Levi’s to Use Laser for Creating Designs on Jeans
Levi’s, an American clothing brand introduced novel digitizing technique, which utilizes lasers to create designs on jeans instead of using manual labor
The clothing major is working on new Project called Future-Led Execution (FLX), which aims to eliminate harmful chemicals involved in processing of cloths along with reducing labor-intensive steps in creating jean finishes. Furthermore, the company is planning to implement this process across the denim supply chain in near future. In this procedure, lasers use infrared rays to lightly scratch designs into the top layer of the jean’s surface, creating the faded outlines and tears.
Designers will be using imaging tool to create different patterns and finishes on jeans using a tablet to create a prototype. This technique allows designers to tweak colors and control the design of rips and tears. Prototype jeans are usually created by using chemicals and manually ripping, tearing or wearing down a physical pair of jeans. The company believes that this technology will reduce the time required for manufacturing of jeans. Those digital files created can also be sent the laser machine to create a prototype or even to a vendor for large-scale manufacturing. Levi intends to implement this digital platform by 2020.
According to the company, the clothing industry has generally used hand-finishing and a chemical process to create the worn and faded designs on denim since 30 years. The company aims for zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020 by reducing the number of chemicals used from thousands to a few dozen during the denim finishing process using laser technology. “Our first step in the new process is to photograph the jean and then we take that and illustrate it in a way that the laser can interpret. So what used to happen traditionally 8, 10, 12 minutes with manual applications, we can now execute with the laser in 90 seconds or so,” said Bart Sights, Levi’s VP in technical innovation.
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