Industries in the Textile Mills subsector group establishments that transform a basic fiber (natural or synthetic) into a product, such as yarn or fabric that is further manufactured into usable items, such as apparel, sheets, towels, and textile bags for individual or industrial consumption. The further manufacturing may be performed in the same establishment and classified in this subsector, or it may be performed at a separate establishment and be classified elsewhere in manufacturing.

Assembly Line

Revolutionizing Textile And Apparel Manufacturing Through Digitization

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Seonyoung Youn

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: SEDDI, Shima Seiki

The advent of 3D digital technology has revolutionized garment manufacturing processes. Virtual samples have remarkably reduced material waste and labor-intensive tasks throughout the supply chain, specifically during the preproduction stages, such as 2D pattern design, fabric arrangement, fabric cutting, garment sewing, and fitting. Traditionally, these tasks consumed a substantial lead time in garment manufacturing processes. However, virtual sampling allows easy modification and has significantly reduced the average lead time from 37 days to 27 hours. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic underlined the challenges of in-person communication between buyers, manufacturers, and outsourcing contractors during lockdowns. Consequently, digitalization has transitioned from optional to necessity, accelerating the demand for effective communication. This shift is particularly prominent among global brands, outsourcing agents, vendors and contractors.

Read more at TextileWorld

This Startup Promised to Help Fashion Go Green. Brands Didn’t Want to Pay for It.

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Trefor Moss

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Renewcell

Last month, the company, Renewcell, filed for bankruptcy. While some big retailers, including H&M and Zara, were enthusiastic backers, not enough brands committed to buying its material. Having misjudged how quickly the fashion industry would switch to more sustainable sourcing, the company was left with a costly factory running far below capacity.

The plight of Renewcell illustrates the fashion industry’s hesitancy in adopting new materials that may be better for the environment but typically cost more, at least in the short term. It is also another sign of how some companies are putting less emphasis on green initiatives amid a more challenging economic climate.

Read more at WSJ

Shein to Market Its Unique Supply-Chain Technology to Global Brands

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Shen Lu

🔖 Topics: XaaS, Demand Planning

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Shein

Shein’s executive chairman, Donald Tang, announced the plan in a letter to investors viewed by The Wall Street Journal, calling the new initiative “supply chain as a service.” Under the plan, Shein would make its supply-chain infrastructure and technology available to outside brands and designers, allowing them to leverage Shein’s system for testing out new fashion items in small batches and track how popular they are with consumers.

Shein has revolutionized fashion manufacturing. It contracts with thousands of factories in China that churn out tens of thousands of new styles daily. It places orders to suppliers to be delivered in days, relies on real-time data to quickly analyze demand and replenishes orders as needed. That cuts down on the cost for storage and limits inventory waste, a primary reason for its ultralow prices.

Read more at WSJ

Walmart and unspun Collaborate on 3D Fabric Weaving Technology

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Walmart, unspun

Walmart, the world’s leading omnichannel retailer, today announced a pilot project with unspun, a pioneering fashion tech company using the world’s first 3D weaving technology, a collaboration that, if successful, could help reduce the environmental impact of garment production, offer a more sustainable process for meeting apparel demand and support the companies’ shared commitment to shift more textile manufacturing back to the U.S. Out of its micro factory in Oakland, California, unspun’s first-of-its-kind technology promises to more quickly and efficiently transform yarn into garments.

In the pilot project, the two companies will explore how unspun’s 3D weaving machines can be used to make workwear style pants under a Walmart house brand. With 3D weaving, yarn is spun directly into completed garments. This is an innovative and new approach to garment manufacturing. Traditionally, yarn is woven into one-dimensional fabrics, which are then cut and assembled into garments – creating waste and taking significant time and multiple manufacturing steps. The 3D weaving process is different from commonly known 3D printing, which creates a physical object from a digital design by laying down thin layers of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement.

Read more at Business Wire

How Infinited Fiber Raised $43m Amidst Textile Recycling Uncertainty

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Brooke Roberts-Islam

🔖 Topics: Circular Economy

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Infinited Fiber

In the wake of Renewcell’s bankruptcy announcement, some concluded that fashion brands weren’t ready to make the leap to adopting ‘circular textiles’, but IFC’s financing round hinged on brands purchasing in advance the majority of the recycled fiber capacity from the first years of the scaled factory’s output. So, how do Renewcell’s and IFC’s technologies and business models differ? How might IFC avoid the commercial challenges faced by Renewcell (who also count H&M as an investor)?

