still add to the mix. Read more.
Durham, N.C.’s Spoonflower allows users in its community of more than 3.5 million individuals to design and digitally print their own custom fabrics for curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners, and much, much more. Read on to see how Spoonflower is continuing to transform the digital textile printing market.
Epson’s 2018 Digital Couture Project leading up to New York’s Fashion Week caught my attention, and I reached out to the Mark Radogna, Strategic Marketing for Epson America, to learn more about how Epson is approaching the digital textiles market and where the company sees it going in the future.
As a garment decorator or textile printer, have you ever bemoaned the fact that you have to pretreat natural fiber fabrics in order to use heat-transfer sublimation for a brilliant, durable image on natural fiber textiles? Moan no more! The Mosaica Group is introducing a breakthrough product from a European mill that makes heat transfer news. Read more.
It’s been 20 years since Mimaki began its digital textile printing journey, one of the first, if not the first, to do so. We spoke with Ronald Van Den Broek, General Manager of Sales for Mimaki Europe, to gain insight into how the company addresses the growing digital textile market today and it is vision of the future.
OnPoint Manufacturing offers an innovative approach to an on-demand manufacturing model for textiles and apparel. Leveraging digital technologies to streamline supply chains, remove waste and speed time to market is the hallmark of the analog-to-digital transformation of any industry. OnPoint combines a number of interesting technologies to enable this in textiles and apparel for its own manufacturing, and a vision of the future for the industry.
Senior Editor Cary Sherburne reports from the inaugural ThreadX, powered by SGIA, a unique conference held last week to serve the needs of garment decorators.
As the analog-to-digital transformation in textile printing starts taking off, hybrid solutions are emerging that fill the gap between screen and digital printing. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne discusses this gap issue, includes insight from a California-based screen printer, and highlights an interesting hybrid solution in the form of M&R’s Digital Squeegee. Read more.
Since the launch of our dedicated textiles section in January, we have been talking to the major suppliers to the industry about their offerings in this exploding space. Recently, we spoke with Mike Horsten, Business Manager for Large Format Professional EMEA at HP. He shares his thoughts on the digital textile market and HP’s future plans in that segment.
A Furious Goose can be frightening and entertaining at the same time. It was this idea that led to the unique naming of this British provider of high-quality silk scarves and pocket squares. The company works with Think Posi+ive Prints UK (Think Positive) in producing stunning accessories. Read more.
There’s a lot happening in the world of digital textile printing, an exciting and vibrant market. It seems like every day we come across new products, services and applications that digital technology enables—either to streamline existing traditional methods or to enable entirely new capabilities. Israeli company Twine Solutions is bringing digital printing technology to the most basic commodity in the industry, the thread. Read more to learn how this technology can benefit your business.
Unmade, a UK-based company dedicated to providing solutions and tools to enable widespread adoption of on-demand personalization and customization of apparel and other soft goods, started by developing software to enable custom knitted items, but is now expanding into direct-to-textile printing and more. Read the full story.
Have you ever shopped at Zazzle? The company personalizes just about anything and has both paper and textile offerings. In past Zazzle stories, we have focused primarily on the paper side. But the company was actually founded with textiles. Read more to find out what Zazzle textile offerings - and its view of the market - looks like today.
Amazon’s patenting of an on-demand clothing manufacturing warehouse points to a future of on-demand mass customization of fashion.
Want a vision of the future of the world of digital textiles? Skya Nelson of Fed By Threads has a unique perspective on the market, and is already implementing much of it with the company’s “dirt to shirt” approach to socially responsible, environmentally sustainable apparel.
There has been a lot of hype over the last few years about 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, being the next big thing in the print-related world. We recently learned that EFI hired Gal Barak as its Inkjet Eastern Region Sales Manager. Barak most recently worked for 3D printing company Stratasys. Why did he make this move and what are his thoughts on 2D versus 3D? Read more.