43 of 2019

           Newsletter No. 43                                                    8 November 2019


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Wacoal has invented a 3D scanner capable of taking our measurements in store

A real new-technology changing room, Wacoal’s 3D scanner helps us to find the perfect underwear without anyone having to take our measurements, boosting a retail experience lacking in innovation.

There’s nothing more difficult than finding a bra that suits us. The main reason: size, which can vary from one brand to the next and also depending on our age and our body, which continues to change as the years go by. The result? Most French women don’t know their precise measurements and generally have to turn to the advice of an expert, but one has to be available. Unless it takes the form of a 3D scanner able to assess our size without even having to touch us.

At least, this is what the firm Wacoal Holdings Corps is offering with “3D smart and try”, a technology inaugurated in May 2019 in a lingerie shop in Shibuya, Tokyo. The principle is simple: a relatively conventional-looking changing room in which visitors must simply stand in their underwear.

Their entire body will then be scanned and reproduced in 3D in the form of around 1.5 million dots. Finally, by calculating the distance between these dots, the measurements of the person in the changing room will be determined in just 5 seconds.

In parallel, the store is equipped with a special tablet designed to subsequently suggest a series of underwear items tailored to their body shape. A promise made possible by “Watson”, artificial intelligence developed by IBM. Customers will be able to incorporate their preferences, concerns and, above all, choose the underwear most likely to suit them. What more could you ask for?    Promostyl

 Brief History of Machine Embroidery in Southern Africa

Article submitted by David Fisher

Machine embroidery is a process whereby a computerised embroidery machine is used to create patterns on textiles. It is used commercially in product branding, corporate advertising, and uniform adornment. It is also used in the fashion industry to decorate garments and apparel. Machine embroidery is used by hobbyists and crafters to decorate gifts, clothing, and home decor.

Machine embroidery dates back to 1964, when Tajima started to manufacture and sell Tajima Multi-head Automatic Embroidery machines.

In 1973, Tajima introduced the TMB Series 6-needle (6 colour) full-automatic colour-change embroidery machine. A few years later, in 1978, Tajima started manufacturing the TMBE Series Bridge Type Automatic Embroidery machines. These machines introduced electronic 6-needle automatic colour change technology.

Before this all the machine embroidery was done with a Jacquard machine.

Since this time, the development of the embroidery machines and the digitising software developed at a very fast rate.  Initially, punching or digitising was an art and required at least 6 months of training and practise before one could send a design good enough for the embroidery machine to run. Mostly embroidery was done by Embroidery contractors,  and very few factories if any had their own embroidery machines.

As the technology raced ahead, machine embroidery and the digitising process became much more simple with the advent of on screen digitising and more and more embroidery companies started to open. The process then became so much easier that clothing manufactures started doing their own embroidery.

The hobby machine embroidery also began to grow at a rapid rate.

When cheap Chinese imports started to affect the local clothing industry and the clothing factories started closing down, the local clothing industry reduced from a workforce of approximately 130 000 employees (at its peak) to approximately 25 000 to 30 0000 (currently) and the embroidery contract business began to take strain as its customer base was shutting shop all over”.

Then the boom in the corporate clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), business revived the contractors for a short while.

Currently, the few remaining contractors are facing many difficulties as the local promotional clothing companies, PPE manufacturers and distributors are all doing their embroidery in house and less and less embroidery is been sent out. This is largely due to the technological advances of the machines as well as the digitising software. This enables Screen Printing companies, workwear distributors and manufacturers, corporate clothing sellers and manufacturers, with little knowledge of embroidery, to easily do their own embroidery as the skill set to do this is much less due to the advancement of the technology.

Currently the main embroidery machines in the market are the numerous Chinese brands of embroidery machine, and there are an estimated 1000 manufacturers in China producing embroidery machines. They are much cheaper than the Japanese and Korean brands and allowed many people to enter the machine embroidery market.  Unfortunately, this has resulted in a lot of poor quality embroidery to appear in the market. The result of this is that Screen Printing has taken back a lot of market-share lost to embroidery, as it is still easier to produce good quality Screen Printing with cheap equipment.