Infinited Fiber Company’s Co-founder and CEO, Petri Alava, went on to point out significant differences in the feedstock sources, funding and commercialisation model of IFC, compared to Renewcell. Regarding feedstocks, he explains: “we are obtaining post-consumer textiles discarded clothing, as well as dust airborne textile fibers from mechanical textile recycling factories in Turkey and North Africa. IFC has secured it’s used clothing and textile waste from Europe-based garment collectors and sorters.

Read more at Forbes

H&M Group and Vargas Holding launch Syre, a new venture to scale textile-to-textile recycled polyester

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership, Circular Economy

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: HM Group, Vargas Holding, Syre

The co-founded venture, also backed by TPG Rise Climate, aims to rapidly scale textile-to-textile recycling of polyester and contribute to a more sustainable textile industry. H&M Group has secured an offtake agreement with Syre worth a total of USD 600 million over seven years, covering a significant share of H&M Group’s long-term need for recycled polyester, which is currently primarily sourced from rPET bottle-to-textile.

Through Syre, H&M Group aims to contribute to a meaningful shift in the industry by moving away from virgin polyester and the current industry standard bottle-to-textile recycling, known as recycled polyester (rPET), towards a closed loop alternative.

H&M Group has also strengthened its recycled material ambition – an important part of the strategy to decouple growth from virgin resource use. H&M Group’s overarching material ambition is to have 100 percent of materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way by 2030, with the subgoal of 30 percent recycled materials by 2025. As the company is moving closer to achieving the target of 30 percent recycled materials by 2025, the ambition is to now aim for 50 percent recycled by 2030.

Read more at H&M Group News

BASF and Inditex make a breakthrough in textile-to-textile recycling with loopamid, the first circular nylon 6 entirely based on textile waste

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability, Circular Economy

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: BASF, Inditex

BASF and Inditex jointly announce a breakthrough in their efforts for boosting recyclability in the textile industry. With the launch of loopamid®, a polyamide 6 (PA6, also known as nylon 6) made from 100 percent textile waste, BASF is providing the first circular solution for nylon apparel made entirely from textile waste. Zara has turned the material into a jacket made from 100 percent loopamid. Following a “design for recycling” approach, all parts, including fabrics, buttons, filling, hook and loop and zipper are made from loopamid.

Read more at BASF News

Robot picking Textiles in Polybags | Sereact's AI Software

Automation in Garment Making

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Lipsa Mohapatra

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

Automation is transforming the fashion industry, enhancing efficiency and enabling customisation in garment making. Countries like China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam are leading the way with automated cutting, sewing, and assembly systems. Yet, it brings potential challenges, especially for the workforce. This article delves into the benefits and the concerns.

Read more at Fibre2Fashion

🦾 Inside sewts’ textile-handling robots

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Brianna Wessling

🔖 Topics: Industrial Robot, Convolutional Neural Network

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: sewts, IDS Imaging

Traditionally, clothing has been a challenge for robots to handle because of its malleability. Currently, available software systems and conventional image processing typically have limits when it comes to easily deformable material, limiting the abilities of commercially available robots and gripping systems.

VELUM, sewts’ robotic system, is able to analyze dimensionally unstable materials like textiles and handle them. This means VELUM can feed towels and similar linen made of terry cloth easily and without creases into existing folding machines.

sewts developed AI software to process the data supplied by the cameras. This software uses features like the course of the seam and the relative position of seams to analyze the topology of the textiles. The program classifies these features according to textile type and class, and then translates these findings into robot commands. The company uses Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and classical image processing to process the data, including IDS peak, a software development kit from IDS.

Read more at The Robot Report

👖 Unspun Unveils New 3D Weaving Machine For The Sustainable Microfactory Of The Future

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Tina Casey

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Unspun

Unspun launched in 2015 with an initial mission to help reduce waste at the consumer end. The company leverages 3D scanning to precisely fit jeans for individual buyers, and manufactures them on demand. Between the custom fit and the high but relatively affordable price tag of $200 or so, presumably consumers would be motivated to keep their jeans practically forever.

