Image via Carlings
Written by Chantel Ong

The pandemic has truly made waves in our everyday lives. Forcing one to develop their own novel way to go about their problems. To cope with the current situation, brands and companies have looked towards certain digital tools to help aid, assimilate, and adapt to their business strategies. One game-changer in the fashion technology industry is the innovative software — Virtual Sampling — helping brands revolutionize the lengthy process of traditional physical sampling in product development. 

As we know, sampling is one of the key processes in product development, helping designers visualize and give life to garments on the rack. However, the traditional method of sampling is seemingly time-consuming, expensive, and wasteful with a trial-and-error-like format that costs more in terms of production. Generating about 4% of the world’s waste each year, 92 million tons, which mainly comes from off-cuts from the production process.

Traditional Sampling vs Virtual Sampling

Traditional Sampling

Traditional sampling is a lengthy process that requires designers to go back and forth in terms of process as they have to make sure that the sample is close to the brand’s ideals for mass production. In terms of time, the traditional supply-chain time for retail may range from 30 to 40 weeks, with the layers of sampling and customization being lengthy.

1. Proto sample

Using the design pack, this process develops the design into life so that it’s easier to visualize the product at its early stages however materials are not final due to materials not meeting lead time. 

2. 1st & 2nd Sample

As the right materials arrive, the sampler creates another sample for approval, which is later revised then it is sent again for approval. 

3. Proto sample

Another style could possibly have different colors. In this process, they develop the full color type to be reviewed and commented on. 

4. Fit Sample

Now, after model’s sizes are implemented, they develop full-size fit samples to fit on their mannequin or model to review. Which is later modified during fitting.

5. Pre-Production Sample

Finally, the final sample is used in the production line as the standard product for mass production. 

Image via Luxxculture on Pinterest

Virtual Sampling

As a result of the digital revolution, virtual sampling has become an applicable alternative for brands to utilize in their production process. Reducing manual labor, and allowing the flexible customization of colors and materials. Virtual sampling can easily help visualize the design in its early stages, skipping the proto, first and color sample stages. Saving 50% of their and 70% cost in a few cases. 

Gif via techstyler on Instagram

Virtual Sampling Technology

Using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to create patterns is one of the amazing things about virtual sampling. CAD can also be applied to architecture, 3D modeling, and many more. Some companies such as Gerber, Lectra, and Optitex are one of the few big companies that utilize CAD in creating professional pattern software, which usually is a bigger investment for businesses. However, a few sew-at-home CAD patterns making software available are for you are these:

  • Wild Ginger PatternMaster
  • PatternMaker
  • FashionCAD
  • Telestia Creator

Benefits of Virtual sampling

  • Virtual Modeling speeds up product development: Making it possible to take a concept to production from months to just a few weeks. Since fashion brands are pressured to put out seasonal collections, virtual sampling makes it possible for them to visualize their designs in the early stages and make changes along the way. 
  • Sampling Costs are reduced since traditional sampling requires several materials, sizes, colors making it costly. 
  • CAD designed samples use the exact body measurements to present an accurate representation of the materials fit
  •  Reduces Waste, since there are no physical samples that are usually thrown out it reduces costly and wasteful processes.
Image via weiyingkao.com

Utilizing Virtual Sampling

Tukatech’s 3D Design Edition allowed designers to make their ideas possible without pattern making. Another is Lectra’s Modaris 3D, offering virtual prototyping for companies to remove physical samples. 

Hugo Boss is one of the companies that took virtual sampling a try. The fashion house stated that consumers and press will not be seeing any racks for the Hugo 2018 Pre-Fall collections but a 65-inch touchscreen that looks like a table. Exclusively, for Hugo Boss this innovation uses a technique that “enables rapid visualization of solutions for complex problems” as stated by the company.

Image via Hugo Boss

Future of Sampling

Virtual Sampling is but a steady production movement for brands to adopt in their own business. Enabling brands and companies to reduce both cost and waste in the long-run. 

At, ALA.HAUSSE, we encourage forward-thinking people to adopt innovative techniques such as virtual sampling.

Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.

BETA Early Access Application Now Open for CA Fashion Lovers: Apply Now for LAST CALL 

with Stories on www.alahausse.ca


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