This year in June, lecturers from the Fashion Design Department Dr. Eugenija Strazdienė, Monika Polunina and Morta Nakaitė visited the global ITMA 2023 (www.itma.com/) exhibition “Transforming the World of Textiles” in Milan. It is the largest international exhibition of textile and garment technological innovations, bringing together global textile and garment manufacturers and highlighting the trends in the transformation and development of these industries. This year, the exhibition featured 1,570 companies from 42 countries, and it was attended by over 110,000 visitors. The main highlights of the exhibition this year were functional materials, automation and digitization, as well as sustainability and circularity in the fashion industry. The exhibition showcased automated production lines where robots replaced the hands of cutters and sewers, smart embroidery machines that embroidered electrically conductive channels and attached miniature LEDs, automated systems for transporting hanging garments, smart multifunctional sewing machines, and many other innovations.
Special attention was paid to the recycling of used clothes down to the original fiber. These stands occupied the most significant spaces of the exhibition. At the exhibition, Vilnius kolegija lecturers got acquainted with laboratory equipment for textile materials research and the companies that produce it (chiuvention.com/), communicated with the creators of virtual 3D clothing programs (www.style3d.com/) and creators of virtual textile materials (textura.ai/), showed interest in innovative ideas presented by start-ups in the special Start-Up Valley/Transformation Starts with Innovation (itma.com/exhibitors/start-up-valley) erea. The knowledge and experience gained at the ITMA 2023 exhibition will be utilized in the project activities of Vilnius kolegija within the Horizon Europe 2022-2027 programme’s EIT HEI Initiative invitation “Circular Economy Innovative Initiative in Textiles for an Entrepreneurial Europe CITE” ( eit-hei.eu/projects/cite/).
During the visit to Milan, together with other partners of the NETFAS network (a network of European colleges conducting textile and fashion studies), a visit was made to Politecnico di Milano (https://www.polimi.it/en), which, according to QS World University Rankings, is among the top 8 universities in the world in the fields of design and architecture, and among the top 20 in engineering. During the visit, they became acquainted with the Design School of the university, its study system, examples of industry collaboration, and ongoing projects. Possibilities for both individual and NETFAS network collaboration were also discussed.