The new round of funding will “support implementation of unspun’s innovative 3D weaving technology Vega™, which will help brands realize a zero-inventory, onshored, circular and automated supply-chain for woven products,” unspun reports. The 3D weaving machine is a robotics-enabled device inspired by additive manufacturing principles. It can weave a pair of pants to order in 10 minutes, from scratch. The 3D machine is fed directly with yarn. No fabric inputs are involved. According to unspun, just a few minutes’ worth of finishing steps are needed to complete the process.

“By producing in micro-factories powered by Vega™, multiple traditional manufacturing steps—which result in high order quantities, long lead times, increased transport emissions, and excess inventory waste—are eliminated,” unspun explains.

Read more at IndustryWeek

🧠 Terrot Adds AI-Upgrade to New Machines with Smartex

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Smartex, Terrot, Ekoten Tekstil

Terrot and Smartex.ai are pleased to announce a first-of-its-kind, strategic partnership in which German textile engineering meets proven Artificial Intelligence. As the industry moves towards smart machines that both produce a wide variety of fabrics quickly as well as automate previously manual tasks, such as quality control and data collection, Terrot has strategically adapted its machine production process to ensure all new Terrot and Pilotelli Open-Width machines will be “Smartex-ready”. Smartex-ready means that new Terrot and Pilotelli machine customers can now easily upgrade their machines to add Smartex CORE to take advantage of AI-enabled, automated quality control and gain real-time insights into their machine performance.

Read more at Smartex Blog

Smartex Unveils Cutting-Edge AI Tool to Boost Production

📅 Date:

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Smartex

In the textile industry, productivity is key. Gross margins are tight, and every minute that a machine is stopped - or running slower than it should - can impact the bottom line. Ideally, a machine should work 100% of the time at its top speed from the moment a work order is assigned to it until it produces the necessary quantity. However, this is not always the case. Circular knitting machines stop for various reasons, such as when the yarn breaks or when the operator changes rolls, inspects for defects, or conducts unplanned maintenance activities.

By testing the new Smartex AI Boost Tool, one of our vertical factory customers (who wished to stay anonymous) had a 43% increase in production without compromising on quality! Smartex conducted a two-week test on one of their Smartex CORE-enhanced circular knitting machines producing single jersey cotton, modal, and elastane fabric. The machine ran at its regular 27 RPM rate during the first week and produced 28 meters of A-grade quality fabric per hour. In the second week, the machine speed was increased by 11%, going up to 30 RPM, and produced 40 meters of A-grade quality fabric per hour.

Read more at Smartex Blog

How Robotic Sewing Experiment Got Levi’s Attention

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Glenn Taylor

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Levi Strauss, Siemens, Sewbo, Saitex

The teams’ early work integrated sewing machines with collaborative robot systems and designed an end effector capable of lifting and controlling a single large ply of fabric. Recent projects have built upon these developments to be able to robotically conduct more advanced operations like hemming, fabric fusing, pocket setting and curved stitches. The two firms then turned to Sewbo, a company that wants to address a common problem that prevents robotics from meshing with apparel production—the technology often has difficulty trying to handle limp, flexible or floppy fabrics, and thus can’t start the sewing process.

Because the machines are also expensive, according to Zornow, the upfront investment and maintenance costs are also high. To make matters tougher, the downtime can be substantial, he said. “Consequentially, you sort of find this paradigm where although a lot of the tools do exist, they’re not really getting used,” Zornow said. Rather than teach robots how to handle cloth, Sewbo temporarily stiffens the fabric with a nontoxic polymer, enabling off-the-shelf industrial robots to build garments from rigid cloth, just as if they were working with sheet metal. Zornow told Rivet that the use of the stiffening agent was the “big breakthrough” that made the technology innovation possible.

Read more at Sourcing Journal

An Effort Towards Reducing Industrial Textile Waste

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Visual Inspection

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Robro Systems

Textiles include various types of materials made from natural and synthetic fibers. To ensure the finished products are defect-free, inspecting the fibers during the production process is important. This also can result in a 45% to 60% savings on the total expenditure due to wastage or recalling defective products.

Line scan cameras are widely used to detect defects in the textile industry. These use single pixel lines for the construction of continuous 2D images as the materials pass through the production line. The cameras can capture superior quality images of various types of materials, which help in detecting any pattern changes without any breaks. Additionally, these cameras can notify operators about any changes in color and texture.

Read more at Robro Systems Blog

How polyester bounced back

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Virginia Postrel

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Hills Inc

Four decades later, polyester rules the textile world. It accounts for more than half of global fiber consumption, about twice that of second-place cotton. Output stands at nearly 58 million tons a year, more than 10 times what it was in the early ’80s. And nobody complains about polyester’s look and feel. If there’s a problem today, it’s that people like polyester too much. It’s everywhere, even at the bottom of the ocean.

