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BW Businessworld

AI - The Future Of Textile Industry

AI will have a gigantic part to play in revolutionizing the textile industry in the coming years, by improving business evolution and presenting sustainable fashion.

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Many industries have already used AI to enable digitization and gain efficient business growth. The pandemic last year changed the way industries work and almost everything went digital. The textile industry is no exception since they are now slowly adopting AI and automation in transforming their production, manufacturing processes, customer relation, etc

The increase in demand for quality products has led the textile industry to embrace automation and AI to minimize labour and production costs and deliver products according to customer preferences. Another report by Grand View Research says that the global textile market size was valued at 961.5 billion USD in 2019 and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.3% from 2020 to 2027 owing to the increased demand for apparel in developing countries like China, India, Mexico, and Bangladesh.

Textile Industry: an Overview

The textile industry is an ever-growing market, with key competitors being China, the European Union, the United States and India.    India is the third-largest textile manufacturing industry and holds an export value of more than USD 30 billion. India is responsible for more than 6% of the total textile production, globally, and it is valued at approximately USD 150 billion 

AI & Textile Industry

Modern technologies like AI, IOT have transformed the textile industry in all fields. The processes have automated with AI performing the functions of human more efficiently and in much faster timeframe. The human intervention has become minimum. 

]\However use of AI based modern technology in India is less than 5%. There are just 2% companies’ world over who uses the machines less than 5 years old. An effort has been made in this article to make the environment aware about the use of AI in textile industry. 

Yarn Manufacturing.  The manufacturing has been completely transformed by the use of AI in each process right from Blow room to carding, drawing, lap forming, combing, speed frame, ring spinning, winding, conditioning and packing. The AI Based control panels set all the requisite parameters of manufacturing with least human intervention. This has not only fastened the process but also improved the quality and cost cutting. Yarn prediction has also become more accurate by computing spins. The application of artificial intelligence has reduced error in predicting yarn grading by as much as 60%, resulting in better fabric grading. AI has made it easier to measure a textile’s physical properties and objectively classify fabric comfort.

Quality Control:    Quality control has traditionally been achieved by the skilled workers through physical inspection. This sector has tremendous usage of AI as it can ensure uniformity and quality. The maximum use is in yarn manufacturing and garmenting. Using state of the art technology and machines like AUTOBURST 70, TPI Tester, Moisture Meter Digital, Digital Tachometer CE, and Stroboscope ensure top production quality. Instruments like Premier Art-2is used for testing raw cotton properties like length strength MIC,colour and uniformity. Uster Tetser-6is a total testing centre system for measuring and control the process right from carding to winding in terms of unevenness imperfection and hairiness. 

Fabric and Pattern Assessment: AI can be used to forecast the fabric properties before manufacturing with the help of the neuro-fuzzy ro yarn prediction. Patterns have numerous phases like weaving, knitting, braiding etc. AI techniques like Artificial Neural Network (ANN) can be used to detect and defect in fabric inspection. 

Colour Management: Data colour had been highly used for colour management confirming that the original colour design matches the colour in finished textile. Datacolor proposes that its AI feature can take into account historical data of visual assessment results from human operators while generating the tolerances that in turn result in contributory examinations which match closely with the samples of visual inspections.

Fabric Grading: Machine learning in the textile industry has enabled more objective fabric grading process that produces more consistent results. AI benefits in fineness, strength, and staple length of fabric fibers that can be precisely measured using an artificial neural network.

AI in pattern making: Computer aided design is an AI based subset that enables computerized pattern making, It helps designers to design basic structure of pattern providing 3-D images of fabric and designs which makes visualization easier.

Supply Chain and Merchandising: Supply chain plays a crucial role in the smooth flow of materials between retailers and manufacturers. A supply chain management demands large storage spaces, a well-equipped warehouse, transportation and documentation. AI can help in automating the transportation and packaging for the textile industry through robotics, RPA, ML etc. Merchandising can use AI to a great extent in personalizing customer’s experience, tracking consumer’s behavior, predicting market trends etc.  AI enabled technologies like NLP, virtual assistance etc. help in effective communication between the manufacturers, production endpoints, retailers and consumers.

The Future 

The future on textile industry seems quite successful for all the players with the support of AI technologies. Technologies such as grading yarn appearance  or fabric-defect inspection using sensors. virtual modeling of yarn from fiber properties (Cornell), as predicted by yarn tensile properties and yarn unevenness would become a possibility.We might also see textile players taking a cue from finance or healthcare industry players and adopt “transferrable: data science and data-mining techniques.

AI will have a gigantic part to play in revolutionizing the textile industry in the coming years, by improving business evolution and presenting sustainable fashion.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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textile industry

Maj Gen OP Gulia

The author is CEO, SVP Group

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