Announcing the World's First Robotically-Sewn Garment
Sewbo, Inc. announced that it has used an industrial robot to sew together a T-shirt, achieving the long-sought goal of automation for garment production.
Sewbo’s technology will allow manufacturers to create higher-quality clothing at lower costs. It will shorten supply chains and lessen the long lead times that hamper the fashion and apparel industries, helping to reduce the complexity of today’s intricate global supply network.
Despite widespread use in other industries, automation has made little progress in clothing manufacturing due to the difficulties robots face when trying to manipulate limp, flexible fabrics.
Sewbo avoids these hurdles by temporarily stiffening fabrics, allowing off-the-shelf industrial robots to easily build garments from rigid cloth, just as if they were working with sheet metal. The fabric panels can be easily molded and welded before being permanently sewn together.
The water-soluble stiffener is removed at the end of the manufacturing process with a simple rinse in hot water, leaving a soft, fully assembled piece of clothing. The stiffener can then be recovered for reuse.
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