Sustainable Innovations in Apparel Production | Edited by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu


Sustainable Innovations in Apparel Production
Edited by Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu

Sustainable Innovations in Apparel Production


Laser-Based Apparel Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
P. Senthil Kumar and S. Suganya
Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Methods for
Textile Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Aravin Prince Periyasamy, Sunil Kumar Ramamoorthy, Samson Rwawiire
and Yan Zhao
New Tools and Techniques for Measuring
Sustainability in Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
P. Senthil Kumar and P. R. Yaashikaa

Laser-Based Apparel Production
P. Senthil Kumar and S. Suganya


LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) technology is being largely used in apparel industry for cutting, patterning garments, designer neckties, and denim fading with 3D body scanning and engraving leather since nineteenth century. Laser cut design tends to be reserved for haute couture designs and reduced low cost, flexibility, and anti-counterfeiting to produce apparel in ready-to-wear collections. Laser light is a form of electromagnetic radiation used to cleave various materials with high accuracy in cutting, sealing fabric edges in order to prevent fraying. The change in energy states within the atoms of certain materials leads to produce light by laser. And that has few basic characteristics, namely intensity, coherency, monochromaticity, and collimation.

These are helpful to distinguish laser light from natural light. Generally, laser beams are narrow, travel in parallel lines, but do not spread out or diverge as light from most normal sources. Therefore, using laser cuts without any pressure on the fabric is meant for no extra energy requirement other than laser. It tends to no unintended marks left on the fabric especially in silk and lace. Adopting high-energy laser cuts material by melting, burning, or vaporizing it. Most significantly, laser beam decomposes dye, resulting in producing vapors followed by venting them away from garment. This is how denim fading works. While scanning the universal barcodes to identify products such as apparels, fashion accessories, the following lasers are used such as CO2 laser, neodymium (Nd) laser, and neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG) lasers. They use precise concentrated beam of light. CO2 laser is a gas laser, producing an infrared light to absorb by organic material. Solid-state lasers such as Nd and Nd-YAG lasers, on the other hand, rely on a crystal to create light beam. Yet, it is hard to reproduce in an exact way. Hence, laser cut makes each ideal task to create an identical design; many countries are unaware of this technology. But the laser cut clothes are shell out for a lot of cash.

However, safety issues and gases used in laser apparels must be replenished to meet multi-fiber agreement regime to make textile products more safe, clean, and competitive. This chapter focuses on laser technology in the apparel production and their potential hazards in health-related concerns.

Keywords Laser cut design _ Engraving _ Scanning _ 3D _ Hazards Light beam

1 Introduction
For many decades, LASER technology is being used in apparel industry. Recently, laser technological developments are gripping textile field to improve the product and supply chain more efficient. Laser plays major role in cutting, patterning, welding and designing, scanning, fading, and engraving [1]. Laser light is an energy source, a form of electromagnetic radiation which produces light by changing energy states within the atoms of certain materials. Light emitted from laser falls on following characteristics, namely intensity, coherency, monochromaticity, and collimation. Though laser beams are not divergent, their intensity and power can be precisely controlled. Furthermore, laser can focus to a desired object at specific angle according to its application [2]. Similarly, laser passes on denim to decompose dye and vaporize that further results in fading. In particular, helium–neon lasers are used to scan the universal barcodes to identify products such as apparels, fashion accessories in retail stores. It also strengthens the security policy for goods sold in market, preventing from duplicating. To overcome such economical issue, digital storage of goods is encouraged rather than physical patterns storage. Digital artwork storage can be later converted into physical samples using lasers.

Denim-engraving techniques have been developing for value addition purpose using laser which can be a substitute for traditional methods (Denim-distressing), whereby laser-based methods offer high degree of sophistication to the denim segment compared to non-laser methods. Laser is feasible at the extent of cutting flexible objects, i.e., fabric to rigid metal. To achieve this, industrialists are looking forward to laser equipment for its advantages in accuracy, efficiency, simplicity, and the scope of automation. Traditional cutting tools for cutting garments mostly damage the quality of objects especially on exquisite materials as the cutting force [3] is applied to band blades, disks, and reciprocating knives. In other words, it leads to inaccurate cutting.

Traditional methods also require man power such as operator to pay full attention during cutting to trade-off a trade-off between two incompatible features, i.e., cutting speed and its accuracy. Indeed, limitations in traditional methods include intricacy of the cut components, tool longevity, and machine downtime during tool servicing. While employing laser-based tools and devices, aforesaid limitations can be eliminated with improved efficiency and reduced cost. Use of laser in apparel production contributes high speed in cutting and processing, high precision, and simple operation. It forms pavement to cut leather graphics to draw any desirable clothing model. During this, laser beam is collimated to focus on a fine dot for precise cutting. This also utilizes least size of the garment with high efficiency and exquisite tailoring than the non-laser-cutting methods by spectrum. Laser technology aims to reduce cost in processing, flexibility in product development, and anti-counterfeiting. In addition, garment industry eliminates tedious handling systems operated by workers in non-laser workstations in order to implement safety guidelines [4].


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