WeatherWool is just beginning to learn about On-Demand Manufacture. I feel the premium garment industry must go this route, although it will take years before the technology can handle the majority of what we make.
Tailored Industry of Brooklyn, New York, is the only company we have worked with that specializes in On-Demand Manufacture. And near as I can tell, On-Demand Manufacture of garments is presently limited to knits, at least in the USA. Mostly, knits aren't suitable for manufacture of rugged outerwear but that may change. In the meantime, we are making use of knits where they best suit our needs.
Because of their superior equipment and personnel, TI makes our Neck Gaiters and Watch Caps. Working with TI opened my mind to On-Demand Production, even though our Caps and Gaiters, due to their simplicity, are made in traditional batch-production runs rather than On-Demand.
I'm standing with the owners of TI and two of their many Shima Seiki USA Knitting Machines.
For complex knitted garments and knits made with the finest yarns, On-Demand Manufacturing is the wave of the future, and it's already here.
For WeatherWool, for both woven and knitted products, we envision that someday:
- A customer will self-measure in seconds by cellphone app
- The customer develops an online order that specifies
- complete sizing information for a truly custom-tailored fit
- fabric weight and even combination of fabric weights
- main color and accent colors on collar, pocket flaps, stripes or designs, choices of zippers or buttons
- types and sizes of pockets
- types of cuffs and cuff adjustments
- order is transmitted from our website to Our Manufacture Partners, such as Tailored Industry or (the people who make our woven garments) Better Team USA or Factory8.
- Our Manufacture Partners almost immediately produce a near-complete, custom garment
- Final touches such as zippers are added by hand
- Completed and inspected garment is delivered to customer within 24 hours
This type of ordering is possible now for some knits. From what we have seen so far, this type of order fulfillment is coming to the garment industry in general, and we believe it will happen with woven garments as well as knits. The potential gains are so large it seems inevitable. Time-frame for WeatherWool? I think under 10 years, maybe under 5 years.
11 September 2020