Material Selection and Fashion Design: There’s Got to Be a Better Way



Does this sound familiar? You’re searching for a certain fabric sample that you came across from a new vendor. It had a very nice feel, and you’d like to keep it in mind for next season’s lines. But where is it now? There’s a stack of swatch books on the table over there. No, that’s not it. Could it be down in the sample room? Maybe… And the search continues, until you’re interrupted by a design colleague. She’s looking for something too. Great. 

 

For many apparel, footwear, and fashion brands, this situation is just one of many time-consuming events that can occur around material selection. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have an excellent filing system for new fabrics and an archived library of favorites, things can still get confusing when it’s time to see what materials might work best for a new style or collection. There’s got to be a better way.

 

Reimagine the Material Selection Process

 

Imagine This: Being able to search, filter, and download from an online database to reduce time spent looking for fabric samples and manually entering data. A centralized repository of up-to-the-minute data and images, reducing the need for physical samples and swatches. Decluttering your design studio and organizing fabrics more efficiently by making your material selection from a digital library.

 

Imagine That: A platform that lets design and product development teams pull materials specs and pictures into 3D design programs, allowing them to change materials and colorways instantly and continuously throughout the design process. Don’t like how a certain color looks on your product? See what other options look like without having to work backwards. 

 

Imagine the Speed: A digital visualization solution that makes decisions about colorways, design and material easier before you create physical or virtual prototypes. A tool that lets designers and developers test designs and improve compliance before production.  

 

Imagine the Savings: An online tool that’s able to populate PLM data to give development teams line-of-sight into material costs, availability, quality and compliance issues. Getting the exact specs for every item in the bill of materials instantly. 

 

The good news is you don’t have to just imagine these outcomes. They are delivered by a digital material visualization platformMaterial Exchangea solution developed by PTC and a diverse group of partners including Decker Brands, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, and Material Exchange Ventures AB.  

 

Don’t tear apart your design studio searching around for that misplaced fabric sample you saved last season. With a digital material visualization platform, you can streamline your fashion and apparel material selection process and accelerate product design and development. 

 

Learn more about the benefits and potential use cases of a digital materials library in our upcoming webinar featuring Michelle Boucher of Tech Clarity and Brad Thomas of PTC's Retail Business Unit:

 

Solving retail product development challenges