Archives

2014

Vol 8, No 4 (2014)

3D Grading and Pattern Unwrapping, EU's GSP Scheme, Kaizen for Productivity, Dynamics of Sewing, PCM for Textiles, Vapor Permeability, Bagging, Textile Electrodes, and Comfort in Poly/Lycra Fabrics

2013

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Vol 8, No 3 (2013)

Welcome to this issue of the Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management!

The Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management (JTATM) is celebrating its 13th year as an online journal. The goal of JTATM has been to disseminate peer reviewed scholarly research to the textile and apparel industry, government, and academia and facilitate the integration between technology and management.

There have been transformational changes in the fashion, textile, apparel and retail sectors of the Global Textile Complex over the past few decades. The primary influencers resulting in these changes are the advancement of technology, globalization, and a shift in marketing strategies. Web-based communication structures, computer aided design and product lifecycle management are just a few of the technological changes impacting the industry. The shift of manufacturing location has also had a significant impact on the industry and has been aided by the advances in technology. Marketing strategies have shifted to a brand/product development business model. There has been an explosive growth in the fast fashion market and we are seeing increasing use of social media to gain information from the public regarding products and trends.

There have also been changes in strategic planning to be more prepared for the industry of today. In the 1950’s the focus of strategic planning was on production and in the 1960’s and 70’s it shifted to product. By the 1980’s there was increasing focus in retailing and then a shift to the consumer in the 1990’s. As we entered the 21st century, strategic planning became consumer centric with efforts to gain feedback from the consumer on everything from products to purchasing experiences. The advances in technology, with the introduction of mobile devices and social media, resulted in more effective and efficient methods of collecting this data. In addition, more tools used to complete analysis of the data have been developed.

As our industry is highly innovative and adaptive, there will continue to be change. At NCSU College of Textiles, we aim to prepare the future leaders in the industry through the development of creative and critical thinking skills with a strong foundation in industry technology combined with design and management theory. This combination will contribute to innovative and sound decision making. We recognize the importance of an integrated understanding of technology and management on all sectors of the global textile industry, including design, product development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and merchandising. We are quite proud of the fact that JTATM has been unique in fulfilling the new challenges for the fusion and integration.

In this issue of the JTATM we include topics that span the global textile complex from wet processing to on-line shopping to the New York Garment Industry. These reflect just some of the trends influencing the fashion, textiles, apparel, and retail industries today.

We invite you to share this online issue with colleagues, as well as communicate directly with Dr. Moon Suh, Managing Editor, and the Editorial Board Members. Enjoy this issue, and plan to visit the NC State College of Textiles!

Karen K. Leonas, Ph.D.
Professor and Head
Department of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management
College of Textiles
NC State University

2012

Vol 7, No 4 (2012)

Design of Braids, Pattern Generation for Fit, Nano Finish Denims, Spandex Knits, Conductive Fabrics, New Natural Dye, Photo-degradation and Moisture Transport
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Vol 7, No 3 (2012)

What went wrong for US textile and apparel industries in the 80’s and 90’s?

What could go wrong for the same industries in any country or region in the world today?

The answer may be framed within the context of “technology vs. management.” In the US, the productivity and cost driven management paradigms, along with quotas and tariffs, significantly suppressed the growths of R&D and product innovation in the 70’s and 80’s. In retrospect, it was an unintentional mistake. Many top executives with legitimate business degrees, but with little training in technology, were busy in performing the so-called “local optimizations” daily in all corporate functions. I remember the days when most major companies did a superb job in loom scheduling, inventory control, optimum transportation, and repair vs. replacement cost modeling of equipment when the annual interest rates hovered over 10 -15%. They were extremely proud of keeping textiles at the top beating all other industries in terms of the productivity growth when their profit margins were barely above 3% of the sales for a span of more than 20 years. In spite of the low profitability, their accomplishments were widely praised. When the roof fell one day, however, many were shocked and began blaming the “management” exclusively for the failure, only to realize soon that the “technologies” were also archaic and anemic. This phenomenon was not unique to textiles and apparel industries.

Companies with a foresight reconfigured their business map with formation of global supply chains and global sourcing, anticipating free trade under WTO. Relying heavily on decision tools imbedded on the emerging IT capabilities, still in an embryo stage at the time, was a bold and risky move some have taken, especially in downstream firms. Only a few clearly understood how this new branch of “technology” could be added to the “management” for success. It was a new hybrid called “technology management” nonexistent during the 60s and 70s.

