The arrangement enables fashion designers to add interlinings directly into their 3D virtual designs, with the ultimate goal of creating more accurate visual simulations of garments.
Since the agreement is exclusive, Chargeurs’ assets are the only interlinings that will be available on the CLO platform. Interlinings may go unnoticed among most people, but their presence is vital to apparel’s look, function and feel, as these technical fabrics are used to help garments retain their shape and structure.
“Our partnership with CLO is a game-changing technology initiative, as we are the first company in the interlinings industry to make our products available as digitized assets that can instantly be added to 3D virtual fashion designs,” Angela Chan, managing director and president of Chargeurs*PCC Fashion Technologies, said in a statement. “Designers will now be able to easily pull in our digitized interlinings to complete their visual creations and ensure true and proper fit on-screen in CLO’s 3D design program. In the past, designers had no ability to access digitized interlinings, so they could only make a best guess as to how a garment would truly fit, drape and look.”
The addition of 3D visualization and prototyping into the design and product development processes became a major necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic as apparel retailers needed a way to prep virtual samples and have their own teams and factories stay on the same page.
Designers can start using CLO as early as the vendor or patternmaking stages depending on whether one or more people take on both roles. Instead of having to create a physical sample and then make edits later, vendors can use their existing pattern to see how 2D pattern edits will look on a virtual sample in real time. Once the edits are complete, users can then export the new pattern to make an accurate physical sample. Instead of having to produce multiple iterations of physical samples, they can now do it all in 2D and 3D simultaneously.
Ideally, Chargeurs’ technical designers can check for fit issues earlier on leveraging the platform, identify the ideal solution and make decisions much sooner. With this technology, if fit issues are found, users can adjust and update measurements in real time.
In addition to driving faster speed to market for brands, the Chargeurs-CLO partnership will also provide sustainability benefits, including reducing waste and resource usage by eliminating the need to create and ship physical samples back and forth among product development and manufacturing teams that are typically located in different regions across the globe.
“By adding Chargeurs’ interlining products to our platform as digital assets, we will help apparel design companies shorten their lead times by making the design process more efficient and comprehensive, eliminating miscommunication and guesswork, and reducing waste and energy usage associated with physical sample making and shipping,” said Simon Kim, CEO of CLO Virtual Fashion.
Chargeurs has been busy since the summer, launching its first U.S. consumer-facing division, Lainiere Health & Wellness, as well as an e-commerce website offering the new division’s collection of protective polyester face masks. In April, the company was manufacturing 10 million face masks per week and was also involved in the production of scrubs, advanced textiles, intelligent fabrics and protective gloves and bactericidal films. The masks are designed to filter at least 90 percent of bacteria.
The company also appointed Christy Raedeke as its first chief marketing officer in August.
The French interlining manufacturer has a history of sustainable practices that started far before it realized it could use fewer physical samples in its design process. In September 2019, Chargeurs launched the Sustainable 50, a collection of interlinings and components made from a range of materials including recycled polyester, cotton sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative, hemp, Bemberg and recycled plastics.
The company also has developed eco-friendly interlinings for luxury companies including Kering Group and Burberry, which sought an eco-smart interlining to shape a 100-percent-sustainable version of its iconic trench coat.