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Soft Wear: Computer Simulated Design Is Tailoring the Future Fashion Industry

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A simulated textile.

New software can simulate the creation of complex clothing.

Credit: Fraunhofer IGD

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute's Computer Graphics Research Center have developed software that can simulate the making of complex clothing.

The simulation of individual textiles begins with the fibers woven into them, as users are able to tug, toss, twist, and fold onscreen garments to get a better sense of the fabric and determine how the material would move and drape in the real world.

Users can change the color map of the individual fibers to gain a very realistic picture of certain textiles, says Fraunhofer's Jorn Kohlhammer. Design drafts begin with a pattern, and the cuts determine how the software renders the swatches so they appear as they would on a real person. Users can direct their cursor to the individual seams to "sew" individual parts together virtually and get a real-time, moveable textile.

Kohlhammer notes large clothing companies already are using the software, which is being presented at the 2014 Hanover Trade Fair. He says the software could potentially be used in other product areas, such as in making industrial components with fiber-reinforced plastics, modeling aircraft and ships, or in developing car tires.

From Deutsche Welle (Germany)
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