How Laser Cutting works in the fashion industry

Laser cutting quite simply is a method of manufacturing that use lasers in order to cut materials. It provides and ensures extreme accuracy which is clean cut and enables the fabric to be sealed so that it does not fray at the edges whether it be silk, cotton, leather, polyester etc. With the laser being the only thing the physically needs to touch the material it means no marks are left on the fabric and with delicate materials such as silk this is extremely beneficial. Because of all of these advantaged, this method of manufacturing has become extremely popular in the fashion industry.

Now although laser cutting in fashion provides a very simple and neat design the technicality of how this is achieved is slightly more complicated. There are three types of laser cutters that are widely used in the industry, that being the neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet laser, the neodymium laser and the classic CO2 laser. The CO2 laser is the most common choice when it comes to cutting clothing fabrics as it involved a high energy laser that vaporises the material that is unwanted. The laser achieves its precise cut through reflecting off of mirrors inside a tube which then reaches the focal lens that specifically targets the laser. All three of the laser create a concentrated light beam but the differences seen in each of them enables them to be more specialised for specific tasks.

Whilst the CO2 laser in the most widely used, its main function is the work with organic materials such as cotton and leather as the laser is more easily absorbed. The neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet laser and the neodymium laser on the other hand are more ideal for cutting and drilling materials as they are solid state lasers -something which is not often needed in terms of fashion.

The laser cutting trend has rapidly grown from a small technique used for small couture collection to one which is utilised by most fashion brands around the world. It has now become a timeless technique that no doubt will increasingly be used in the world of fashion from both ends of the cost spectrum.

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