PH takes steps to strengthen textile, fashion industry via ‘digitelazation’

PH takes steps to strengthen textile, fashion industry via ‘digitelazation’
SunStar Local News GPX

TO REVITALIZE the country\'s struggling garment and fashion industry, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is targeting advancements such as digital prototyping and the digitalization of handloom weaving.

Despite the country\'s abundant natural fiber resources, the textile industry still faces challenges, with recent exports totaling only US$286 million against imports of $1.286 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $1 billion, according to Evangeline Flor Manalang, supervising science research specialist at the DOST’s Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), in a recent webinar.

To achieve its \"digitelazation\" program, PTRI has developed the 2022-2032 Textile Science and Technology Roadmap, which envisions an integrated textile and apparel product development.

“The vision is for an integrated textile and apparel product development so that it can be harnessed by our local industry. The objective is to strengthen Industry 4.0 in the local industry, establish multidisciplinary and multi-industry collaboration in establishing Industry 4.0, and enhance local capability in textile product digitalization,” said Manalang in the webinar.

Industry 4.0 refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or the ongoing transformation of traditional industries driven by rapid advances in technology.

Manalang said one of the aspects of PTRI\'s “digitelazation” program is digital prototyping as the country makes an attempt to move up the global apparel value chain, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. or Philexport reported on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Digital prototyping of garments is a revolutionary process that uses 3D software and simulations to create virtual models of clothing designs before physically producing them.

Moving beyond the traditional

Manalang said there is a need to move beyond the traditional \"cut, make, and trim\" process to compete in the design and services segment, which holds the highest value in the global value chain.

To compete in the design and services segment, Manalang said PTRI is implementing digital sample prototyping through integrated product development systems.

She said digital textile prototyping is a way to make the process efficient as the traditional development of garments takes around 148 days or five months.

PTRI is adopting an integrated textile product development system that is precise, rapid, efficient, seamless, sustainable, and cost-competitive, according to Manalang.

A web-based application is also in development to facilitate design-making and provide a digital library for designers, manufacturers, and students, expediting garment prototyping.

Aside from digital prototyping, the digitelazation program targets the handloom weaving sector.

Manalang identified challenges, including counterfeiting and an aging workforce, prompting PTRI to embark on the digitalization of handloom weaving.

She said around 60 percent of counterfeit goods in the country fall under the textile category.

Manalang further said PTRI\'s project aims to profile weavers, designs and products, protect intellectual property, preserve cultural heritage and combat counterfeiting through components such as digital weaving registry, digitalization of weaves, and covert security marks.


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