Textile Services- An Evaluation
In the traditional labor-intensive textile industry, the manufacturers and the business owners are always on a look out for means of reducing their operational costs. Individual Textile Services are the outcome of this trend. There is no textile service which can't be found on a contract basis today. These services may include Computer-Aided Design, Contract Quilting, Contract Yarn Spinning, Custom Printing, Fabric Welding, Silk Screening, Textile Designers services, Contract Knitting, Contract Sewing, Custom Embroidery, Custom Slitting, Pleating, Specialty Weaving, Contract Napping, Contract Weaving, Custom Perforating, Custom Swatching, Private Labeling, Testing End Product and many more.
Why Textile Services
In majority of industries, a single unit cannot carry out all the procedures from processing the raw material to production of the end-products and this is more so in textile service industry
which requires high infrastructural and capital investments as well as intensive labor. Moreover, the highly competitive environment requires the maintenance of quality to the product's minutest details. Thus, outsourcing of certain production activities have helped the industry to reduce labor costs to a considerable levels as well as to maintain the product's quality according to the latest trends without investing much in research activities.
Textile Services- A Description
There are several textile services available these days. Some of them are very basic in nature where as others are specific to the requirements of the business owners who hire these services.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Computers are changing the way textile designing is done all over the world. For textile designers, CAD has become more or less indispensable. There are innumerable CAD companies that offer services such as a pre-purchase evaluation of current and future needs, flexible contract terms, and various training and support agreements apart from providing computer aided designing. These companies are capable of working with small businesses as well as larger industries based upon the quality of their staff and availability of latest softwares and hardwares.
The companies offering contract sewing services can design and produce any item according to the requirements of their clients. Most of these service providers' clientele range from small business owners to larger companies. From a new concept to an existing product, they satisfy all sewing requirements of their clients. Most of them offer products like load control straps, custom covers, industrial curtains, tarpaulin and many other industry specific items.
Contract Fabric Welding
There are several types of welding technology nowadays. The oldest method is that of Seam taping which can make a garment waterproof. Two layer coated nylon seam tape and three layer systems of fabric are prevalent till date. The other method of lasor cutting makes the edges very precise. Now the latest trend is Radio Frequency and ultra sonic welding. These methods create a stronger material bond. They result in stitch less and very light weight fabric. They are fast replacing seam taping. As these machineries and their set up tooling costs are very high, most of the manufacturers prefer to outsource this activity to the companies providing Contract Fabric Welding.
Most of the firms offering this service have their own offset presses, bindery department including in-house die-cutting equipments. Most of them offer prepress services along with offset presses. They have most of the equipments essential for printing like color press with aqueous coater, cylinder die cutter, screen computer-to-plate, windmill etc. This is the reason why the manufacturers don't invest in infrastructure needed for printing, they simply outsource this custom printing work. Apart from this, they get professional services of experienced staff of the service providers.
Silk screeningis a process which is used to create prints on a wide variety of materials including fabric. As it is cheap and easy, many commercial printers use this method to print. When it is done with care, it results in high quality prints. This technique uses a woven mesh to support an ink blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. This method requires high expertise for bringing out good quality of printing. Thus, manufacturers mostly prefer to outsource this work to the expert firms.
Textile Designers services
Textile designers are specialized in the design of textiles. They create designs for knitted, printed or woven textiles for mass production. Textile designers does thorough discussion for understanding the needs, ideas and requirements of their customers. They consider the future usage of the textile and the properties needed for it. They present their design ideas, sketches and samples to customers before going for the final design. As designing can be done by a person having artistic, creative bent of mind, eye for color, texture and pattern, quality of attentiveness towards details and also the knowledge of the market to be able to predict new trends, textile manufacturers prefer to hire services of expert textile designers.
Custom Embroidery is the embroidery made to personal order or according to individual specifications. Mostly this service is availed for creating company logos. Other than this, custom embroidered corporate apparel, shirts, hats, caps, embroidered gifts for corporate and business events, business wear etc. are made through the firms providing this service. Before embroidering the client's order, most of the firms send a reduced size pre-production proof or a digital picture of the item sewn out onto fabric for approval. This ensures the quality as well.
Slitting Services If a textile material needs to be supplied in narrower rolls, then the fabric roll is placed on a machine called a slitter. This "cuts" the rolls to the width required. This is slitting. For instance, a roll of printed labels may be printed on a single fabric. This fabric having multiple labels is slit according to the customer specified roll and trim dimensions.
Pleating is to form pleats on different types of materials including fabrics, drapes, upholstery or mesh. It is a mechanical process which creates special kinds of patterns on fabrics. The patterns are created using heat, pressure and tension in which the fabric is folded upon itself into an accordion-like pattern. Then the fabric is placed in a heated chamber to permanently set the shapes. The pleating machines have made the entire process simpler, faster and cheaper which was time consuming and imperfect when done manually. To avoid setting up of the machinery, this service is mostly hired by the fabric manufacturers.
Contract Napping is a process which can be applied to woolens, cotton, spun silk, and spun rayon, both woven and knitted, for raising a velvety, soft surface. The fabric is passed over revolving cylinders that are covered with fine wires which lift the short, loose fibers, usually from the weft yarns, to the surface, forming a nap which is either cut or left intact. Carpets, rugs, velvet, and velveteen, all are made by interlacing a secondary yarn through the woven cloth, creating a nap, also called a pile. As this process needs both, special machines as well as skilled labor, it is usually done through contract with the service providers.
Specialty weaving includes weaving special "non-standard" fibers or novel weave constructions. Some of the examples are high modulus carbon fiber, aramid, glass, quartz, and ceramic fibers. Weave constructions can range from simple single layer, two directional (2D) fabrics to multi-layer three directional (3D) fabrics. Complex shapes can also be woven on special weaving equipment. Some service providers often prepare a loom to weave multiple samples and maintain that loom set up while the customer conducts tests and gives approval for the next experiment. This type of engineering support attracts the manufacturers for availing this service.
Private Labeling Products or services that are generally manufactured or provided by one company under some other company's brand is known as private labeling. Private label goods and services are available in a wide range of industries including textile industry. They are often used as lower cost alternatives to regional, national or international brands but recently some private label brands have established themselves as premium brands which brought them in competition with existing brand names.
Testing end products
Testing end products For quality control it is essential to adopt textile testing. Today, services for testing end products are available extensively. From fiber testing to end-product audit and inspection, light fastness, strength tests, garment pilling etc., all the testing services are available in the market giving an opportunity for not investing in the high cost testing machines. Some of these firms also provide standard tests which gives accreditation to the end product.