Digital printing as a driver of innovation in textile printing

Thanks to the advantages of cutting-edge inkjet technology, it is now being used to meet the demand for innovative designs and environmentally friendly production, while improving the functioning of the supply chain. 

This article examines the latest trends in the textile industry and analyses the dynamics of digital innovations on the supply chain of this massive industry. The innovations we review relate to design, digital printing, cutting and tailoring of textile-based products.

The textile transformation

Like many industries, the textile printing market has been adopting innovative new technologies in order to serve a new generation of consumers and brands, and the supply chain as a whole. This massive industry - with an annual turnover of more than $1.5 trillion in apparel and accessories alone - is undergoing a transformation.

Brands must adapt to appeal to a new generation of consumers who shop both in-store and online. And as the digital age is an economic reality, brands and textile factories alike must adapt to it. Many of these changes have evolved over the last decade as the first high-speed digital textile production solutions have emerged. There have been impactful changes in several key areas.

Productivity

One of the most improved aspects of textile printing is the ability to produce any length of fabric or garment just-in-time. Without having to set up a cylinder or screen, and with the advent of sophisticated workflow automation tools, textile mills can now produce any design at high speed, thus responding to the needs of designers and brands trying to cope with rapid changes in the fashion industry. In addition, innovations in colour matching and design are speeding up the creative process, reducing creation time from months to weeks or even days.

Creativity

In the textile space, improvements in productivity and simplification of designs have also translated into greater creativity. With the ability to produce single-item runs, it is possible to take a chance on new designers without the risks associated with mass production. Many brands are allowing budding designers to enter the fray and compete for attention and recognition. It is now common to order a quarter of a metre of fabric from a traditional textile mill or a new generation of manufacturers specialising in mass customisation on demand.

Environmental sustainability

Finally, environmental sustainability (2) continues to feature prominently in the responsibility of service providers. Studies have shown time and again that younger generations - in particular Generation Z - prioritise sustainability when choosing a product. In many cases, this age group is willing to pay more for sustainably created products. For the textile industry, this is a change. For generations, textile manufacturers have been seen as major polluters, responsible for 20% of the wastewater produced globally.

Optimising the supply chain

Now that we have broadly outlined the textile transformation and the factors driving it, we can discuss further how the textile market is changing as the print volume of digital textile printing continues to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19%. By 2022 it will account for around 4 billion square metres of fabric. Productivity and creative trends are forcing companies to adopt more flexible production schedules that prioritise product diversity, so it is logical that improvements in the supply chain will emerge.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) integration

When brands plan their next season, they often employ a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. These tools aggregate all the necessary components to make the new season a success. From resource management (ERP), design components, collection and sets, to patterns and product photography, these collaborative platforms are applied across all the functions and processes involved in creating the new season's products - a coordinated effort by brands, designers, textile mills, and cut-and-sew operations, as well as the logistics that get the products to the shelves or shipped in packages.

Just-in-time manufacturing

While just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) is a term that has technically existed since the 1960s, its applicability has increased in recent decades. JIT manufacturing allows new businesses to bring their product lines to market in a matter of days or weeks, rather than months. For larger organisations, it can provide a rapid response to the needs of the fashion industry to meet the demand for seasonal products. Seasonal variations can be reflected on the shelves at just the right time, giving textile companies a greater ability to please their customers.

 

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10 tips for tackling a long road trip


By now, if you're not on holiday, you've only got a few days left to cross off the calendar. What is certain is that you have already chosen your destination and planned your luggage (or almost). In case we can help, here are 10 tips for a long road trip.

The second half of July is starting. Statistics show that, along with the first half of August, this is the Spanish people's favourite time of year to go on holiday. The same figures show that our preferred means of transport is the car and that we drive an average of 500 kilometres to reach our destination. Adding these three variables together, it is the ideal time to review these 10 tips for long journeys from Goodyear:

1. It doesn't matter how far you're going.

Whether you're travelling from Germany to Italy, from Denmark to the south of France, or from Madrid to Valencia. What matters is that you have everything prepared, that your car is in good condition and that you travel safely.  

2. Be prepared.

 Always check that you have packed everything, that you have left your house under control and that you have arranged for friends or family to collect the mail and feed your pet. All this avoids making stressful calls while driving or having to turn around. A list also helps.

3. Be rested. Never underestimate how physically exhausting a long journey is, especially on unfamiliar roads or in heavy traffic. Drivers should be well rested and fully aware of their surroundings during the journey, but rested passengers also help reduce stress in the car.

4. Luggage. Think twice about what you are taking. For example, a beach umbrella may seem important, but if it overhangs the passenger area of the vehicle it may be worth buying or renting one at your destination.

10 must-have accessories for good packing

5. Research your route. A little planning about driving time, roads to take and possible stops will greatly reduce stress in advance.

