Robots can now handle the problem of flexible fabric, so robot-made clothes are on the way | Popgen Tech


A new report from Reuters shows that a major obstacle to sewing clothes by robots has been removed thanks to a project by Siemens in collaboration with Sewbo Inc., a new startup.

According to to the point of sale, the main reason the garment industry still relies on human labor is ‘flexible fabric’, as robots, especially industrial ones, cannot handle thin, flowing fabric as well as a human.

So how did they overcome the barrier?

The answer is simple and may seem obvious, but apparently it took quite a bit: mainly starching clothes.

Startup Sewbo Inc. has developed a way to stiffen the fabric with chemicals “so it can be handled more like a car bumper during production,” as Reuters explains, allowing robots to easily manipulate it for shaping and sewing. After the garment is created, manufacturers wash the fabric, just as at the end of the traditional process of producing a pair of denim jeans.

However, despite the promise to make clothing production possible in the US again, some manufacturers remain skeptical of the costs.

“Putting the (reinforcement) material into the garment just adds another process,” Eric Spakey, CEO of Bluewater Defense, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

According to the outlet, several apparel companies are experimenting with manufacturing robots, including denim giant Levi’s.

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