Sampling and re-sampling may soon become a passé process as 3D virtual fit solutions offer faster approvals and, ultimately, faster speed to market.
Fashion technology company Tukatech Inc., recently launched its Cloud based Virtual Sample solution, called TUKA3D, where designers can fit and approve garments in a simulated fit session that works just like a real one.
TUKA3D comes with digital replicas of more than 500 brands’ and retailers’ fit models that are either created from scans or sculpted from digital measurements. Designers can then view an uploaded sample in 3D, rotate it, pan and zoom in to see how it fits their model. The fit solution features a database of 150 pre-set digital fabrics and features a built-in motion simulator with color tension mapping and X-Ray view so designers can see how the garment and fabric drapes, uncover any fit issues, get them quickly resolved and have another sample uploaded for approval.
Tukatech founder and CEO Ram Sareen said, “We wanted the entire supply chain to be visually connected and go back in time when we were able to design under one roof, where everyone communicated effectively. The designer spoke to the pattern maker many times referring to old styles. New changes and somehow (based on old blocks, experience, understanding of fit model’s shape and size) the pattern maker made the pattern, got a sample cut and sewn and it was on the fit model’s body. During the fit session, the pattern maker and the sample sewer were present. The designer made changes if needed and got the final sample, on the same day or by the next day.”
He added, “The cloud based visual solution is a community based solution where all blocks in 3D samples reside by each division, brand, season and product type. The files are complete with 2D flat pattern, fit model’s body, type of fabric, the measurement chart and all the integrated information, ready to use again to develop new garments.”
In terms of simplifying the supply chain, the virtual solution stands to considerably cut costs as brands won’t be investing in proto samples. All fit is done virtually first, and then one physical sample gets made.
“Many vertical retailers have eliminated the final sample also as they found zero tolerance between the virtual sample to final sample, so they could save another five to seven days for the arrival of physical sample,” Sareen said. “What took 45 to 60 days is now done in five to seven days. Sixty-three percent of total cycle time from concept to delivery was just in development of fit, look and approval. By reducing this time, we are able to get to the market sooner.”
Ranju Mahtani, CEO of The Epic Group, which uses TUKA3D, touted the software for its efficiency. “We make over six million garments per month in hundreds of styles, the only way we can grow our business is to have more developments in a shorter time period with fewer people. This is what Tukatech has done with their solutions installed at all our facilities worldwide.”
Brands like Elie Tahari, POLO, Express and Walmart just started using TUKA3D through their vendors to reduce development time, Sareen said, and vendors for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy are developing the fit and look on TUKA3D software.