Fashion Robot Company Gets $4.5 Million Investment

SoftWear Automation Inc. is an Atlanta-based company that forecasts a future where apparel is going to be sewn by machines or “sewbots,” robots that sew.

Recently, the company announced a $4.5 million investment from CTW Venture Partners, also headquartered in Atlanta. With the new funding, SoftWear Automation will increase the pace of building automated worklines, or groups of sewbots. The company also will add 20 employees.

In a previous interview with the California Apparel News, Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan, SoftWear Automation’s chairman and chief executive officer, said that sewbots won’t look like mechanical people assembling clothes. Rather they will look like a car factory, where machines assemble cars, and people will manage and administer the machines.

Sewbots and automated work lines will bring apparel manufacturing back to the United States, Rajan contends. Without the need for people to sew clothes in overseas facilities, apparel companies can open factories domestically.

Eventually jeans and T-shirts will be made by sewbots, according to a SoftWear Automation statement made earlier this month. In 18 months, the company will mark the commercial launch of the automated work line. The announcement said that one operator running an automated work line could make a T-shirt in half the time that it would take the typical process of making a tee, including from quality inspection, heat transfer, collar, label attachment, seaming and hemming, which might demand the labor of 10 separate sewing factory people.