Levi Strauss & Co. has filed a patent for a system that uses software and lasers to create desired wear patterns on apparel. The technique involves determining a fabric’s response to a laser, capturing an initial image of a wear pattern, and processing it to obtain a working image. The working image is further processed to obtain a difference image, which is then converted to a laser values image using the fabric’s response to the laser. The patent also includes details about the fabric panels and the laser input file used in the process. GlobalData’s report on Levi Strauss & Co gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Levi Strauss & Co, On-demand digital manufacturing was a key innovation area identified from patents. Levi Strauss & Co's grant share as of September 2023 was 64%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Laser finishing system for creating wear patterns on garments

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Levi Strauss & Co

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230311552A1) describes a system for creating a unique finishing pattern on a garment using laser technology. The system involves a garment made from fabric panels woven with dyed cotton yarn and joined together using thread. Before the laser finishing process, the outer surface of the garment undergoes a prelaser wash. The cross-section of the yarn in the garment shows a round shape with dyed indigo fibers forming an outer ring around a core region of white fibers.

During the laser finishing process, certain portions of the outer surface are exposed to a laser while others are not. The laser input file, which contains digital data representing the desired finishing pattern, is used to control the laser's exposure on the garment. The finishing pattern includes a dark reference, and the laser input file contains pixel values that represent the differences between the pixel values in the target image and the dark reference.

The warp of the fabric panels is dyed using indigo dye, and the laser selectively removes material from different pixel locations on the garment's surface based on the laser input file. Lighter pixel locations in the finishing pattern result in a greater amount of dyed cotton warp yarn being removed, while darker pixel locations result in a lesser amount being removed.

The finishing pattern created by the laser extends across portions of the garment where fabric panels are joined together using cotton thread. The system allows for the creation of the finishing pattern with a single pass or multiple passes of the laser.

To create the finishing pattern, the laser beam's output can be adjusted by altering its frequency, period, pulse width, power, duty cycle, or burning speed. The first material used in the garment, which is typically denim, has different characteristics such as surface texture, dye, base fabric color, yarn, weight, diameter, and twist compared to a second material.

Overall, this patent describes a system that utilizes laser technology to create unique finishing patterns on garments, particularly denim. The system allows for precise control over the laser's exposure and the removal of material from specific areas, resulting in customized and visually appealing designs.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.