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Sylab – sewing lab

The project will raise awareness of how the use of robotics and new production processes can bring textile production back to Denmark


The clothing and textile industry was one of the first production industries to be outsourced to low-wage countries in the 1990s, and since then 20,000 jobs have been lost in the industry in Denmark. Exports by the Danish fashion industry amount to around 28.5 million DKK per year, and it is now the fourth largest export industry in Denmark.


Due to outsourcing, innovation competences in production have disappeared because there is no longer direct access to production facilities. This makes it troublesome and costly to produce smaller production series and makes it difficult for new brands to establish themselves.


The project's vision is to create the framework for an experimental laboratory which will be a hub for the development, testing and integration of sewing robots and the optimisation of processes involved in textile production. The objective is to create an innovative fashion and textile production that reduces impact on the environment and on consumption of resources.

The project will be groundbreaking through its use of robotics and new production processes to automise the sewing of textiles. Access to the benefits of using robotics for things like monotonous repetitive work (MRW), which otherwise previously was carried out by expensive manual labour, will be fundamental for a different type of seamstress job than previously. Seamstresses in Sylab will be involved in design, construction and cutting out in the more complicated sewing processes, and not least in the programming and handling of sewing robots.

The project's research challenges lie in handling fabric, which in contrast to classic automation, is a flexible and soft material. The long term ambition is to create dynamic models of how different fabrics behave in response to manipulation actions and use this knowledge for development of algorithms for automated handling of materials during different stages of the sewing process.


  • Open a sewing lab - Sylab
  • Work on integrating the sewing robot and optimising sewing processes in a sample sewing room and also test new work procedures and flexible setups that minimise resource consumption
  • Work with and test new technologies, new processes, new business models and other forms of new thinking in the value chain.

 Expected Results

Sylab will be situated in the business Claire Group in Ikast, which has made their sewing room available with eight work stations and 7000m2 of production and office facilities. There is space here for between 10 and 20 entrepreneurs who will have access to a Sylab where the sewing processes will be tested and optimised. After a development period of three years, Sylab will be able to finance itself through niche production orders and collection development for smaller businesses.

It is not expected that all of the 20,000 jobs that have disappeared will be replaced, but in the long term other jobs will be created, for instance robot operators, new types of seamstresses, more entrepreneurs, transport employees, warehouse workers and other tradesmen such as subcontractors, etc.


The project has a total budget of 6.4 million DKK of which the Danish Agency for Science and Innovation has allocated 2.8 million DKK.

Project Participants

The Danish Agency for Science and Innovation has made some films about activities taking place in the Danish innovation networks. One of the films is about the collaboration between the Innovation Network RoboCluster and the Innovation Network Lifestyle - Interior & Clothing through the Sylab project. Watch the film HERE.

Read more about the project HERE.

Contact person
Morten NielsenMorten Nielsen

Cluster Manager


M. +45 9350 7313




RoboCluster brings together Danish expertise in the field of robotics research, development and design. The network provides you with the latest knowledge on robotics and intelligent solutions and services for several areal of great political and developmental attention. Get new input for your challenges in the field of robotics and automation and get closer to the Danish robotic 

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