Computer-controlled embroidery design and stitching for Precision Control of Tensile Properties of woven textiles

Market Overview:

Computer-controlled embroidery algorithms allow for custom design and control properties of fabrics and woven materials. Embroidery changes the mechanical properties of frabrics, depending on the strength, orientation, and distribution of stitches. The production of fabrics with multiple, distinct properties traditionally requires the assembly of layers of different materials through seaming. As a result, production can only be done at a small scale. Clemson University researchers have developed a computational fabrication system that allows for the customization of material properties of fabrics at a larger scale. By utilizing a novel path planning algorithm, the system creates a stitch design that, when added to the fabric, changes the stiffness of the material based on the design needs. This customization can be used to produce custom seating, footwear, and smart clothing.

Application                                                                        Stage of Development

Computational fabrication and                                  Prototype system

precise control of fabric tensile and

mechanical properties                       




• Novel path planning algorithm maps out a stitch design for the fabric 

• Gradients and layers of stitches precisely alter the mechanical and tensile properties of the textile

• Computational fabrication allows for textile customization at a larger scale than previously measured 


Technical Summary

The use of computer-controlled embroidery allows for the customization of the tensile and material properties of fabrics. This technology utilizes a novel path planning algorithm that generates a stitching design that controls the textile’s local stiffness. The stitch planning problem used is comparable to the coverage planning in robotics, or the Travelling Salesmen problem, and creates a stitch layout using a series of variable stiffness embroidery blocks (EB). For a finer resolution, stiffness is controlled at the stich-level (SL) through density maps, path planning, and stitch density. Computational fabrication allows for the scalable production of customized fabrics for shoe insoles, bedding, wheelchairs, and clothing.


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Inventor:                        Dr. Victor Zordan

Patent Type:                  Provisional

Serial Number:              62/862,037

CURF Ref No:              2018-040


Patent Information:
Fiber & Films
For Information, Contact:
Chase Kasper
Business Development
Clemson University Research Foundation
Victor Zordan
Ella Moore
Michael Porter
Ioannis Karamouzas
Orthopaedics - Orthotics/Prosthetics/Hardware/Other
Textiles/Fibers - Non-Optical/Medical/Other
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