In US academia, one prevailing school of thought for quick fix was to educate the MBA students in “technology.” Soon, such degrees as Engineering Management and Technology Management were born in MIT and other US institutions. This was a wakeup call for all MBA programs with no technology components. Crash courses were developed in an effort to repair the broken link. Not many will be convinced of the net benefit of all these efforts if we are to judge it based on the nation’s financial crisis since 1988.

For the textile and apparel programs in the US universities and around the world, the wakeup call was seemingly not loud enough. Some woke up and just fled the scene rather than trying to fix the problem. Many programs simply have disappeared. One exception has been College of Textiles, NC State University. In the mid 80’s, long before the recent crisis alarm and even before the LBO’s began to sweep Burlington and other major companies, the NC State College of Textiles officially established “Department of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management” in a strategic move to cope with the changing business dynamics. Even before 80’s, the college had strong management components. Such names as “Textile Management and Technology” and “Textile and Apparel Management” existed before mid 80’s. In addition, College of Textiles created a Ph.D. program in Textile Technology Management in early 90’s, the first such program in the world. I remember many open criticisms even within the college that adding management programs to the historically technology-intensive programs would weaken the core values of the college well kept from day one. In addition, there were some failure examples already at that time in other universities, mainly due to misguided efforts to completely isolate the new management programs from the traditional textile science and engineering programs.

Today, few dispute the success and synergy brought by the addition of management programs to the science and technology here at the College of Textiles. The Textile Science, Engineering and Chemistry programs have reached a new height while the new and revamped management and technology programs are thriving in; design, fashion, branding, quality, supply chain, product design, international trades, and entrepreneurship. Do we call these technology or management disciplines? It depends on how we teach them. As an example, the supply chain (or what I would call demand chain) and product development must be product-specific and IT-intensive to be truly effective. Without it, it just becomes a theory. That is, the management education in textiles and apparel should be strongly imbedded in science and technology. In principle, the generic management courses taught everywhere will not be the driving force for the textile management program. Thus, a success should depend on how well we fuse the management courses with the relevant technical foundations. The efficiency-focused management model has run its course. Neither technology alone can invent a product that can be sold, marketed, distributed for a profit. Management has become a necessary companion to technology, not an adversary.

Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management was created under the same vision. How can we facilitate a fusion between technology and management? As the articles amply exhibit in this issue and all previous issues, it is a joy to witness that the researchers around the world can find a wide array of topics dealing with both textile and apparel management and technology. In this issue alone, the topics you will find are; neural network optimization in production of organic cotton fabrics, life cycle of a Piedmont cotton textile mill town, smart maternity wear, eco-friendly orange peel for absorption of effluents from textile finishing, nonwoven active wear, medicinal herb Glycyrrhiza Glabra for cotton fabrics, process optimization in reactive printing and finishing, morphology of chicken feather fibers, dimensional properties of regenerated cellulose single jersey, teaching business practice in retail classroom, dyeability and light fastness of onion ‎scale dye for conservation, microencapsulation of PCMs in textiles.

What other journals cover such a wide spectrum of subjects?

There cannot be a tug-of-war between management and technology anywhere in the world. While they may form a contrast as two different academic disciplines, the real world demands fusion and companionship under the prevailing global business environment.

On behalf this journal, I thank all the authors and readers around the world for making our efforts worthwhile by promoting this vision.

(Views expressed above are personal, and not of the college or university)

2011

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Vol 7, No 2 (2011)

Welcome to this issue of the Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management!

Since JTATM’s first launch in September 2000 as an online journal, the goal of the Journal has been to provide textile- and apparel-related scholarly research to industry, government and academia. Our focus has been to provide the art, science, and management perspectives, and this new issue provides all three for you, our target audience!

What began in 2000 as a creative endeavor to capitalize on the growing interest in sharing textile- and apparel-related information online, has resulted in a global online distribution of readership! As always, we are open to your thoughts and ideas about future articles and the emerging issues we should examine for the dynamic textile and apparel value chains!

