Seamless software—made to measure for Europe's fashion industry
The EU-funded TAILORFIT project is developing cost-efficient software and automated material cutting technologies that will enable fashion houses from Italy and abroad to offer personalised, made to measure menswear quickly and at competitive prices. 'All fashion houses that manufacture menswear are focused on providing made to measure products to their customers,' explains project coordinator Mirko Zilli, CEO of Crea Solution. 'This market is lucrative, but at the same time also increases in-house costs.'
The six-month TAILORFIT project is therefore pioneering automated solutions to help the fashion world create customised products faster and more efficiently. This will be achieved principally by integrating and automating the whole process, from receiving the order right through to customising the clothing. Indeed, while automated custom clothing solutions do exist, they do not provide management of the entire process but rather they separate the process into parts.
'We are confident that the results of this project will have great commercial potential, not only among SMEs but also among big enterprises in the fashion industry,' says Zilli. 'Our key target is Italian companies of course, but also other European and American and Asian companies. What it is important for us is that they are keen to achieve automatic production for tailor made manufacturing. What we developing is only software but a new process of production that involves a new cutting system that will help companies increase efficiency and productivity.'
When a client's measurements and specifications are received – collected in a store potentially anywhere in the world or online – this data is sent to a design/project management area where the right textures, colours, patterns and fabrics are selected and CAD (computer aided design) modifications are made. This integrated intelligent CAD-based system generates the optimal tailored outfit design. The software includes high resolution artificial vision systems capable of 'reading' striped and plaid textiles to ensure that the patterns are coherent when the facbric is cut.
For outfit manufacturing, the software identifies the optimised fabric cut according to the tissue and physical characteristics (such as fabric patterns) and then cuts it rapidly, increasing time and fabric savings. 'A cutting plant has been bought and will be modified in order to run some demonstrations,' says Zilli. 'A second cutting plant will also be bought before completion of the project.'
A 3D product configurator is also being developed and will be integrated into business to customer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) ecommerce websites, giving users a realistic sensation of what their model and texture modifications will look like. The TAILORFIT project is due for completion in December 2015.