Talking textiles: using bespoke solutions and tailored support in the global marketplace
In recent years, there has been a significant uplift in UK manufacturing activity as...
Top tips for capitalising on international demand for UK fabrics
In recent years, there has been a significant uplift in UK manufacturing activity as global demand has grown for British-made products. The textile and clothing industry in particular is making a significant contribution to economic prosperity, building a close-knit community through large-scale employment of skilled workers to increase output and achieve year-on-year sales growth.
This resurgence can be largely attributed to UK retailers bringing their manufacturing back to home turf, with many having previously off-shored production for cost purposes. Coupled with the introduction of the ‘Made in Britain’ marque and strong publicity this generated around the world, opportunities for trade overseas soon began to present themselves.
To take advantage of international interest, British textile manufacturers need to be able to deliver their goods to international markets in a timely manner. At FedEx Express, we have experience working with UK textile and clothing manufacturers, helping navigate them through the exporting process and avoid any challenges along the way. Here are some of top tips we share with the manufacturers and retailers we work with:
1. Clearly identify your product – whether you’re exporting a raw textile fibre or manufactured fabric, EU regulations require clear labelling of all components of the product. For items that are made with leather or trimmed with real fur, the phrase "contains non-textile parts of animal origin" must be clearly communicated, in order to help classify the product for export. The species of the animal should also be identified, as an additional license or fumigation certificate could be required.
2. Do your regulation research – there are a number of different import charges and tariffs that may be required, depending on which country you are trading with. While it is generally much simpler to trade within the EU, external opportunities can be successfully navigated if you do your homework. Consult the Market Access Database and check for any specific prohibitions or licensing restrictions at your destination country to ensure no unwanted customs surprises.
3. Perfect your percentages – Fabric content must be correctly identified in percentage by weight. When it comes to wool, the term can encompass a number of different animal fleeces including the more expensive and sought after vicuna, cashmere and angora. You can use the term ‘100 percent wool’ if your product is a mixture of fibres, but from a commercial perspective, always identify the high quality fibres individually e.g. ‘70 percent cashmere, 30 percent wool.’
4. Keep up with fast fashion – the very definition of fashion means that it is constantly evolving, meaning that changes to fabric and garment definitions are inevitable and probably more frequent than you’d expect. Ensure you keep fully up to date with all the specifications so you’re ahead of the game.
It’s an exciting time for UK manufacturers across all sectors, with the revival of British-made textiles in particular bringing tradition and heritage back to the forefront of modern production. Adding this historical dimension to the eminence of ‘Brand Britain’ means businesses can look to explore new markets with confidence and positivity and reap the rewards of a truly global marketplace.
Hexagon Revolutionises Manufacturing Design Process
A global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, Hexagon recently announced that complex CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations can now be completed with the help of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku. Before this breakthrough, CFD simulations were far too expensive and time-consuming to run. Now, however, engineers can use these high-detail simulations to explore new ideas, iterate their designs, and optimise next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing.
Thanks to Hexagon, manufacturers can now analyse what they’re up against before starting their build process—with one-third the energy use of traditional simulations and a fraction of the cost. This is only the latest step in Hexagon’s mission to use design and engineering data to speed up smart manufacturing. As the company wrote: ‘The idea of putting data to work is part of Hexagon’s DNA’.
What Are CFD Simulations?
Simply put, they’re simulations so complex and powerful that engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours simplifying their designs. 90% of an engineer’s time can centre around this task—but not with Fugaku-powered simulations. Now, original designs can be fed into the simulation software, reaching a much closer approximation of reality.
With the ARM-powered Fugaku supercomputer, Hexagon’s Cradle CFD clients can now reduce simulation cost, conserve valuable energy, and integrate high-detail simulations into their daily operations. At a time when the automotive and aerospace industries are racing to bring safe and sustainable transport options to market, in fact, CFD simulations could be the key to success.
How Does CFD Change the Game?
As auto manufacturers transition to electric vehicles, they must understand how design adjustments will affect the vehicle in real-time. Instead of physically iterating their blueprints, they’d rather work it out in theory. With CFD, engineers can now pre-test critical safety, performance, and longevity features—for example, how aerodynamics will interact with energy efficiency, or how thermal management will operate under a range of parameters. Essentially, CFD simulations speed up the design process and cut down on costly mistakes.
Said Roger Assaker, President of Design & Engineering in Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division: ‘Simulation holds the key to innovations in aerospace and eMobility. Advances such as the low-power Fugaku supercomputing architecture are one of the ways we can tap into these insights without costing the Earth, and I am delighted by what our Cradle CFD team and our partners have achieved’.
How Did Testing Unfold?
- Prototyped a typical family car. This is only possible with enhanced computing power. The car model consisted of 70 million elements using 960 cores and was simulated until it reached a steady-state using the RANS equation over 1000 cycles.
- Simulated transonic compressible fluid around an aeroplane. Made up of approximately 230 million elements, the simulation used 4,000 nodes using 192,000 computing cores and relied on 48,000 processes via Message Passing Interface (MPI).
Tomohiro Irie, Hexagon’s Director of R&D for Cradle CFD, commented on the recent progress: ‘I expect that these technical developments will contribute to making the power of Fugaku more accessible for general use, bringing huge freedom and improved insights to engineering teams solving tomorrow’s problems today’.
Overall, Hexagon intends to continue driving product innovation forward, with smart manufacturing that adapts to conditions in real-time, pursues perfect quality, and optimises designs for zero waste. And there’s little doubt about it. With 20,000 employees in 50 countries, coupled with Fugaku’s supercomputing capabilities, Hexagon is uniquely poised to succeed.