By Sourcing Journal
One of the reasons it takes so long to design fashion garments is that the process requires three necessary skill sets—designer, tech designer and patternmaker—and the people filling those roles are often spread out among a global workforce. This often leads to endless back-and-forth collaborations that translate to endless delays. And in the $1.5 trillion fashion industry, delays mean lost money.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if one person could do all of these things just by themselves?” asks Wilcox, president and founder of 3D Design software company Clothing Tech LLC, in a fireside chat with Sourcing Journal features editor Kate Nishimura.
Clothing Tech’s patented Garment Digital Twin uses proprietary technology to fuse the tech pack with the pattern and help designers “work smarter” to bring their designs to life and put data in the cloud for future projects. “It’s not just the visualization of the garment, but the data behind it,” says Wilcox.
The drag-and-drop technology and simple user interface (UI) also removes the necessity for skilled 3D technical designers—another plus as companies compete for talented labor.
Using data from visualizations, brands can build up a digital “finishing library” for finishes that are unique to the brand’s DNA or seasonal collection. That makes each subsequent project faster and more streamlined. “We created a patented drag-and-drop approach to finish management,” said Wilcox. “And you only need to do that one time for each finish.”
Currently, the industry uses a “highly manual process” to repeatedly create finishes on every garment, a process that requires more specialized and trained experts. Clothing Tech’s approach essentially automates the finishes and assembly by recording the steps digitally that would be done in a factory producing the physical garment. “We’re doing the same kind of steps but we’re doing it virtually,” said Wilcox.
The pre-programmed digital data is then collected and organized in such a way that users can parse it to give them different views of the product for various projects. In addition to visual views, users can also switch to a costing view that prices out garments based on different fabrics, trims and finishes with just a click. Another is the ease map view, which highlights different aspects of fit and feel.
“And it’s all so simple,” stresses Wilcox. “Half a day’s training is enough for most people to learn how to use our system.”
This is part 1 of Clothing Tech’s 4-part video series, focusing on how 3D Design can help propel the $1.5 trillion retail industry. The feature was published in Sourcing Journal May 17, 2023. Clothing Tech is a member of SPESA.