Will advances in technology make stitched seams obsolete?
Huge strides have been made in seamless and stitch-free seaming technologies in recent years, according to a report in issue 62 of Performance Apparel Markets from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence. In fact, the pace of development is accelerating and some experts believe that further advances in technology could make stitched seams obsolete.
Demand for seamless performance apparel will rise as consumers become more aware of the benefits. Seamless garments can provide levels of comfort and freedom of movement which cannot be matched in garments with sewn seams--including a smooth fit, light weight, an aesthetically pleasing appearance and ease of care.
Supply too is on the rise as steady streams of new products with innovative designs, different structures and functional features are launched. For producers, seamless apparel can add considerable value to the products they offer. Advances in knitting machines and programming software allow manufacturers to produce a ready-to-wear garment in a single production process, and provide them with access to almost limitless possibilities in terms of design, patterning and shaping.
Furthermore, sophisticated computer software for garment manufacturing could pave the way for "virtual garment fitting". This could lead to the production of made-to-measure garments which provide a perfect fit and enable a personalised whole knitted garment to be produced automatically from a personal body scan.
Given the wide ranging benefits which seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming have to offer, experts are in little doubt that these technologies will penetrate more deeply into key segments of the performance apparel industry--especially in applications such as activewear and sportswear where comfort is of overriding importance.
However, although further advances in technology could make stitched seams obsolete, sewn seams will continue to benefit from a significant cost advantage. Consequently, their complete replacement by seamless garments is unlikely to happen for some time.
This report, "Seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming in performance apparel", was published by the global business information company Textiles Intelligence in issue No 62 Performance Apparel Markets.
Other reports published in the same issue include: "Fast track: smart textiles and clothingadvances in technology spur innovation"; "Product developments and innovation"; "Profile of Cifra: an innovative manufacturer of knitted seamless apparel"; and "Business update".
Performance Apparel Markets is published four times a year by Textiles Intelligence. Each issue provides an independent and worldwide perspective on the global performance apparel industry.
During November 2018, this report, "Seamless knitting and stitch-free seaming in performance apparel", is available to purchase for half price and costs £113 + VAT (UK), Euro210 (Europe, Middle East or Africa) or US$275 (Americas or Asia Pacific).
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