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3D simulation for vir­tual sam­ple mak­ing and ap­proval is of­fered by ev­ery CAD sup­plier. While CAD for pat­tern mak­ing, grad­ing, marker mak­ing is used by the ma­jor­ity of ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ers, 3D sam­ple ap­proval process is rarely used by man­u­fac­tur­ers. Why? Is it be­cause of cost or any tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions? Can fab­ric fall be cor­rectly sim­u­lated vir­tu­ally on screen?

As far as my think­ing for 3D vi­su­al­i­sa­tion in CAD is con­cerned, it will be more suit­able for fash­ion houses which make only one or two de­sign sam­ples. It is not a ba­sic ne­ces­sity for ex­port houses work­ing on large vol­ume orders as well as it is not the re­quire­ment of the buy­ers.

At Pooja In­ter­na­tional, we are us­ing CorelDraw, Adobe Pho­to­shop and Il­lus­tra­tor which are eas­ier to han­dle for de­sign­ing and I am very much com­fort­able with these soft­ware. If I talk on be­half of the ex­port houses, 3D simulation soft­ware comes with heavy in­vest­ment and this needs special learn­ing or special train­ing and peo­ple with such high skills are hard to find at least in Delhi-NCR.

How­ever, In­dia is grow­ing steadily and man­ual pat­tern mak­ing has been re­placed by CAD pat­tern mak­ing over the years; thereby I am sure, af­ter few years, In­dia will also have 3D simulation in ex­port houses see­ing the ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity of such so­lu­tions.

Be­ing a de­signer, I would like to learn this as it will be eas­ier for de­sign­ers like me to cre­ate the first look of a gar­ment in soft­ware in­stead of mak­ing so many dummy and sam­ples.



Let's get down to ba­sics. What's all this talk about ‘3D sam­pling’, ‘vir­tual pro­to­typ­ing’? This vir­tual sam­ple method­ol­ogy en­ables to predict, review and amend de­tails of gar­ments on the com­puter by us­ing soft­ware rather than mak­ing ad­just­ments on real life fit model, and the cloth­ing sam­ple is time-con­sum­ing and in­curs high cost. This dig­i­tal-friendly tech­nol­ogy not only makes the process sim­pler and cost-ef­fec­tive but also en­cour­ages the tech­ni­cians to take a call on de­signs vir­tu­ally af­ter vi­su­al­is­ing the de­signs through var­i­ous per­mu­ta­tion and com­bi­na­tion of sketches, pat­terns and de­signs. Pho­to­re­al­is­tic 3D sam­ples are driv­ing end con­sumers and trade part­ners to view and in­ter­act with prod­uct sam­ples which are not yet man­u­fac­tured. It cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate di­rectly or in­di­rectly in brand de­ci­sion mak­ing process of how, when, what and how many to man­u­fac­ture. It’s widely used by most of the re­tail brands at de­sign con­cep­tion stage.

I wouldn't say that there are no lim­i­ta­tions to it. Ev­ery tech­nol­ogy that is in­tro­duced has cer­tain pros and cons and for 3D sam­pling, some of these are: in­vest­ment in 3D tech­nol­ogy which is ex­pen­sive and there­fore, most of the small man­u­fac­tur­ers and ex­porters can­not af­ford to ac­com­mo­date these tech­niques in their in­fras­truc­ture. Sec­ondly, the nec­es­sary skills and the ba­sic ameni­ties re­quired to adapt to this cur­rent trend are ex­pen­sive. Re­tain­ing trained re­sources is a big chal­lenge here in In­dia. There are some tech­ni­cal rea­sons be­cause of which there is still a gap in un­der­stand­ing the fab­ric in terms of weave, tex­ture, GSM of fab­ric and drape/ fall prop­er­ties and what­ever anal­y­sis is de­rived is not ac­cu­rate. Though this is a suit­able model for ba­sic fab­ric struc­ture. Most of the do­mes­tic re­tail brands in In­dia have their own pre­de­fined spec­i­fi­ca­tion and sizes in cuts and shapes. These dif­fer from brand to brand. The ex­porters wouldn't be able to spend on these cus­tom spec­i­fi­ca­tions for each and ev­ery re­tailer. To over­come this, the buy­ers can work in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the man­u­fac­tur­ers, re­tail­ers, re­search and de­vel­op­ment team to un­der­stand the spec­i­fi­ca­tions at the ini­tial stage and reg­u­lar stage checks will make the process sim­ple, easy and as­sist in long-term busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion.



