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Textile designers are not well aware of design laws and the protection it can offer.
They are aware that their traditional faith in negotiation and trust is no longer enough protection; and that emerging technologies like digital cameras and CAD are offering unprecedented opportunities but undermining traditional protection.
The design sector is informal, fragmented, mostly individual freelancers & small firms with a lot of networking between them.
Imitation, both legal and illegal, is common among designers. Designers usually rely heavily on automatic copyright and trust between parties. But whereas most still turn a blind eye to copying, a few with a wider reputation to defend are turning to law
The fabric production process usually involves a wide range of different firms and individuals, from independent designers through to mills and printers. This results in many fabric suppliers using the same designers or intermediary firms with a corresponding fear and suspicion over the security of new designs before they reach the market.
Lets examine the potential for IPR protection for textile designers Textile design range from fiber to finished fabric/made-up
What Can be Patented?
New man-made Fibers
Fiber Production Processes
Fiber/yarn/fabric making machinery
Dyes and Chemicals
What to protect - the product, process or machinery ?
Seam-less whole-garment making technologies using 3D weaving or knitting technology offers great new sensorial experience.
Wholegarment® knitting machines produced by Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd,
Hats, jumpers, dresses, skirts, cardigans, tights, legwarmers and socks being made.
Example: Finishing Chemical
Teflon and similar treatments provides an invisible coating that repels stains but does not affect the fabric visually or physically, is breathable and has easy care properties.
NanoSphere finish repels water, dirt based stains and also allows easy release like a lotus leaf.
What else is being protected ?
Integration of Technologies
Innovations applying existing knowledge to new applications
Focus on functionality and performance
Luminex - a fabric that gives off its own light.
Tiny, flexible optical fibers, developed for high-energy physics experiments, are woven into fabric and powered by an ordinary battery sewn into the cloth. A smart chip can make it glow in flashing patterns
Used in stage costumes, handbags and curtains as well as clothing. DKNY offering a line of silver Luminex pillows .
Body-care : for freshness, also moisturising and massaging, designed to persuade the wearer that they are receiving a beauty treatment as they wear it.
Fragrances : original aromatic fabrics with fragrances like lilac, jasmine, lavender, lily of the valley, narcissus, peppermint, rose, violet, eucalyptus, camomile, banana, lemon, apple, vanilla, chocolate, pineapple, coconut…
Thermo-chromic fabrics that change colors with variations in temperature.
The dyes are thermo-chromic or photo-chromic substances in liquid crystal form, that are microencapsulated,
Lingerie and swimwear are major markets
H2OFF, a non-coated, high-density woven fabric by Toray, made of air-entangled micro denier textured polyester yarn, which exhibits particularly pronounced high vapour permeability due to its characteristic construction
Skiwear, rainwear, wind breakers
Vapour permeability, water proofing. Also sunlight absorbing with heat retention
Through wind tunnel testing of different fabrics and design ideas, the strategically placed textured fabrics on the suit for Aerodynamics and "drag reduction."
The effect of the differently textured fabrics over the athlete's body is similar to the one that dimples have on a golf ball during its flight.
Side seams were slightly relocated to the back to further minimize drag. The result is a very unusual looking sprint uniform that utilizes several fabrics and colors, from the ankle all the way to the hood.
This body suit focuses on muscle temperature and aerodynamics.
The suit manage muscle temperature in two ways. First by use of color, using darker colors on certain zones of the body to absorb radiant heat from the sun. The second is by use of different textiles - making the fabrics in less critical power areas as light and breathable as possible, while using fabrics that help maintain higher muscle temperatures where higher power is necessary.
The other instruments of protection i.e. Copyright and Design are used for protecting ‘artistic content’ and ‘visual eye appeal’ of designs. Designs may be woven, printed, embroidered or otherwise embellished
Printed & embellished
Traditional Textiles ( protection under geographical indications !)