The latest TechnoBlast laser-scribing system from TechnoLines LLC features a patented method for creating a worn look typically associated with sandblasting.

The Westlake, OH-based firm invented the TechnoBlast technology in 1997, and since then has worked to improve and protect the intellectual property rights related to its laser-based scribing process and the software system that drives it.

The new TechnoBlast system incorporates a software program for designing the desired worn look, and a computer-driven laser that simulates the sandblasting process. The designer can use the software to select the placement of a worn section; determine the degree and shape of the worn area; and create unique abrasion patterns to be scribed onto the denim garment in a matter of seconds. For example, TechnoBlast can be used to create the popular feathered abraded look, in which whisker-like lines are scribed onto certain parts of the garment to simulate a worn-in look.

In an interview with Bobbin, TechnoLines CEO Darryl J. Costin explained that TechnoBlast is able to replicate the precise effects of sandblasting by changing the "energy density per unit time" as the laser scribes on the denim. "We have the industry absolutely wild over this," he said. "The industry has been crying for an alternative solution to sandblasting."

Sandblasting is a labor-intensive, hazardous process that typically is accomplished with a device that blasts sand particles, metal particles or other materials at selected areas of denim garments. The process usually must be done in a room that is shielded from other manufacturing areas, and the worker doing the sandblasting must wear protective gear to prevent being hit by or inhaling airborne sand or other particles.

The TechnoBlast technology can be licensed on a negotiated royalty per unit basis.

By Kathleen DesMarteau