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Amazon Gets Patent for On-Demand Apparel Manufacturing

Amazon is advancing its fashion presence with a newly approved innovation.

On April 18, the e-tailer secured a patent for a new on-demand apparel manufacturing system. The system, which is designed to minimize manufacturing time, quickly produces apparel once customer orders are placed.

According to the patent, the new system will include a coordinating computer device, a textile printer, a textile cutter, a textile production assembly line and cameras to capture quality check images.

First, instructions for textile orders are collected in the form of tech packs by the computer device. The tech pack outlines individual panels for the textile product, the print patterns and the assembly instructions and arranges the panels with others like in a manner designed to improve efficiency and reduce scraps. After that, the device can instruct the textile printer to print the panels according to each order request, and once printed, proceed to cutting.

Because of the system’s ability to digitally group orders, Amazon could seamlessly produce garments without having to rely on different factories, equipment or workers throughout the supply chain.

“Once various textile products are printed, cut, and assembled according to the orders, they can be processed through a quality check, photographed for placement in an electronic commerce system, shipped to customers, and/or stored in a materials handling facility for order fulfillment,” the patent says. “By aggregating orders from various geographic locations and coordinating apparel assembly processes on a large scale, the embodiments provide new ways to increase efficiency in apparel manufacturing.”

Amazon’s on-demand manufacturing patent follows the company’s recent fashion initiatives. In January, Amazon discreetly debuted its own activewear line after posting three separate jobs under Amazon Active Apparel the month before. At the end of last year, Amazon also launched its own private-label men’s dress shirt line, Buttoned Down, which retails up to $49 and features nearly 72 size combinations. The company is also working on its other private-label lines, Ella Moon, Lark & Ro and Paris Sunday to offer consumers unique pieces in today’s e-commerce market.