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Knitting / Apparel

CAD Propels Creativity And Profits

Computer-aided design systems and high-quality fabric simulations are making an impact at Maharam.

Computer-aided design systems and high-quality fabric simulations are making an impact at Maharam. Maharam was founded in 1902 by Louis Maharam, a Russian immigrant who set up shop on lower Broadway in New York City, selling commodity fabrics.When talkies replaced silent movies, Maharams four sons began supplying flame-resistant damasks to improve the acoustics of movie houses that now had to deal with sound. Over time, the company expanded its line of theatrical fabrics, eventually becoming a leading resource for set and costume designers. From its showrooms in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, Maharam provided exotic fabrics for Broadway shows, nightclubs, ballrooms and Mardi Gras parades. With the post-World War II office building boom, Maharam sensed new opportunity and began supplying textiles for commercial interiors. Today, this fourth generation, family-owned business is the contract furnishings industrys leading resource for corporate, healthcare, hospitality, and institutional textiles. The Power Of PointcarrB>After an extensive search for user-friendly, affordable woven-design software that could be used on its existing Macintosh® computers, Maharam chose Pointcarrfrom Monarch Design Systems, Glendale, N.Y., which led to an initial installation of two systems in the Manhattan-based Design Department.
Madlyn Volberg, customs designer, works on a wallcovering border design using Pointcarroftware. One of the primary users is Juliet Terzian, a designer who specializes in upholstery and vinyl wallcovering design for Maharams standard line.According to Terzian: In the design and clean-up stage, Pointcarras made it much easier for us to put a design in repeat and work in repeat. It also makes it very easy to start with artwork and do color reductions with minimum clean-up time.Pointcarr advanced design features and realistic woven fabric simulations has led to a proliferation of the software throughout Maharams design departments. The Manhattan installation was followed by the addition of two more systems for its Custom Studio group. The Custom StudioThe Custom Studio group couples a dedicated design staff with leading technical expertise and worldwide resources to offer engineered project-specific solutions tailored to the customers specifications.While both the Design Department and the Custom Studio are designing textiles, the Custom Studio has the added constraint of time and budget, said Marlise Ellis, Customs Designer. We generally have to supply a fabric sample to our customer within two weeks, often sooner. To meet these demands, the Custom Studio uses Pointcarrnd Pointcarracquard Design to create new designs and make color changes to existing woven designs work that was handled in the past by suppliers. Now, by using Pointcarr44; all the work is done in-house with substantial time and cost savings.
Maharam designers use Pointcarroftware from Monarch Design Systems to create upholstery fabrics, in this case for a high-end hospitality client. We love the software. It enables us to be more creative and original, which gives us a competitive edge. Plus, we can supply a realistic woven fabric simulation to our customers in half the time it takes to weave an actual sample, adds Marlise. Maharams custom vinyl wallcovering and border design business has also changed significantly since they acquired the Pointcarroftware.Before, creating artwork took a lot of time and several hundreds of dollars per project. It was also difficult to make changes later. Now we can take on special projects and quickly and inexpensively give conceptual renderings to our customers, said Lisa Hogan, production manager, Vinyl Wallcovering. Finally, Maharam is using Pointcarro design custom print fabrics in-house. Print work is typically rendered and painted by an artist with gouache. This labor-intensive process can take from a few days to a few weeks, much like a piece of art. And, like a piece of art, manipulating the rendered images after they are painted is practically impossible. Now, by using Pointcarr44; the image can be manipulated easily on the computer screen.
This custom coloration and woven simulation of a cubical curtain fabric was created in Pointcarror a hospitality client who could not wait for a production sample. The design was approved from this high-quality simulation. Marlise explains: For instance, if the customer doesnt like the shape of the leaf we designed, we can change it instantly. We can also show the customer many different color options.With all the designs being generated, Maharam realized it needed an effective way to manage them. So, the company is building a design library for future projects using Monarchs Monarchive image database software. This will enable the designers to quickly locate previous designs via an electronic catalog and pull elements from them into new designs, again shortening the project turnaround time.Monarch software has enabled us to build very strong design departments, and we anticipate further expanding its usage to offer more high-quality products and services, said Marlise.

August 1999



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