The trick to making microfibres is a process known as ‘islands-in-the-sea’. Polyester and another polymer with a different viscosity go through the spinneret together. The polyester is carefully metered out so that it forms many separate strands – the islands – surrounded by the other polymer, the sea. Together they make up a single extruded filament, typically about one to three denier. ‘So each island can be very, very tiny’, says Arnold Wilkie, president of Hills, Inc., a Florida company that specializes in making the equipment. The sea is dissolved away, leaving the polyester microfibers. Although it started with pretty nasty solvents, the process now uses polymers designed to be washed away with benign chemicals, in some cases water, and then reused.

Read more at Works In Progress

ABB’s Paper Mill Technology Helps Renewcell Turn Old Clothes Into New Fabrics

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Jim Vinoski

🔖 Topics: Circular Economy, Sustainability, Recycling

🏭 Vertical: Pulp and Paper, Textiles

🏢 Organizations: ABB, Renewcell

In recent years, the pulp and paper industry has gone from having a reputation of being dirty and environmentally unfriendly to being a leader in sustainability and pollution control. Now the technologies that enabled that transition are being used to help the textile industry too. And the players involved are restarting a shuttered paper mill in Sweden to make it happen, once more providing good-paying jobs for the area.

Renewcell is the Sweden-based scaleup at the center of it all. The company developed a sustainable process that recycles waste textiles into a product called Circulose, whose name is the tip-off that it’s aimed at making fashion circular.

Read more at Forbes

Why Robots Can’t Sew Your T-Shirt

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Harris Quinn

🔖 Topics: Glocalization, reshoring

🏭 Vertical: Apparel, Textiles

🏢 Organizations: SoftWear Automation, Sewbo

But sewing has been notoriously difficult to automate, because textiles bunch and stretch as they’re worked with. Human hands are adept at keeping fabric organized as it passes through a sewing machine. Robots typically are not deft enough to handle the task.

SoftWear’s robots overcame those hurdles. They can make a T-shirt. But making them as cheaply as human workers do in places like China or Guatemala, where workers earn a fraction of what they might make in the US, will be a challenge, says Sheng Lu, a professor of fashion and apparel studies at the University of Delaware.

SoftWear calls its robotic systems Sewbots. They are basically elaborate work tables that pair sewing machines with complex sensors. The company zealously guards the details of how they work, but here are the basics: Fabric is cut into pieces that will become parts of the shirt: the front, the back, and the sleeves. Those pieces are loaded into a work line where, instead of a person pushing the fabric through a sewing machine, a complicated vacuum system stretches and moves the material. Cameras track the threads in each panel, allowing the system to make adjustments while the garment is being constructed.

Read more at WIRED

Davey Textiles Shows Digital Transformation Can Be Affordable and Effective

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Michael Guilfoyle

🔖 Topics: digital transformation, IIoT

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Davey Textile, Uptake

If something interrupted operations, the Uptake Fusion’s Downtime Tracker sent an alert to the operator. Due to the noise levels on the floor, the solution sent the alert via Twitter, ensuring operators could be notified directly through their hearing protection devices.

The company could also now visualize production data to examine trends and anomalies for products, days, shifts, equipment, room locations, and other key variables. They now had new insight into causes of lost production, enabling them to eliminate issues that undermined operational optimization. Uptake Fusion also managed all of this using a single-pane view, minimizing user complexity.

Read more at Arc Advisory Group

Smart Textile Manufacturer Profile: Myant, Inc.

📅 Date:

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Myant

Founded in 2011, Myant develops smart textiles that are revolutionizing the textile industry for the healthcare and consumer markets. Myant not only challenges the norms of the industry but also collaborates with other innovative start ups, manufacturers, and research institutes in Ontario to build an entirely new ecosystem around smart textiles.

Textile Computing, as Myant defines it, is the technology that connects the human body to the world around it through textiles. Capitalizing on the latest advances in various disciplines, the 10-year old Toronto-based start up knits everyday textiles out of conductive yarns and embeds biometric sensors and actuators into them. A proprietary software platform records and processes the data collected through the hardware, giving Myant’s products the ability to sense and react to the human body.

Read more at Trillium Manufacturing Network