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MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management Dedicates Kellwood Company Apparel Technology Laboratory

Feb. 24, 2009

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Using state-of-the-art computer technology to develop patterns, reduce fabrication waste, and calculate cost and profit are all in a day's work for students in the University of Missouri Department of Textile and Apparel Management (TAM). Students are trained in the department's apparel technology laboratory for future careers in the softgoods industry. Today, the lab was named the Kellwood Company Apparel Technology Laboratory in honor of a $100,000 donation and many years of support from the Kellwood Foundation.

"This gift from Kellwood will enable the college's outstanding TAM program to continue in its national leadership role of providing the very best educational opportunities for our students," said Stephen Jorgensen, dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Thanks to the generosity of our Kellwood partners, TAM students at MU have a 'leg-up' on students graduating from our peer institutions as they enter the job market."

The apparel lab contains a Gerber computer-driven fabric cutter, a Gerber Digitizer and a Gerber Plotter. The equipment enables students to create patterns and digitize them, alter styles and send patterns to be cut electronically or made into full-size markers for cutting by hand. The lab has a new body scanner that captures measurement information for different body shapes. The lab also has 12 computers with specialized software for patternmaking, marker making, data management and textile creation.

"Our endowment of the Kellwood Apparel Technology Lab reaffirms our long-standing support for MU and our joint efforts to train and educate America's next generation of leadership in the apparel industry," said Michael Kramer, president and chief executive officer of the Kellwood Company.

Kellwood Company, headquartered in St. Louis, is a leading women's apparel marketer. The company's mission is to focus on diversification, fashion and value to enhance their position as a premier marketer of branded softgoods that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers.

"The recent donation from the Kellwood Foundation will assure that the apparel technology lab is updated and in excellent working condition for our terrific students," said Kitty Dickerson, TAM department chair.

In the University of Missouri TAM department, students are prepared for a wide variety of career options in merchandising, buying, technical design, retail management, global sourcing and e-retailing. 


Editor's note: Photos of the apparel technology lab equipment are available upon request.