Since that time, much has changed. Early in , I asked one of my ex-students to speak on the subject of garment technology to a current student group. During this talk, she refl ected on the changes since , when she started work in the UK industry. These thoughts are worth sharing.
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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act , without the prior permission of the publisher. Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed astrademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
The Publisher is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that thePublisher is not engaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice orother expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN pbk.
Clothing trade. Latham, Barbara. Tyler, David J. C33 Furthermore, the publisher ensures that the text paper and cover board used have met acceptable environmental accreditation standards. For further information on Blackwell Publishing, visit our website: www. Tyler graduated in physics from Southampton University andstarted working for an industrial research association serving the tex-tiles and clothing industry.
Afterwards he moved into industry as atechnologist and later became a manager. Since that time, much has changed. Early in , I asked one of myex-students to speak on the subject of garment technology to acurrent student group. These thoughtsare worth sharing. Thiswas the case whether the technologist was working in the supplychain or for a retailer. Then we witnessed the great expansion ofglobalisation! Quality assurance activities continue, but there is muchmore effort given to build quality into products at the developmentstage.
The technologist is uniquely equipped to interpret the requirementsof designers and buyers, who typically do not have a technical vocabu-lary. This extends to checking that the product looks right over thewhole size range and helping to resolve any issues that arise. More and more, garment technologists are expected to deal withfabric information and be able to interpret test results on shrinkage,dye-fastness and other performance-related matters.
Technologistswill receive submissions for sealed samples and evaluate them. With mail order business, technologists will take the lead in analysing customer returns so that appropriate action can be taken. Some garment technologists may get involved in appraising the capabilities of potential suppliers, and this is likely to incorporate aspects of ethical auditing. Some may be involved in implementing appropriate information systems, such as product data management software.
Globalisation does mean that there are two types of garment tech- nologist: those based in retail organisations or brand owners and those based in manufacturing organisations the supply chain. The work of retail based technologists is directed to achieving confor- mance to quality standards and ensuring the suppliers understand what the products should be like.
The lan- guage problems are only part of the story. People in different cultures may have different expectations and different judgments on what is an acceptable standard. There may be different views on what is aes- thetically pleasing. Since the brand owner is setting the standard, the supply chain needs the style of communication that will help it under- stand the customer requirements and the consumer markets that are being served.
In the third edition, the role of the garment technologist in new product development was intro- duced. The new chapter in this edition Chapter 8 concerns the technology of colour and its management. The chapter that has seen the most change is that on alternative joining technologies Chapter 6 , because of the major expansion of interest in welded seams and the use of adhesives.
Chapter 10 has been introduced on the solution of sewing problems, drawing on material previously in Chapter 3 and introducing checklists in tabular form. The initial work on this book by Harold Carr and Barbara Latham was extensive and their contribution has always been the key to making this book useful and successful.
My role in revising the book has been one of editing a proven resource and, I hope, maintaining its value within education and industry.
Raf Mulla of X-rite Inc. David J. Tyler tChapter One Background to the Clothing IndustryClothing manufacture is an activity dominated by the need for humanskills, with a great range of raw materials, product types, productiontechnologies, production volumes, retail markets and brands. Com-panies range from small family businesses to multinationals. Supplychains are typically global, with materials being sourced in manydifferent countries.
In Europe and the USA, the past 20 years have seen dramaticchanges in the structure of the apparel industry. Large-scale domesticmanufacturing belongs to the past: the emerging industry has thecore skills of design, product development, sourcing, logistics andsupply chain management. Domestic manufacturing continues toexist, normally supplying niche markets using specialist skills.
The wide variations of company size and type within the clothingindustry are due to three special features of the fashion industry:Fashion requires a quick response The world of clothing incorporatesa broad spectrum of products, ranging from high fashion exclusivesto mass-produced commodity products. Fashion may be couture garments, setting the trends for a seasonand made in small quantities at high cost. The pool of fashion housesis currently about , all of which are seeking to make an impact inthe market.
Celebrity fashion has grown in importance, particularlywith young people. Low-cost retailers have emerged with clothes thatare fashionable but which are not designed for a long life. At the other end of the spectrum are those clothing types normallyreferred to as staple. In particular, they include the garment types where a consumer makes multiple purchases, often of exactly the same thing.
