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Through the Digital Textile Connection, EIZO supports the digital transformation in the textile industry

The international textile and fashion industry has relied on global production operations for decades, more than almost any other industry. At the same time, the pace for new collections has picked up significantly. However, contrary to people’s expectations, the pinking shears as a symbol of the physical shipping of cut-out fabric samples or even entire batches still play a decisive role today. ColorDigital from Cologne, Germany, is aiming to develop a digital solution for sampling and quality control processes. To do so, the company is relying fully on EIZO ColorEdge monitors.

Digital transformation: great awareness, yet still often at the starting gates

Nearly all fashion houses and their suppliers are currently dealing with the topic of digital transformation. They are seeking a method in which they can exchange colours, textures, patterns, images and 3D objects, thus enabling a large part of the design, sampling and quality control processes to be carried out digitally. The advantage is obvious. For one, you eliminate the need for countless courier shipments, which is quite time-consuming; for another, you can reduce the back and forth of sending things through the mail.

“It is crucial that designers, product developers, brands and producers involved come together on a common platform and speak a common (colour) language in order for a consistent and meaningful digital sampling process to be possible at all.”

Olaf Kölling, Managing Director of ColorDigital.

And this is exactly what the DMIx Cloud from ColorDigital offers. As a partner of the German Fashion Institute, known by its German abbreviation as DMI, the Cologne-based company is deeply rooted in the fashion industry and knows its needs quite well. ColorDigital was founded in 2013 and has since worked to create the ideal digital hub that the fashion and textile industry needs to successfully complete the digital transformation. The biggest challenge is the required “common language”. The objective nature of these colours is the top priority and the most important success factor of the whole concept, since the colours of materials or fabrics are always strongly dependent on the light with which they are illuminated and, in general, colour perception is a comparatively subjective matter.

Digital hub: DMIx Cloud

“We exchanged colour information in the DMIx Cloud – exclusively in spectral values from the very beginning to make the workflow independent of different lighting situations,” says Kölling, explaining the core of the ColorDigital solution. The lighting used is no longer a factor. The various colour management systems of different operating systems, browsers and devices is another source of error. In this regard, ColorDigital has succeeded in creating a colour-accurate and consistent workflow using online and desktop applications. However, it is no longer just colour information that is in the cloud; in the meantime, textures and images are also being hosted. In addition to pure colour information, surface properties, such as glare behaviour and three-dimensional textures, can be digitally captured.

The monitor as the visual core of the DMIx Cloud

“You can have all the precision in the world for the data captured. It doesn’t matter. Visual sampling is inconceivable unless you have a monitor that displays the desired data without any distortion whatsoever and covers the widest possible gamut in order to be able to display as many of the colours that are stored in the digital assets as possible,” says Gerd Willschütz, Managing Director of ColorDigital. He adds: “Which is why we have been using ColorEdge monitors from EIZO right from the start and also have been recommending them to our customers.” The wide gamut of the ColorEdge wide-gamut monitors also enables the display of particularly saturated colours. In addition, the 16-bit 3D look-up-table (LUT) and 10-bit colour display guarantee perfectly smooth and fluid gradients. The Digital Uniformity Equalizer ensures a homogeneous image representation over the entire display area of the monitor and thanks to the five-year warranty with the on-site replacement service, the TCO also remains calculable. The CG series monitors, in particular, are perfect for use as reference monitors in digital sampling. Calibration, which is required regularly, can be automated due to the built-in calibration sensors for hardware calibration, thus reducing the required administration and support effort to an absolute minimum. Central administration of ColorEdge monitors using the ColorNavigator 7 calibration software has proven to be particularly useful in companies with multiple colour-accurate workstations.

“We work closely with EIZO and are in the process of integrating colour management features such as the hardware calibration of EIZO monitors into our solutions. We are pleased to have EIZO onboard as a strong partner in the Digital Textile Connection.”

Gerd Willschütz from ColorDigital.

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Photographer Fraser Havenhand tries out the EIZO ColorEdge CG279X