3 IntroductionICT (Information Communication Technology) plays a major part in textiles technology and industry. Its uses can be broken down into three major parts.Research and presentation – many different programs can be used to collect data and present work.Design – there is a range of design tools that can be used to support your design ideas, such as graphics software and layout packages.Manufacturing – ICT can be used to make anything from badges to knitted garments.
4 Make sure you record the URLs of useful websites. The InternetThe Internet is often the first place to look when researching textile products.Websites with details of trends, designers and manufacturers can be found by using search engines such as Google.Pictures can be downloaded to be included in mood boards or spider diagrams.is a quick and easy way of contacting manufacturers and designers to gain knowledge and feedback.Make sure you record the URLs of useful websites.
5 Word processingWord processors like Microsoft Word enable you to perform multiple tasks, allowing you to cut, paste, move and resize images and text, change font, add bullet points, etc.You may want to write letters to designers or manufacturers as part of your research. Addresses can be inserted for each manufacturer and then printed out without having to reproduce them again and again. Mail merge is an excellent tool to use as it will insert names and addresses at the touch of a button.You could also use a word processor to produce a questionnaire to find out more about what your potential clients want.
6 SpreadsheetsSpreadsheets are extremely useful for collecting and displaying a range of data.You can sort data by particular headings, enabling you to order information after it has been inputted.It is possible to manipulate data into different categories, complete tasks including calculations and mail merges and look up data from other spreadsheets.You can also filter information to print out specified data.This information shows whether manufacturers responded by sending samples.
7 GraphsIf you have completed a questionnaire in your coursework, graphs are a great way of presenting your findings.Which age range would like your product?
8 Digital photographsYou can collect and record information quickly using a digital camera. Digital photographs of existing products, or of places or objects that have inspired you, can be used to illustrate your design ideas.Photo-editing software can be used to change the colourways and colour coordination of your product.This will give you a good idea of what your garment or textile item may look like in different colours without making up samples.
9 Digital photograph formats Photos taken with a digital camera, or uploaded to a computer using a scanner, can be saved in a number of formats:JPEG files are compressed images and can easily be inserted into documents for sending via or saving onto discs.TIFF files have a very good resolution and can be used for computer presentation work and outputting transfer printed designs.PICT files have a good resolution and can also be used for presentations.
10 Communicationis a quick and easy way of communicating with colleagues, clients and suppliers and can be a useful way of contacting manufacturers to gain knowledge and feedback.Video conferencing allows designers, clients and manufacturers to talk to each other face to face. They are able to show each other ideas, share applications and even amend each other’s drawings on the other person’s computer.What advantages do you think video conferencing offers?Can see what the other person is doingSaves timeMore friendly than telephoneSaves travel
11 CAD/CAMComputer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) play a major part in the textiles industry.While these systems can be expensive to install, maintain and update, a company will save a lot of money in the long run.They can speed up manufacturing processes and allow factories to be competitive with their product prices.You can also use CAD and CAM to produce your design proposal and manufacture your product.
12 CADCAD is used to create or modify designs. The final design can then be digitally printed, or the information sent directly to cutting machines.Here, pattern pieces are designed on the computer and then printed.CAD/CAM is used in mass and batch production to enable factories to run without interruption. Images are designed using CAD and then output again and again. The quality of the items improve because of the accuracy of the machinery.Photo from Sentinel Clothing Company (
13 CAM in industry Computer-controlled machines are used to: print directly onto fabric, or transfer a design from paper to fabric using heat. This can be extremely useful when manufacturing includes hazardous and toxic processes, such as dyeing.load fabric onto the cutting machine and operate the cutting equipment.stitch the pieces of fabric together – automatic sewing machines include microprocessors to control the movement of pattern pieces, and sensors which stop the machine if anything goes wrong. CAM enables batch production to run smoothly as it does not take long to reset equipment as data is stored and saved.
15 CAM in the classroom Transfer printing An image is produced using CAD (Computer Aided Design) and printed out onto the transfer paper.This image is then ironed face down onto the fabric.When it is cool you are able to remove the backing paper.There are many different papers on the market – some require reversing.
16 CAM in the classroom Embroidery machine 1. A design is copied using a scanner or created using CAD software.2. The embroidery machine can be linked directly to a PC or designs can be transferred on a disk.Image courtesy of Techsoft (3. The image is then downloaded onto the machine’s memory and output onto the machine bed, creating a machined logo or image.