The main brands of industrial embroidery machines to be imported into South Africa are currently the numerous Chinese embroidery machine brands, the Korean SWF machine (no longer belonging to the insolvent Sunstar sewing machine group but been manufactured by a company affiliated with the Samsung company), the Tajima Embroidery machine (its main production facility based in Nagoya in Japan, which is a family business focussed only producing high quality Industrial embroidery machines), the Happy embroidery machine, the Barudan embroidery machine,  the ZSK embroidery machine and the Melco Embroidery machine (which is still around but rarely seen in operation in Southern Africa). In my opinion, the world leader is Tajima Embroidery machine and its R&D is coveted by all the manufacturer’s with most machines still using their .dst format for stitch data).

These models mentioned above are industrial machines. There are numerous domestic embroidery machines, however, this is a massive market that I have little information on, so I have focused on the industrial embroidery machines.

The opinions expressed and the information above is all my own recollections on machine embroidery in Southern Africa and does not in any way reflect the views of any company and/or individual I am associated with, or render services to.

I have worked in the machine embroidery industry for the past 27 years  – 7 years in a contract embroidery company and 20 years for a embroidery machine importer as their technical sales manager for the embroidery division. I am passionate about machine embroidery and will always answer my phone or emails to give advice or assistance.  davefisheremb@gmail.com

ASFW 2019 themed as ‘Sustainable Fashion for World Market”

The Africa Sourcing and Fashion Week (ASFW) will open its doors to the entire cotton, textile, apparel and fashion industry from November 9-12 at Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference theme this time is ‘Sustainable Fashion for World Market’. In four days, over 350 exhibitors will present their goods to over 5,000 international trade visitors.

ASFW is organised by Trade and Fairs Group in partnership with Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Ethiopia Textile Development Institute (ETIDI) and Ethiopia Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association (ETGAMA). The event is endorsed by the Ethiopian Government.

World’s leading trade shows Texworld, Apparel Sourcing and Texprocess exhibitions (organised by Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH) will be partnering with ASFW and take place simultaneously on the same dates as ASFW in Addis Ababa.

At Texworld Addis Ababa, manufacturers present fabrics like cotton, denim, embroidery, lace, functional fabrics, knitted fabrics, linen, hemp, prints, shirting, silk, silky aspect, wool, wool blends, etc.

Apparel Sourcing Addis Ababa is the meeting place to find the best solutions in fashion and fashion accessories sourcing in Africa. Considering the keen interest in garment manufacture at the heart of Texworld Addis Ababa, African clothing manufacturers as a whole, with the addition of fashion accessory manufacturers present their designs at Apparel Sourcing area.

Texprocess Addis Ababa is Africa’s leading trade fair for the international garment-manufacturing and textile processing industry. Under the motto ‘Best Technology for Sustainable Production’, all major technology exhibitors present the latest machines, plants, processes and services for the processing of textile and flexible materials to trade visitors. As new industrial zones are opened on a monthly basis in various East African countries, the interest and need for new textile machines is very high.

There is no show in Africa that comes close to ASFW where Africa’s sourcing strategy is discussed by high level international sourcing industry about future sourcing trends. ASFW supports selected African designers through a special promotion platform. Manufacturers are engaged in the concept to ensure production and business for the designers.

ASFW Home Expo Africa is a premier platform for the home décor and home textiles industry where exhibitors present home textiles, decor, crafts, gifts and decoration accessories to international and regional trade visitors.

At ASFW Care, the entire textile and cotton care sector is represented. Important international manufacturers and services providers present innovative products and future-oriented services.

Africa’s textile and fashion industry has huge demand for the service industry, e.g specialised IT, logistics and transportation. At ASFW Service, international partners present their solutions for the textile and fashion industry. F2F

Did you know……..

1936 Fashion: What did people wear?

Ferragamo designed the first evening wedge shoe in gold kid and red satin, but ankle boots of embroidered velvet are also worn. The bra is “enhanced” with the high and pointed look.

Shiaparelli’s square bag and collarless coat was at the top of the couture world along with Molyneaux’s crescent brown calf pouch bag.

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