Session: Sourcing & Market Overview
Wednesday, April 10
9:45 AM – Noon
Moderator: Mary Brannon, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
China’s Relevance in the New World Order as a Low Cost Outsourcing Country
Anna Beaulieu, F&T Apparel LLC/LF USA
With over 40% share of global exports in textiles and clothing, China has been the world’s primary sourcing destination for over a decade. However, due to rapidly rising costs, major buyers are now drifting away from China. Who gains as China loses? This presentation will highlight current trends in the US apparel import market, focusing on China and its emerging major low-cost competitors.
Working with Offshore Manufacturing Partners: Challenges and Opportunities
Guy Carpenter, Cape Fear Apparel
This session will provide insight into opportunities and obstacles for product developers, brands, and retailers working with manufacturers in Central and South America. Areas of discussion will include the availability of full package sourcing opportunities, manufacturing expertise in reference to product type by region, successful communication of product specifications, benefits associated with proximity to market, and challenges for growth in manufacturing within the regions.
Reshoring: Realizing Reality
J. Keith Crisco, former North Carolina Secretary of Commerce, SEAMS
Certain manufacturing companies are concentrating a greater percentage of their work in North America. Given financial uncertainties in Europe and Japan, increased labor cost in China and Vietnam, and speed to market considerations, the United States is experiencing a growth in the manufacturing sector. The profile of “new” US manufacturing has little resemblance to the manufacturing firms that left the United States 15 to 20 years ago. However, through innovation, worker productivity and automation, the advanced manufacturing sector is growing in the United States. A well-trained and adaptable workforce will be the key for US manufacturers. We must do a superior job in STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and in matching the curricula of our community colleges with the needs of manufacturing.
Cotton Market Overview & Outlook
Jon Devine, Cotton Incorporated
Cotton prices experienced unprecedented volatility in 2010/11. While this caused significant uncertainty in textile supply chains, it also has allowed for a greater understanding of price dynamics. This presentation explores several of the consequences of 2010/11 price volatility and described how it affected changes in prices throughout supply chains.
1:45 – 4:00 PM
Moderator: Tiffany Eubanks, Innovative Textile Printing
Digital Textile Printing Comes of Age
Mark Sawchak, Expand Systems Inc.
There has been tremendous advancement in technology for digital textile printing in recent years. This session will highlight the various classes of equipment with an emphasis on the transition from sampling level technology to digital print systems that offer production capabilities. The session will also provide insight into technology adoption and associated product applications.
Digital Printing of Textiles—A “How To” Discussion
David Clark, Huntsman
The market for digitally printed textiles has grown immensely in the past few years. With so many solutions for digitally printing fabrics on the market, it can be a little confusing. This presentation will cover the basics of how to print textiles digitally, including fabric processing information, dye/ink choices, and fabric and printer selection.
3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Kerry King, Spoonflower Inc.
There is a lot of “buzz” around 3D printing as a game changing technology for product design and manufacturing. This session will examine the current state of 3D printing in the context of “additive manufacturing” and will highlight the emergence of the solution as a tool for product development and production with an emphasis on innovation, crowd-sourcing, and DIY.
Building a Fabric Printing Business in the USA Digitally!
Steven Smith, DPInnovations
Bringing fabric printing back to the US requires a new and innovative business model: short runs, closer integration with client requirements, increased automation, and sophisticated use of web technologies and social media. This presentation takes a look at how these challenges can be met, resulting in a successful & profitable US-based digital fabric printing business.
Session: Color & Lighting
Thursday, April 11
9:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Moderator: Tom Stutts, Datacolor
Lighting Quality Metrics
Color temperature, color rendering, SPD? Light sources are described in multiple ways that can be confusing to anyone making decisions about lighting for retail or color evaluation environments. This presentation will review five specific and inter-related metrics for lighting quality.
Best Practices in Apparel Supply Chain Color Communications—Reduce the Time it Takes to Achieve Color Approval
Michelle Roberts, Technical Textile Solutions
There are variables throughout the apparel supply chain that make achieving color approvals difficult. Having seen the industry from the retailers’, suppliers’, garment makers’, and outside consultants’ points of view, I see the same issues contribute time and again to color miscommunication. In this talk, I cover specific examples of the common areas of miscommunication and ways I’ve used to overcome the miscommunication to achieve timely color approval. Those areas will include: 1) Initial Design Process, 2) Color Standard Communication with Suppliers, and 3) Brand Color Team Methods of Communication and Color Approval Process. For each area, I give real-world examples of issues and examples of how to correct the problems. This talk is less “high-level,” and more detailed regarding best practice problem solving.
