Epson teamed up with leading garment industry innovators on its booth at FESPA Digital (Hall B2, Stand 320, 20-23 May 2014, Munich) to demonstrate a live end-to-end sportswear production workflow.
The production line featured the very latest software and hardware technologies and encompasses the whole process from design, pattern editing and 3D modelling, through to proofing, dye sublimation printing, heat transfer and final garment construction.
The “Simulate, Print and Go” workflow concept has been integrated by the German Institute for Textile and Fibre Research (DITF), the largest textile research centre in Europe, together with ErgoSoft and Assyst. For the initial design stage, Epson has also partnered with the Deutsches Mode Institute (DMI), the German fashion organisation that produces colour charts to help designers predict seasonal colours. These charts are integrated into ColorDigital software to enable designers create contemporary garment designs.
Patterns are produced using Human Solutions/assyst Pattern Design Software - cad.assyst - which imports customer measurements from body scanners or measurement tables and integrates with the assyst Vidya 3D tool to display a virtual outfit so designers can check fit, drape and design. The Human Solutions’ iSize tool uses measurement data from people in Europe, America and Asia to automatically adapt sizes and body shapes for specific target markets.
Epson wide-format printers play two key roles in the workflow. Firstly the production colour-accurate proofs of the textile patterns on an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 inkjet printer, with EFI Fiery XF RIP. This 11-colour 17-inch wide printer produces the wide-gamut, accurate colour proofs needed to show fine tones, shades and detailed patterns.
The final designs are printed by Epson’s latest SureColor SC-F7100 dye sublimation printer with Ergosoft Professional RIP. This versatile and reliable 64-inch printer features Epson’s new PrecisionCore TFP printhead technology and dedicated Epson UltraChrome DS ink to deliver superb quality images with vibrant colours at speeds up to 58sqm/hr. This affordable printer gives dye sublimation specialists the ultimate in flexibility and productivity and is the ideal solution for those wishing to access new added-value revenue streams and achieve higher margins by printing and customising fast fashion and performance sportswear.
Finally, the garment elements are heat transferred to Schöller textiles with a HeatJet 70 EVO3 Calendar press and permanently joined to form the final piece using a Nucleus Ultrasonic welding machine.
“This workflow unites innovative hardware, software and design tools in Epson’s first end-to-end garment demonstration,” says Duncan Ferguson, Director, ProGraphics, Epson Europe. “Our aim is to show how affordable new technologies can open up lucrative new opportunities for garment creation and manufacturing throughout Europe.”