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The clothing manufacturing industry is included in one of the steps of the textile production:

Fiber production
Yarn production Weaving, Knit or nonwoven Dyeing and finishing Apparel manufacturing Retail Consumption

This industry has, as first plan process, the sewing operations, and as a secondary plan the cut, fusing, ironing, etc. In this context, the production is reduced to the sewing machine which is not more than a needle and some synchronizing mechanisms allowing the continuous production of seam stiches, everything else is left up to the operator. The operator is responsible for a high quantity of operations, such as controlling the speed of the stitch formation, the alignments of parts to sew, the shape of the thread where the seam is made and therefore the shape of the clothing, the different styles to produce, the quality during and after a seam, etc. Nevertheless, it is estimated that only 1/5 of the task progress is sewing time, being the others 4/5 to manipulate the fabrics and get them ready for stitching, scoring, folding, take out the work of the sewing machine, among other operations. Only 5-10% of the sewing operations can currently be made my automated machines.

The reasons for this domain of manual labor are essentially because of the nature of the materials and the sewing process itself, in other words:

  • Fabrics are not rigid material and bend in all directions, forcing the design of very complex and expensive automatic equipment
  • Fabrics vary in extensibility and although some extensibility is desirable for the penetration of the needle into the fabric, the reality is that the extensibility varies from fabric to fabric and within the same fabric depending on the orientation in which it makes the seam
  • The thickness of the fabric is variable, being well known the difficulty of making

1.1 –


Seams on fine fabrics, which must be added the difficulty of stitching in different thicknesses in a single seam thread
In mechanical terms, the sewing is a union able to reconcile with the flexibility, shape and fall of the fabrics, not having yet rival as an alternative able to meet this requirements

Fashion in one of the factors of greater impact, by forcing variability of styles, fabrics and sizes. If the clothing was reduced to a style, fabric and sizes, the automation problem would be solved a long ago.

By : Liliana Ribeiro 2014/2015

clothing manufacturing industry

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