Between these extremes are the garments produced in hundreds or thousands with varying levels of style change between each batch. Consumer demand in this area is increasingly for more fashionable garments, but made to the stan- dards of make-up and performance that are more easily achieved in high volume. Fashion trends are rarely technology led. Most designers do not have a strong element of technology in their education, courses often having a greater emphasis on creativity than on technological content.
The larger market is for retail- and manufacturer-label goods that draw inspiration from the fashion designers and much else besides. For this sector, technology is employed not primarily to do things that cannot be done on basic machinery, but to reduce costs, to improve quality and to reduce the requirement for human skill. The technology that is applied to clothing must increasingly allow for versatility and responsiveness to market demand, except in the limited number of garment types such as shirts, where long runs will probably always be the case.
This technology makes the management of clothing manufacture relatively uncertain in respect of output, quality and delivery. It makes economies of scale small, except some- times in the cutting room. The technology must also cope with a continuous input of products which vary in colour, fabric, shape, feature and size, changing even more frequently to meet opportuni- ties in a competitive marketplace. The point which will be made throughout this book is that the levels of technology used in clothing manufacture are closely related to the quantity and length of manu- facturing run of a style of garment that is made.
The reason for this relates to the simplicity of the central process in clothing manufacture, which is sewing. Although fabric must be cut before it can be sewn, and pressed after it has been sewn, it is the process of sewing that dominates the output of a clothing factory, however large or small it is.
All the rest is left to the operator. The operatorcontrols the size of the stitch, the tension of the sewing threads andthe rate of stitch formation. In addition, theoperator must interpret instructions on a work ticket about differentstyles, have the knowledge to thread up the machine correctly, oftena highly complex process, and be able to judge acceptable qualityduring and after the operation.
Thus, apart from a small number ofoperations where some form of automatic machine can be used, theoperations in clothing manufacture are largely operator-controlled.
This does not apply to quite the same extent in cutting and pressing. These activities are oftenreferred to as ancillary handling. In fact, they are the core of the typicalclothing operation. The reasons for the continuing dominance of the human hand stemlargely from the nature of the raw materials used in clothing. First,fabrics are limp: in particular, they bend in all directions. Second, fabrics vary inextensibility.
A certain minimum extensibility of yarn is necessary inorder that the needle may penetrate the fabric satisfactorily, butextensibility that is less than that minimum and very high extensibilityboth give trouble in making up. This extensibility then varies, not onlyfrom fabric to fabric, but also according to the angle of the line ofsewing to the lengthwise grain of the fabric. Third, fabrics vary in thickness. During the s, large projects were funded in the USA, Japan and the EU that had the goal of increasing the competitiveness of domestic manufacture via automation.
None of these projects was particularly fruitful. All have found the challenge of working with limp, deformable materials to be enormous. In prin- ciple, automation is possible, but the cost is prohibitive. A contrast with the sewing room situation described above is pro- vided by the activity of cutting which precedes it. This has led to a great deal of technical development in the various processes relating to cutting, the spreading of fabric, as well as the actual cutting itself.
This in turn has led to extensive investment in computerised cutting room equipment by the larger manufacturers who are able to cut large amounts of garments using only a small staff. This is in sharp contrast to the labour-intensive nature of sewing. Visu- ally, a cutting room is an extensive area with large tables and few operators while a sewing room always seems relatively crowded with people.
Cut garments are transported to sewing factories by road, with completed garments frequently being brought back to a central warehousing facility. By contrast, the typical major cost in the sewing room is thatof labour which, in developed countries, generally contributes 20 to25 per cent of the total cost of a garment.
Of that labour cost, 95 percent is likely to be incurred in the sewing room and only 5 per centin the cutting room. This leads to pressure on the productivity ofsewing room labour and on labour cost. The industry has developed globalised supply chains Much productdevelopment is now retailer led. In the absenceof a domestic manufacturer, the question needs to be asked: how arethe technological aspects of product development going to behandled?
Carr and Latham’s Technology of Clothing Manufacture
Carr and Latham's Technology of Clothing Manufacture, 4th Edition