In my opin­ion, it’s not about the cost or the tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions, it’s ac­tu­ally about the mind­set of the in­dus­try peo­ple and the ex­ist­ing work­ing meth­ods.

As per the cur­rent method, peo­ple find it sim­ple enough to pin or stitch sam­ples, place them on a dummy and then ad­just them, so that the touch and feel is in­volved. Thus, it’s a com­pletely new idea for them to do the same on a com­puter with­out touch­ing , and that doesn’t quite go with them. How­ever, they do not re­alise the ef­fort,

time, ma­te­rial, ma­chine, money get­ting wasted on the cur­rent method.

Hope­fully, in fu­ture, their mind­sets will change when they re­alise how sim­ple it will be to do the same on a soft­ware. Ini­tially even CAD was not ac­cepted read­ily in the mar­ket, be­cause of quite sim­i­lar rea­sons. The pat­tern mak­ers were ha­bit­u­ated of con­struct­ing pat­terns with pa­per and pen­cil and the idea of con­struct­ing pat­terns on a com­puter was not okay for them. It took quite a lot of time for them to com­pre­hend how easy, ef­fi­cient and time sav­ing the CAD could be, and now CAD is ex­ten­sively used in the ap­parel in­dus­try.

And about the fab­ric fall, I would like to tell that a fab­ric has many phys­i­cal prop­er­ties which al­to­gether is re­spon­si­ble for the fab­ric fall.

If one knows the weight, thick­ness, warps, wefts, type of weave, stretch, they are al­most done with know­ing the fab­ric prop­er­ties and they can eas­ily get these in­fos from the mill/sup­pli­ers. The soft­ware al­lows one to work with all the prop­er­ties by giv­ing cer­tain val­ues, which re­sults in the right simulation. These fac­tors have been de­cided af­ter ex­ten­sive re­search and tri­als. Peo­ple can also find some tried and tested pre­loaded fab­ric tem­plates (silk, satin, cot­ton, denim ) to give them an idea about the drape and fall simulation.

And lastly, I would like to say that it’s just the be­gin­ning for 3D. A lot of new tech­nolo­gies are com­ing up in it, and it is def­i­nitely the fu­ture of the ap­parel and fash­ion world.

The 3D era is yet to come.



I think 3D simulation is still not be­ing used by gar­ment pro­duc­ers be­cause they are not well aware of the real po­ten­tial and they strug­gle to un­der­stand how 3D tech­nol­ogy can re­place man­ual pro­to­typ­ing, es­pe­cially when pat­tern mak­ers have been work­ing on a real scale dummy for 20 to 30 years. Most of them think it's not pos­si­ble to eval­u­ate the fit on screen be­cause they can­not feel the fab­ric fall and ease, but I'm pretty sure that this dig­i­tal shift will come with the new gen­er­a­tions of de­sign­ers/pat­tern mak­ers who are al­ready used to work­ing with dig­i­tal tools.


3D FASH­ION & VIR­TUAL PRO­TO­TYPE SPE­CIAL­IST (FRANCE) 3D vir­tual sam­ple mak­ing process is surely an emerg­ing con­cept, how­ever it is still not widely used by the ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ers. Tra­di­tional method of mak­ing sam­ple is still dom­i­nat­ing this tech­ni­cal con­cept and peo­ple find it eas­ier to make a sam­ple and get it checked on a dummy. Peo­ple are used to hav­ing a feel of the fab­ric by phys­i­cally touch­ing it. Be­sides, phys­i­cal ver­i­fi­ca­tion of fab­ric fall also mat­ters to them. This ap­proach is be­ing fol­lowed by most of the gar­ment fac­to­ries, at least in In­dia.

But, as far as cus­tomi­sa­tion is con­cerned, I will pre­fer 3D simulation over phys­i­cal sam­pling process. Cus­tomi­sa­tion means you are go­ing to give a cus­tomer what he wants from you and 3D vir­tual pro­to­typ­ing is the best so­lu­tion for this. Even we are do­ing a lot of cus­tomi­sa­tion and we are plan­ning to adopt this ap­proach soon. As men­tioned in the ques­tion that fall may be a prob­lem in 3D simulation, I am sure the tech­nol­ogy sup­pli­ers have con­sid­ered this is­sue be­fore com­ing up with their soft­ware. So, I am quite hope­ful of mak­ing sam­ples us­ing 3D simulation and in fact, we are plan­ning to have a demo of the same for which we are in touch with var­i­ous CAD sup­pli­ers.



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