6. Drive in sections. All road safety agencies recommend that long journeys be divided into driving segments. Stopping at least every two hours helps the driver's concentration. Eating light meals and drinking plenty of water avoids that feeling of saturation and tiredness you get after a heavy meal. Remember that not drinking is as dangerous as being drunk at the wheel.

7. Take turns driving. If possible, find a driving partner and take turns until you reach your destination. This allows each driver to rest and increases concentration.

8. Check your car's tune-up. A breakdown in the middle of a long journey can quickly turn into a stressful and costly nightmare. Check fluid levels, brakes and tyres in particular. Here are the five things to check on your car.

9. Check the tyres. That your tyres are in good working order is also important for a safe and comfortable journey. Not only check the tread on your tyres, but also make sure they have the correct tyre pressure to match the needs of a fully loaded car. Make a note of these four clues that your tyres are no longer serviceable.

10. Download a safety app. Goodyear offers a road safety app designed specifically for European holiday journeys. It includes useful tips on local traffic laws, regulations and key language phrases to help you when faced with a range of problems on the road. It is available for download for both iPhone and Android.

 

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More tips for effective exam preparation and passing exams

May and June are stressful months for students due to end-of-year exams. Modesta Pousada, professor of Psychology and researcher at the UOC, provides the keys to achieving what every student wants: to pass. These are: plan study and revision in advance and carry it out progressively; minimise distractions while studying; know what the assessment tests will be like and work on the content in a coherent way; and, finally, try to manage the anxiety that the assessment situation may generate in an appropriate way.

Firstly, the expert recommends recognising the primordial role of memory. "An assessment situation involves retrieving and bringing different information into play to answer the questions, problems or reflections that are asked of us". Secondly, they should be aware of certain aspects related to the functioning of their attention and memory, which will be very useful, both when preparing for exams and when taking them.

When asked what they should bear in mind when preparing for assessment tests, the expert replies: "The first question is that we cannot retrieve information if we have not recorded it beforehand; we have to have stored it previously. This is the moment of learning, where attention plays a decisive role, one of the key characteristics of which is that it is limited".

Memory, learning, attention
These are the key words at a time in history plagued by young people with a weak attention span in a society where multitasking is considered the most natural thing to do, despite the evidence: "We cannot attend to multiple sources of information or multiple tasks simultaneously, without one of them suffering", corroborates Pousada, who recommends that at the time of study students should be in a context with as few distractions as possible.

In other words, a comfortable environment, where they have everything they need to work, where they can leave interruptions aside and where they can concentrate. "Turning off or silencing the mobile phone or other devices, eliminating sources of noise and having all the material we need within reach is the first step," he stresses.

Knowing in advance what the characteristics of the assessment test will be is also important. It has been proven that the ability to remember something depends on what they did when they received the corresponding information, i.e. they will retrieve information better if the way they study it is congruent with the type of assessment test they will have to take.

 

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A reading on how to find the path from love

In the age of asking Google everything, sometimes the best answers lie within oneself. Contrary to popular belief, doing an Akashic Records reading is not like experiencing an episode of Netflix's Sabrina. Cinema has taken it upon itself to ridicule anything to do with the spiritual realm, so it's no wonder you imagine yourself sitting in front of a grey-haired old woman waving her hands around a crystal ball in a dark, musty-smelling room.
Fortunately, none of that is real, and here we bring you the expert's take on it. Gabriela Vaccaro started her career in the programming industry, and little by little her curiosity led her to psychology. She graduated from the Catholic University of La Plata motivated by the desire to help people find their happiness, although seeing that the road to healing is a long one caused her concern. In our country, she trained as a Yoga teacher and also in the opening of Akashic Records, and has been working in this field for more than ten years. But what is this universe all about?

Opening the Akashic Records is an experience of healing and energetic unblocking, it is like having a conversation with yourself but through a channel, and that channel is Gabriela. Believe or bust. One day she herself arrived skeptical to a session with an important anguished weight, at the beginning she didn't understand anything and many years later, that same person who had done the opening of her records ended up being her own teacher.

The Akashic Records are an ancient technique of spiritual connection with oneself through a mantra.

To find out more about all this, Gabriela welcomes us in her flat in Malvin, where we immediately feel the neutral and friendly space. In addition, she transmits a peace and joy that makes you feel immediately comfortable and really want to open up. The session begins with a phrase that Gabriela pronounces to open your registers and that is where the energy begins to flow, establishing a new order. Without knowing anything about our life, she starts talking and telling us things that were very accurate about us, at that moment we understood that there was something stronger that was beyond our understanding.