Indeed, it is an exciting time for textiles and apparel! September-November 2011 may find you participating in various industry events: Barcelona (for ITMF, ITMA, Textile Exchange global conference), Fashion Week and market weeks (around the world for various textile end use products), Fiber Society/AATCC conference, ITAA Conference, Asian Textile Conference and numerous or other events.

From our perspective at College (and JTATM), some of the many opportunities we see occurring for today and the future include:

INNOVATION: We continue to dialogue and partner with key companies that are interested in innovative approaches to textile products -- fibers, yarns, fabrics, plus finished goods with end uses in apparel, home, industrial/commercial, transportation, medical, and nonwoven products. In addition, we are finding innovative service strategies continuing to emerge… such as packaging, as well as servicing supply chain partners, as well as communication (especially social media!!) to the end customer/consumer. At the College of Textiles, we have a forthcoming program in Fashion and Textile Design, incorporating the aesthetic, functional, technical, and expressive (tied with brand-equity) aspects of fashion and textile products and services.

FASHION: Fashion, once thought of only with apparel products, IS now used in our industry as both a noun and a verb! Related to product innovation and change, we continue to see “fashion” in home products (furniture, home textile products, outdoor awnings, and many more products!), apparel, transportation (including automobiles, as well as marine craft and other modes), and some forthcoming innovation in the medical field (our senior capstone class is researching hospital maternity gowns!). Spring 2012 will be the first ever Fashion Week, April 11-13, 2012, held at the NC State College of Textiles!

SUSTAINABILITY: North Carolina State University, led by our College of Management, has identified key areas of sustainability research and LCA activities. Personnel in the College of Textiles have several research projects focusing on textile-related sustainability (raw material acquisition, manufacturing, inventory analysis, economic competitive and business solutions). Spring 2011, Dr. Sam Moore, Director of Oeko-Tex for North America, taught a graduate seminar focusing on sustainability. In addition, NC State University has recently joined The Sustainability Consortium (TSC). Sustainability continues to provide creative opportunities for industry/academic partnerships for research and education.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Entrepreneurship continues to be of growing interest for our students – whether they desire to “own their own business” and/or work for an entrepreneurial-minded company. Centennial Campus has a “garage” to help realize entrepreneurial opportunities, and our University community continues to discuss ways for collaboration within the university – as well with our various communities. Vice Chancellor Lomax has established a Springboard Partnership Council, with representatives internal to NC State who are “reaching out” to various global communities. Our College’s Entrepreneurship Club enjoys various entrepreneurs sharing their ideas and experiences – to broaden our thinking regarding textiles!

TECHNOLOGY: Technology remains an important element for our research and education programs. Our work with composites, electro-textiles, the work with the military, as well as products for niche markets, may technology a core component for our education and research programs. Our College laboratories and studios continue to have some of the latest technology available, with our students utilizing these technologies as well as industry software!

BRAND MARKETING AND RETAIL: Our College’s largest undergraduate student enrollment is in the Fashion and Textile Management (FTM) program. Our students have the textile product foundation, combined with in-depth program information in the areas of brand marketing, technical design, and retail and supply chain management in textiles. Our FTM Industry Advisory Board, comprised of 21 global industry executives, provides key advisory, visionary planning, and “connectivity” for our program (students as well as faculty). It has been important that the College embrace the entire textile value chain (including our retail partners) , as well as the importance of brand marketing for textile products.

These are a few of our challenges and opportunities as we look to the future! As always, we invite you to share this online issue with colleagues, as well as communicate directly with Dr. Moon Suh, Managing Editor, and the Editorial Board members. Enjoy this issue – and plan a visit to the NC State College of Textiles!

Vol 7, No 1 (2011)

Design, Consumerism, Comfort, Composites and Textile Finishing

2010

Vol 6, No 4 (2010)

Textiles, Apparel and Management

Vol 6, No 3 (2010)

The Sustainability Age Takes Shape

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Dr. Moon W. Suh
Managing Editor, JTATM
College of Textiles
P.O. Box 8301
Raleigh, NC 27695-8301
Robert Cooper
Technical Editor, JTATM
College of Textiles
P.O. Box 8301
Raleigh, NC 27695-8301
Shawn Dunning
Assistant Dean for Information Technology
College of Textiles
P.O. Box 8301
Raleigh, NC 27695-8301