A Color Intervention: From CRAP to CAP
Heather Mangine, Under Armour
Natific AG’s Color Accreditation Program (CAP) began in 2008 and has been picking up momentum with retailers and mills alike. Moving your organization from CRAP (conventional reactive approval process) to CAP requires preparation. First, acceptance is built on an understanding of CAP’s purpose and process, and who benefits. Second, and most difficult, is changing the mindset of color players and retailers from an “I don’t care how you do it, just do it” attitude to a manufacturing focus based on proper color specifications and emphasis on manufacturability. Third, choosing the best approach is crucial to successful implementation. By understanding the steps and hearing the experience of other retailers and mills, you too can go from CRAP to CAP and reap the benefits.
Session: Product Performance & Testing
10:45 – 11:45 AM
Moderator: Heidi Woodacre, Rothtec Engraving Corp.
Concept to Consumers—A Case Study of Cotton and New Markets
Janet O’Regan, Cotton Incorporated
Cotton, one of the Mother Nature’s oldest fibers, is actually one of the newest raw materials in nonwoven textiles. This presentation will elaborate on how this natural fiber, beloved by consumers, has found a home and brought value to nonwoven products and markets. The three legs of the business success stool—technical, economic, and marketing—were integral to launching cotton in nonwovens. The complexities of sustainability followed shortly thereafter.
Textile Finish’s Impact on Stain Removal and Whiteness Maintenance During Home Laundry
Jiping Wang, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University
The majority of consumer apparel and textiles are processed with finishes at textile mills before reaching retailers. The finish’s presence on fabrics often changes fabric surface energy and fabric’s interaction with soils, leading to a different fabric cleaning profile. In this presentation, common textile softeners such as silicones, waxes, fatty derivatives, as well as durable press finishes, are studied for their impacts on stain removal and whiteness maintenance during home laundry. Fabrics finished with amino-silicone often have a reduced removal index of common oily stains and poor whiteness maintenance. On the other hand, fabrics finished with nonionic fatty amides may have an improved stain removal profile. In general, textile finishes improve fabric whiteness maintenance, probably caused by their protection of textile brighteners.
Session: Product Performance & Testing (cont'd)
2:15 – 3:45 PM
Elizabeth P. Easter, University of Kentucky
The objective of this consumer laundry research study is to determine the impact of wash water temperature, detergent type, and laundering platform on basic clothing attributes. The study evaluated the effects of top and front loading washing machines, cold and warm water wash temperatures, and detergent types on home laundered garments by assessing color change, dimensional stability, pilling, moisture content and residual moisture content, and stain removal. Testing was conducted on consumer loads of denim, towels, khakis, and polos. Each of these load types had been subjected to 30 wash and dry cycles. Evaluations of the loads were conducted prior to testing (when applicable to test method), as well as after 1, 5, 10, 15, and 30 wash/dry cycles.
Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Oklahoma State University
Researchers from apparel design, industrial engineering, and biomedical sciences collaborated to test electronically conductive textiles for placement in a wearable medical garment. The study emphasized multi-disciplinary collaboration in three phases. Phase I-procurement of commercially available conductive fabrics and fibers; Phase II-determining conductive paths defined by 1) circuit board/electrode placement and 2) body parameters and wear-ability; and Phase III-building and evaluating conductive textile configurations to meet the electric/electromagnetic requirements. The resulting model will be useful to designers and product developers when attempting to enter into this emerging domain. In addition to providing an overview of currently available conductive textiles, it also provides a methodology for testing procedures that determine successful paths for transmitting appropriate electrical signals through a wearable garment.
Eco-friendly Textiles that are Benign by Design
Mark A. Browne, University of California, Santa Barbara
Plastics are persistent problems in our environment. They are degraded into smaller particles called microplastics, which contain toxic chemicals. Fibers are also a major component of microplastics. These fibers, along with their natural counterparts, are released into the environment during the production, wearing, and washing of textiles. They accumulate in habitats worldwide and can accumulate in wildlife. More information is needed to make more sustainable choices. Life-cycle techniques can quantify how many fibers are emitted to the environment by different types of textiles; new technology can quantify the proportion of waste composed of particular fibers, standard ecological tests can be applied, and established toxicity trials performed. By industry, government, and scientists working together, fiber choices can be made that sustain health, wealth, and happiness.