Before the session, we have an instance of talk in which he explains to us what he is going to be doing and takes away all possible doubts about the practice. It was there that he told us, for example, that opening the registers is connecting with the wisdom we carry within and not looking outside. In fact, when we meditate we are connecting with our records, so it is not something foreign or external to us. So, if we don't give her permission, Gabriela cannot open the registers, it is not that she goes through life looking inside everyone, quite the contrary: it is a sacred space of peace and healing that she respects very much.

When we ask her how she prepares for this kind of meetings with her clients, she tells us that it is a 24 hours a day job, which requires taking care of one's own energy, and that is why she is helped by the practice of yoga, which favours states of harmony and balance, in order to be the best possible channel for others.

What you need to know before going to an opening of records
Before attending you can think about those situations that are generating doubts, pain or sadness, so that when the time comes you can shed light on them and resolve them.
When you come to this technique it is because you are ready to receive that message. What you receive is who you are.
Nothing you are told is going to be external to your own being, they are things that are in your conscious or unconscious awareness, we just don't want to hear them sometimes.
When you ask a question, ask it from your being and not from others. Example: if you come from a string of bad relationships, don't ask why all the men you know end up leaving you, but rather ask yourself what you have to learn from relationships.
Be intuitive when choosing what you want to meet and with whom you want to do this experience of healing and love.
The session can last up to two hours, depending on each person. Gabriela recommends a minimum period of six months in case you want to do it again.
No more than two chairs are required for the session: do not imagine hanging rabbit's feet or tarot cards, nothing could be further from the truth.
Go through this experience with simplicity and relaxation, knowing that it does not interfere with any religion or belief. It is a "short cut" to healing, which with psychological therapy would take years.
There are no set recipes when it comes to the spiritual plane and each case is different, so our recommendation is to live it to understand it. We especially suggest that you contact Gabriela, not only because her training as a psychologist helps a lot, but also because she is really kind, gentle and transparent, which gives you the security you need!

Although most of our clients come to her through recommendations, she suggests that when choosing an akashic therapist to go through the experience, we should be intuitive to perceive if there is a similar resonance. If you feel there is not, trust that when the time is right you will find the right channel. And if you are still wondering whether to do it or not, think about this: when the outside becomes noisy and uncertain, inside we always find the strength and guidance to find the new way forward. Go ahead!

 

akashic records meditation

What will health care look like in the future?

These are times of change in the healthcare model. The Covid restrictions forced both public and private healthcare to adapt and offer their services through new technologies. Until then, non-face-to-face care was rare and by no means the preferred option for citizens. But the pandemic has brought telemedicine to the forefront.

A study by the consultancy Deloitte on the advance of telemedicine worldwide claims that this year there will be more than 400 million virtual doctor consultations worldwide. To understand the magnitude of the change introduced by the coronavirus, the report states that in Spain before the pandemic, 9 out of 10 visits to the doctor were face-to-face. During the months of confinement, telemedicine was the only option for most patients.


This year there will be more than 400 million virtual doctor visits worldwide.
These were months of accelerated transformation in both the public and private sectors. Health insurers had a head start, as most had remote care services, mainly via telephone, as well as applications to manage administrative aspects such as authorisations for medical tests or arranging appointment times. However, the pandemic required a major effort to meet the needs of their customers in the only way possible. The big question is what will happen in the future and what will be the real weight of remote medical care.

The available data suggest that telemedicine is booming and will continue to do so. From being something marginal, although growing, the experience of the pandemic has allowed both doctors and patients to discover the possibilities of this modality, especially of video consultations, which until then were very much in the minority. The Deloitte study shows that in September 2020, with mobility restored, only one third of users physically visited their doctor. In contrast, 30% continued to use telemedicine exclusively. However, these figures are still conditioned by the fear of the virus.


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Beyond Covid-19: the future of financial and payments technology

 

Fintech has changed the face of banking, insurance and finance in recent years. How will the sector adapt in the post-Covid-19 landscape?

Fintech is expected to play a crucial role in the post-Covid-19 financial world. That said, some fintech companies will need to adapt to the "new normal" to remain relevant. Starting with banking, fintech has significantly shaped many areas of finance, be it investments, insurance or financial planning. The question is: which fintech companies are best positioned for the future after Covid-19?

In the case of e-commerce, social media and alternative technologies, some companies are thriving and some players are consolidating their position. This can also be seen in the banking sector, where government programmes are mainly distributed through established institutions. For example, while PayPal and Square received permission from the Internal Revenue Service to distribute funds, neobanks did not. This fosters the perception and likely reality that powerful companies will not only remain powerful but are also growing. In the US alone, billionaires have added $380 billion to their personal wealth, while unemployment claims soar.

