Cotton Incorporated Intros Go-To Digital Tool
At a time when companies, independent designers, industry organizations, emerging professionals and textile services are looking to transition to a new virtual reality, Cotton Incorporated’s state-of-the-art online resource Cottonworks covers all the bases.
“We want to address all factors, from retail, manufacturing, and brands to the technical and to the trends on knits and wovens, along with workshop programs,” explains Megan Peterson, director marketing and industry programs. The site includes input from many experts on timely topics and support for every stage of product development, sourcing, sustainability issues, fabric trends, concepts around tariff engineering and much more. A recent webinar on Artwork Files for Knitwear Design, for instance, offered step-by-step instruction to achieving smart design using contemporary 3D software programs.
Significant, too is that Cottonworks is up-to-the-minute on the digital front. Presentation is contemporary and engaging. Fabricast, for example, provides a high-tech look at the future of trend forecasting.
Fabricast is an online collection of knit and woven fabric created by the product development and implementation team at Cotton Incorporated to inspire the supply chain. “This is usually a tactile effort, having someone touch fabric,” Peterson says. “But that’s not happening now so that led us to our brand new presentation of digital fabrics to industry.” The Fabricast Library offers upwards of 170 digital fabrics and is fast finding industry interest with over 200 companies coming to the site since the August launch, surpassing expectations, according to Peterson.
“It all goes back to the user experience,” comments Mark Messura, SVP global supply chain marketing, who highlights the rapid rise in digitalization and the transition taking place within the market regarding the ability to talk about fabric digitally. Says Messura, “In terms of tech it’s been like a snowball that’s going downhill on a slope that isn’t very steep. But Coronavirus made that hill both immediate and steep.”
Cotton Incorporated’s anticipation of digital trends like “in motion visualization,” and its recognition of how business is changing, started a few years ago. “At Cotton Incorporated we can do the tech, the color trends and now even more with the Fabricast. Without digital fabric files it’s like creating a Microsoft word processing program without having any fonts,” says Peterson.
The goal of Cottonworks is to provide a wide array of information and support, according to Messura. “A lot of companies are so busy taking care of business and can’t investigate new ideas or fabrics or performance finishes, or provide training or tech support,” says Messura. “That’s where Cottonworks comes in as the best resource in the industry; so you don’t have to step out of the everyday business to investigate something new.”