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Shima Seiki
Shima Seiki

6th March 2018, Wakayama

Shima Seiki launches virtual showroom

Leading computerized knitting machine manufacturer Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd. of Wakayama, Japan has launched a virtual showroom for displaying its collections in 3DCG.

At Shima Seiki's 55th Anniversary celebration held in its home town of Wakayama, Japan last November, the company held a fashion show featuring a mixture of both real and virtual models. The items were also presented in printed form as the "Knit Visions" look book that was distributed at the show as souvenirs.

All of the looks were also available as 3D virtual models which are now collectively shown in a ‘virtual showroom’ in cyberspace. Launched at the anniversary event as VR-knit.com, the showroom is a web and mobile app that can be accessed through the website of the same web address (www.vr-knit.com ).

Vr-knit.com © Shima Seiki.

Importance of virtual sampling

The virtual showroom as well as the virtual portion of the fashion show were both presented as proposals for future fashion design promotion. Shima Seiki has been promoting the importance of virtual sampling for some time now, where a majority of sample production is replaced by virtual swatches and garments, more recently worn by 3D virtual models.

“Sample-making requires a significant amount of time, cost and material in evaluating various material combinations, colourways and design variations. By replacing even a portion of this process with virtual samples produced using Shima Seiki’s SDS-ONE APEX3 3D design system, great savings in time and money can be realized while contributing to sustainable manufacturing through reduced material consumption,” comments Shima Seiki’s Masaki Karasuno.

“The quality of APEX3's virtual samples is also very convincing. Virtual swatches have proven to be so realistic in their visual quality that the company often uses printed images in comparisons with actual swatch samples while challenging customers to guess which is the real sample and which is the virtual one. Customers usually cannot tell the difference,” Mr Karasuno adds.

Paradigm shift

Now with the virtual fashion show and showroom, Shima Seiki goes beyond the design evaluation and sampling stages proposing the use of virtual samples in collection presentations to buyers and merchandisers.

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