Bad news for small players
However, the effect of Covid-19 on smaller fintech companies has been devastating. Some companies are unable to continue due to lack of funds, while others are cancelled because investors are demanding unreasonable terms for investment. Of the latter, if companies accept these terms, they could lose the real potential to scale funding further down the line, and if they don't they risk becoming obsolete. The financial technology companies that will be most affected by Covid-19 will be those in the sectors most affected, such as budget travel, in-person engagements, restaurants/bars/clubs and marketing and advertising. This is pervasive across all fintech approaches, whether solutions, apps or services, and is specific to pre-Series A firms.

In the banking sector, there are two main pain points: customer engagement and business performance management. Banks have been forced to engage with consumers to drive better customer experiences and have been looking to leverage fintech partnerships or acquisitions to do just that. As the Covid-19 crisis continues, many of these projects have been put on hold in favour of other important issues for banks, such as enabling staff to work from home (which is very difficult operationally), securing access to core systems (i.e. money and credit), as well as managing business costs and operational pressures. We now see a massive shift in focus in banks from fintech for customers to fintech for the business and its systems.

Covid-19 has completely dried up any funding for pre-Series B startups in terms of new investors, and has caused delays and drops in funding from existing investors for pre-Series A startups in the areas of the market most affected. For existing companies in the market, the funding is only there to extend the runway by around 18 months, along with massive cost reductions with the priority of company survival. For startups outside these critical verticals, valuations have declined significantly in anticipation of the economic slowdown in the coming months and startups looking to raise Series A or later have to meet higher annual and monthly recurring revenues to secure funding on good terms. Overall, the terms for funding have also deteriorated, with older clauses seen again in the market.

 

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Why does my cat scratch the sofa?

 

Let's start by saying that scratching is a behavioural need for a cat. A behavioural need is a natural behaviour of the species that an animal needs to be able to express in order to be in balance. It is an indicator of animal welfare.
Cats scratch for several reasons:

- To mark their territory with pheromones from glands in their interdigital spaces.

- To get rid of excess nail debris.

- To stretch their muscles.

When a cat scratches an object, in addition to depositing pheromones from its paws, it adds a visual signal to the object in the form of vertical stripes. The more it scratches the same object, the more both signals (olfactory and visual) are accentuated.

Scratching sites are chosen by the cat along the frequently used territory, especially on the periphery of the territory and next to resting places.

The feline nature of cats means that they avoid having to meet or cross paths with other individuals in the territory, for which they have developed a complex system of olfactory and visual markings, of which claw and urine markings are the most frequent. In this way they leave messages that other cats can read at a later time.
Approximately 15% of behavioural complaints in cats concern scratching of household objects. If the cat does not have a suitable object in its territory to carry out this behaviour, it will do it anywhere it finds available, such as the sofa, curtains, carpets, etc.

The problem is that once a cat has started scratching on an object, it will continue to choose the same object to scratch on again. This can also be an advantage, depending on how you look at it. Therefore, as long as we do not provide a suitable object, the cat will continue to scratch in the same place, no matter how many actions we take to correct it (which, moreover, are not usually appropriate or recommended).

The ideal scratching object should be stable (not moving, otherwise the cat will reject it), sufficiently high (at least 30 cm. and better if it reaches 90 cm.), the direction of the fibre of the scratching fabric should preferably be vertical. If it is a cat that has lived outdoors and has scratched trees, it will probably prefer a wooden scratching post, such as a log. Other cats prefer horizontal surfaces, such as an esparto grass mat or carpet. Cardboard is also a popular choice.

If you have a kitten, it is easy to prevent it from scratching the furniture by using a suitable object in a place where the kitten spends most of its time. If we want to encourage the kitten to scratch that object we can place it in a room where there are no other objects to scratch, put toys on top of it, add catnip, or put it next to another cat that already scratches adequately. We can place several scratching posts with different textures, so that he can choose the one he prefers and continue scratching the same one.

If we have a cat that already scratches in a place that is not suitable for us, things are more complicated, but not impossible. What we will have to do is to prevent access in some way to the scratched object or cover it with some material that is unpleasant to the cat's touch, such as plastic, aluminium foil or sticker paper. Spraying it with pheromones (F3 fraction, Feliway) will prevent it from being scratched, as the two pheromones are incompatible.


Next to it, place the new object, which fulfils all the characteristics mentioned above and if possible, whose material resembles the one already scratched. We can even cover it with a piece of the old material. The new object can be sprayed with catnip to attract the cat to it. If the scratched object is horizontal, a horizontal substrate should be chosen and placed on top of the old one.

Fortunately nowadays we have a pheromone that attracts cats to scratch in a specific place and that we can use to make them scratch the new scratching post we have placed. 
As always we recommend a visit to your veterinary ethologist for advice on everything you need for your cats at home.

In this board of our Pinterest you can find some ideas of do it yourself scratching posts. Make sure it meets the characteristics we have mentioned. And don't worry about the decoration, nowadays there are very modern scratching posts that can go in total harmony with any type of furniture, look here.

 

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