TexTrace's Woven RFID Labels - The High-Tech Textile Solution

Articles | By TexTrace | 12 November 2015
TexTrace® RFAL - Chip module woven ribbon attachment - Chip encoding and locking - Data visualization via print (optional) - 100% quality check (full performance profile) TexTrace® RFAL - Chip module woven ribbon attachment - Chip encoding and locking - Data visualization via print (optional) - 100% quality check (full performance profile) Photo: TexTrace

Logistics, stock-taking, and electronic article surveillance, alongside brand protection and enhancing the customer’s interactive shopping experience of high-quality branded goods

With its extensive expertise in textile manufacturing and consistent market orientation, in just a few years TexTrace has developed from an RFID start-up company into a specialist provider of woven brand labels. This Swiss company now manufactures quality textile labels for international upper-mainstream brands on in-house, specially developed machines, produced in increasingly large volumes. In an interview with ‘RFID im Blick’, Sybille Korrodi, Head of Marketing and Business Development at TexTrace, talks about strategies, technical innovation and benefits for the retail industry.

Sybille Korrodi, Head of Marketing and Business Development at TexTrace, in an interview with ‘RFID im Blick’

Highly Specialised in the Field of Woven Fabrics

Woven RFID Brand Labels
Conductive antennas made from yarn:
the antenna is interwoven as an integral part of the fabric, introduced as one of the wefts. This fine compound yarn – containing synthetic fibres and metal parts for electrical sensitivity – is flexible enough to be woven, is resistant to chemicals, and doesn’t shrink when washed. The European EPC Competence Center (EECC) confirmed the production consistency of this RFID tag with its woven, textile UHF antenna, finding it comparable with conventional, etched antennas.

Robust chip encapsulation: the fully encapsulated chip module comes on a reel, is singulated by the machine, positioned and galvanically connected to the antenna. This connection is also highly resistant to chemicals and mechanical stresses. A protective pad covers the chip module, allowing an individual EPC or QR code to be printed on it.

Up-to-date chip generation for 2015: TexTrace uses the latest UHF chip technologies from leading manufacturers, providing new anti-counterfeiting and consumer privacy features, as well as improved performance and mass-encoding optimisation. In 2015, labels will be available with the latest chip protocol Gen2V2, including Ucode 7 from NXP, and others.

Together with 13 other fashion, consulting, and RFID companies, TexTrace has actively participated in developing the GS1 Guideline: “EPC-based RFID item-level tagging” (to be published later this year), which offers practical guidance on the use of item-level RFID in the clothing sector.

What special features are offered by the TexTrace product?

Sybille KorrodiSybille Korrodi For higher-quality branded articles, woven RFID brand labels offer a high-value, robust and extremely effective solution for source tagging. They are integrated directly into the product, so that fashion companies can take full advantage of item tagging across the entire supply chain and beyond: during logistics, stock-taking, electronic article surveillance and brand protection, as well as offering the customer an interactive shopping experience and returns handling. Our product covers this entire spectrum.

What can woven textile RFID labels offer, and what special features do they have?

Woven RFID brand labels are part of the fabric of the product, and are produced on dedicated machinery which is specially developed in-house. TexTrace offers precision and 100% quality control. The antenna and chip are firmly woven and integrated into the fabric, setting the TexTrace label apart from conventional RFID labels. A special feature is its robustness, which I would say is a unique selling point. The textile label survives dry cleaning or even stonewashing processes, such as those used in denim manufacture. Besides, the integration of RFID into fabric does not affect the brand label’s look or texture. Design and image are important aspects in the fashion industry - especially for high-quality brands.

What are the advantages for fashion companies when using this integrated textile RFID solution for source tagging?

Source tagging offers an effective and convenient identification solution for fashion companies wishing to protect their brand, since the label is directly integrated into the item during production and remains there throughout the entire life cycle of the product. The price is no longer an obstacle. Also, no changes in the manufacturing process are required. The label is sewn on , like the care label, during production. One very important aspect when it comes to brand protection: as the RFID woven brand label is an integral part of the textile article itself, this gives the manufacturer legal means to means by which to prove that an item is an unlicensed fake or has been altered.

Is the product suitable for all fashion retailers?

This depends on retailers’ own supply chain and processes and the added value that they are looking for. As a result, woven RFID brand labels are not (yet) suitable for or of interest to every fashion retailer today. A hang tag may be the simpler, practical RFID sol tion. For discounters, other solutions might be more appropriate due to their price and shop policy. Generally speaking, vertically integrated brands with own retail stores will enjoy genuine added value with our solution because they can use RFID for several different applications. A retailer who “just” inventories tagged goods provided by their vendors will find no significant additional benefits of RFID in a textile label. But of course, there are exceptions: For example, a woven RFID label with a custom design would provide a distinctive added value for a large department store operator with own brands.

How do you rate the market demand for textile RFID brand labels?

I am convinced that textile RFID brand labels will prevail in any case. We have experienced this added value in our own implemented projects, and have learned from discussion with fashion companies that theft and brand protection issues are gaining in importance. Such issues cannot be solved with conventional RFID tagging. The use of RFID in the fashion market is rising across the board. After focusing on process optimisation and inventory replenishment in recent years, brands are now looking more and more towards source tagging. The trend towards involving man facturers in the RFID processes continues. The customers’ shopping experience at POS and in interactive dressing rooms is the driving force for increasing uptake. Due to cross-selling and omnichannel concepts, RFID is an important distinguishing feature for vertical fashion companies that have their own retail outlets. They also benefit from the the simplicity and reliability of the returns handling, especially when using sewn-on RFID labels.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 November 2015 12:39