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The Future of Retail: What is Laser's Role in it?

February 8, 2021
by
the Editorial Team
Denim jeans fading designed with laser technology
Digitalization, the boom in e-commerce, and the trend towards sustainability are changing traditional business practices across industries, and retail is no exception. Increasingly, 3D tools are being used in garment finishing, facilitating the development of the digital supply chain. This article discusses laser machines' role in the future of retail. It also examines their impact on 3D workflows, as well as demonstrating how businesses are taking steps towards the digitization of garments and revolutionising the finishing process.

How Will Retail Evolve in the Future?

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the e-commerce boom has changed the way we look at traditional retail. Digital solutions and supply chain transparency are also becoming more important as sustainable business models gain traction. Virtual runways powered by AR, meta-humans wearing 3D apparel, and digital fashion weeks are some of the highlights of the past year. It is predicted that technological advancement will revolutionize the retail sector forever as more and more people choose online shops over physical stores. Currently, trends include virtual product development, fabric sourcing, 3D design, and digital fabric printing. The implementation of 3D graphics is among one of the main driving forces for it.

Displaying physical products as 3D models can take many forms, from virtual catalogs and showrooms to search results and ad units. The future of 3D commerce is now, so how should retail brands position themselves to gain a competitive advantage?

How Does Digital Workflow Fit into Denim Production?

Retail brands are now figuring out different ways to digitize their fabrics in order to create 3D designs, prototypes, and enhance eCommerce. Manufacturers of fabric, garments, and brands all benefit from 3D: it speeds up the design process, reduces photography costs, saves samples, and eliminates waste. From end-use designs, to behind the scenes processes, 3D is establishing its presence throughout the whole textile supply chain. One of the uses for it relates to the garment finishing process. Traditionally, the finishing process requires lots of resources like water, power and chemicals, as well as manual handling of garments, but the use of the right machines and software helps to make the process easier. Currently, laser technology offers the possibility to complete laser finishing designs, digitally.

Source: The Interline

There are real benefits to laser technology for the environment, cost reduction, worker health, and creative freedom. Using a laser helps to eliminate manual dry process work, the use of chemicals such as potassium permanganate, and the neutralization process. By doing so, laser technology saves power, water and chemicals by 62%, 67% and 85%, respectively. Above that, the laser reduces the lead time for the finishing process by 55%, as there is no need for multiple wash stages during the production. Fortunately, it is both Industry 4.0 ready and compatible with traditional manufacturing processes. Inventory can be completely eliminated with lasers, as any quantity of finishes can be reproduced from a digital laser file. Moreover, designers can use digital libraries of presets to easily achieve different aged effects on garments that can be reused.

Jeanologia's Laser Machine — Flexi Pro

Jeanologia is a sustainable textile solutions company that aims to transform the industry through the development of disruptive technologies. The company is known for its digital solutions and innovative machinery.

Source: Jeanologia

Jeanologia offers software solutions to assist companies in their journey towards digitising garments, in addition to the laser machines they produce. Neela by Sapphire Fibres is here showcasing one of Jeanologia’s models named Flexi Pro that runs on e-Designer software, which is the same model that we have in our factories.

You can use this combination of software and laser to create finishing effects for garments such as hand sanding, PP spraying, ripped effects, and drill effects. The Flexi Pro laser machine offers many benefits such as:

  1. Ability to work in all fits on the market 
  2. Increased productivity capacity 
  3. Optimization of the light scraper 
  4. Possibility to make rips
  5. Greater creative possibilities  

“Blue Tron” by Neela by Sapphire Fibres

Using laser machines is extremely beneficial for designing and creating the perfect finish for your garments. However, it is as important to use fabrics that react well to laser to achieve the high quality of finishes. Hence, we would like to present to you the "Blue Tron" collection by Neela by Sapphire Fabrics. Being a collection of laser-friendly fabrics, Blue Tron can support you in unleashing creative freedom and creating desired finishes for your next collection.

Get in touch with our sales team by sending an email to info@neelablue.com to place an enquiry.