Laser cutting technology adds value to textile-based manufacturers

Jan. 20, 2016
Laser cutting is relevant to a large cross-section of apparel, accessories, footwear, and home furnishing manufacturers.

Laser cutting is relevant to a large cross-section of apparel, accessories, footwear, and home furnishing manufacturers. Even within the category of apparel manufacturers, this technique encompasses a broad spectrum of applications—be it high-fashion women's or kids' wear or high-performance activewear (in which laser perforation is used). Laser-cut designs are now showing up more often on the mood boards and fashion ramps around the world. At the same time, the dominance of laser cuts is complemented by a plethora of technological advancements that facilitate mass production of these seemingly intricate and irreproducible designs.

Related: Cutting textiles accurately with lasers

As is the case with most value addition processes, laser cutting is mostly carried out by dedicated service providers. The time taken to furnish a design decides how much a laser-cut design will cost. The time taken is further influenced by the intricacy of the design and the material to be worked upon. For example, thicker fabrics like denim and suede are easy to handle, which brings down the cost, while sheer and fluid fabrics like silk and chiffon demand higher handling and time of operation, hence their higher cost. Currently, average charges are around 8-9 cents per minute.

Going beyond the archetypal georgettes, rayon, and polyblends, unconventional fabrics like denims and suede have entered into the space of laser cutting. Kunal Sawhney, director of 12-year-old laser cutting provider K M Tex (New Delhi, India), says that laser cutting felts and velvets is only at its initial stage, but it is still a major requirement with buyers for apparels, home furnishings, gift items, labels, and trims. "The market of laser cutting is expanding every day and this technology is being combined with several others to achieve a unique effect of its kind," he adds.

Embroidery and engraving are often combined with laser cutting to achieve the high design effect. Catering to the specific requirement of embroidery with laser cutting is China-based Wuhan Golden Laser Co.'s QJDT-800-5 bridge laser embroidery machine. Primarily an embroidery machine, the system can be coupled with a laser bridge. In fact, overall structure and core components of the machine use modular assembly for easy and quick installation, and significantly shortened delivery cycles. Users can select the most suitable configuration according to the application needs of the product. With laser power ranging from 80 to 250W and a cutting area of 300 × 300mm to 500 × 500mm, the machine's laser bridge can move 1200mm/s. These machines are available in India through Golden Laser India Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture with Wuhan Golden Laser Co.

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Industrial Laser Solutions Editors

We edited the content of this article, which was contributed by outside sources, to fit our style and substance requirements. (Editors Note: Industrial Laser Solutions has folded as a brand and is now part of Laser Focus World, effective in 2022.)

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