Esmetex, a fabric and full-package apparel manufacturer, has introduced Frontier, an online platform designed to digitize the fabric supply chain, from creative fabric development and 3-D garment design to the inspection process.
The Taiwan-based company said the Frontier digital platform can cut the creative development cycle by more than two weeks by efficiently gathering and organizing information from the supply chain. The Frontier platform is one of the largest databases of searchable online fabrics in the world, containing more than 18,000 fabrics from Esmetex’s own mill and the 25 mills under their management.
Prior to this roll out, Esmetex only used the database internally. With this introduction, the company plans to work with brands and retailers to add their fabrics from additional mill partners, creating an integrated solution where all customers’ vendor fabric collections and libraries are available in one place digitally.
“We don’t intend to be disruptive, instead we want to be part of a gentle revolution that advances the whole industry,” Victor Chao, founder of Esmetex and Esmetex Frontier, said. “We aim to simplify the fabric development process–no more looking through swatch boxes and shipping swatches back and forth.
It isn’t practical for a designer to search through 18,000 fabric swatches, Chao said. With Frontier, they are able to search based on specific criteria and find all relevant fabric information on one page.
“This can be done on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone by accessing our website or by installing our app,” he said.
Fabric designers and developers can use the platform to image search, find similar items via AI or search by description, blend, color, end use, Pantone color number, pattern or weight, Esmetex explained. After finding the desirable fabric, sample yardage can then be ordered directly from the platform through a mobile device.
Another advantage of the system, according to the company, is that by using fabrics that already exist rather than manufacturing unnecessary yardage, it helps save resources and reduce use of process chemicals.
The Frontier inspection app allows a company’s quality control to capture, record and share an inspection report in the field. The data is compiled into a scorecard and can aid companies in use of better and fewer factories.
“The digital textile industry is new and growing,” Chao said. “Previously, only occupied by PLM software companies, now more players are emerging, such as 3-D design tools, digital materials, 3-D file convert technology and quality compliance platforms. Now it’s easier to find an end to end solution.”