Fabric is the main ingredient in apparel. Countless mills around the world produce it. Every brand understands that something accounting for 60% of COGS must be managed to optimize margin. However, mills do not have an effective means to manage what they have already developed and brands don’t have an effective way to find the fabric that they need. Fabric development and replication follow a lengthy, uncertain, and circuitous path. As a result, brands have long product development calendars and mills absorb the resulting development costs, often without actual fabric orders. All of this is considered “the nature of the beast.”
BlackOPS defines the key attributes required to comprehensively model fabric and leverages those data to transform an inspiration into a specification.
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As mills adopt BlackOPS™ to digitize their fabrics, they will be able to add their digital libraries to the BlackOPS™ Arsenal, a cloud-based searchable repository of fabrics. Selecting fabrics from the BlackOPS™ Arsenal mitigates quality risks for both the apparel brands and mills. Selecting known fabrics with a production history is better than developing new fabrics with no historical data on runnability or quality. With this insight into known fabrics, the ability to adopt the right fabrics is not constrained by time or the size of an apparel brand fabric development team.
The fabric construction attribute is a key to what differentiates the BlackOPS™ M2K from other fabric definitions. While the overall BlackOPS™ model provides important information to the designer, the construction attribute data provides the mill with the means to manufacture the fabric. The construction attribute objectively specifies the yarns, machine settings, and finishing parameters required to make the fabric. So, the mill can go straight to production with a new fabric as if it were an existing mill article with a production history, bypassing the conventional development process.