The origin of the company's name
Arahne (Slovenian for Arachne) was the name of an ancient greek weaver and this is the story about her life:
The Lydian Arachne, daughter of a famed dyer in purple, was herself still more famed for rare skill in weaving. Not common country folk alone, but nymphs of the woods and the streams came to watch how deftly she plied her loom, and with what wonderful art she used the needle to embroider rich patterns on her webs. So high rose her name that it reached Pallas-Athene, the goddess of such arts, to whose inspiration, men said, this humbly-born maiden must owe her skill. But to say that she needed any teacher hurt Arachne's pride.
»Pallas indeed!« she would cry, tossing her head. »There is none in heaven or earth with whom I fear to compete. Let Pallas come, if she will, to try her hand against mine!«
»Nay, speak not so rashly«, said grey-haired old woman who stood by leaning on her staff, as the boastful damsel once uttered such a challenge. »Age and experience ever bring wisdom. Be ruled by me and own the power of the goddess, for she graces to give to mortals who bend before her. No human work is so good that it cannot be betterd.«
»Foolish old crone, keep thy counsel till it be asked for!« hotly spoke back Arachne. »Folks lose their wits, also, by living long. To thy slave or thy daughter, play the mistress. For me, I need no lessons from doting age, nor yet from Pallas. Why shrinks she from a contest of our skill?«
»She is here!« rang out a queenly voice; for lo! the seeming grandam had changed to Pallas herself, who stood forth with a flashing eyes and majestic bearing. In that disguise of feeble age, she had come to spy on her earthly rival's handiwork; and now, stung to haughty disdain, she offered to match her art against the Lydian spinster's.
Arachne had at first flushed with astonishment, but soon she recovered her confidence and boldly accepted the challenge. The contest begun forthwith: two looms were set up, at which these eager rivals plied their best craft and cunning, with such swiftness that ere long on each of the growing tissues shone in all the hues of the rainbow woven into marvelous devices, and shot with threads of gold.
For her design Pallas chose the gods ranged upon the Acropolis at Athens, Jove's awful majesty in the midst, Poseidon smiting the rock with his trident, herself in the full panoply amnog the rest, who was shown calling forth the olive tree that made her best gift to man. About this central group were depicted scenes of impious mortals brought to confusion, rebellious giants turned to mountains, and, for a hint to her presumptuous rival, prating girls changed to screeching fowl. Round all ran a border of olive foliage, as sign of whose handiwork this was, with which few would dare to vie!
The irreverent Arachne, for her part, had picked out stories that cast shame or derision upon gods. Zeus and his brethren were shown wooing mortals in unworthy form, Apollo humbly serving as a shepherd on earth, Dionysus playing his drunken pranks, nay, scandalous memories of old Cronos himself. From such ancient tales she could choose but too many to fill out her picture, all enclosed by border of ivy leaves and flowers. But these scenes were worked in with so cunning art, that one could believe to see real animals and real waves standing out before the eye upon that accusing web, the more offensive for its truth.
So Pallas-Athene felt when she rose to examine the other's work. With a cry that was half envy and half indignation, she snatched at the too faithfully coloured cloth, tearing it to pieces, and sobering blows upon the sly maker of such a masterpiece.
How might mortal maiden stand before the fairhaired goddess when her eyes blazed with wrath? Thus unfairly beaten, Arachne could not bear her spiteful shame. She stole away to hang herself in despair.
Nor even then was the wrath of Pallas glutted. She bid her rival live, yet in what hateful from! For a spell was woven found her bloated body, her human features disappeared, her hair fell off, her limbs shrunk up, and thus poor Arachne hung as a spider, doomed for ever to spin as if mocking the skill that had moved Olympian envy.
Excerpt from A.R. Hope Moncreiff: Classical Mythology
Arahne develops software for textile industry. Our customers are weaving mills, producing all kinds of woven products: suiting, shirting, ties, shawls, labels, bedlinen, blankets, napkins, terry towels, cleaning mats ... and even plastic. Other clients are design studios, converters, universities and hand weavers. Arahne has installations on all the continents, in 30 countries of the world. Arahne never sleeps, there is somebody using Arahne programs at any time of day. Have a look at current reference list here...
Company and founders
Arahne is a software company, specialized in developing CAD/CAM systems for weaving. It was established in 1992 in Slovenia by two young computer engineers, Dušan Peterc and Simon Weilguny, tired of fruitless "research" and bureaucracy in universities and government research institutes.
Slovenia gained its independence just one year earlier, and it looked like a good place to start a business. Both Simon and Dušan have worked in the field of speech synthesis, while Dušan finished his master studies in Cefriel in Milan, Italy in the area of computer graphics. This unlikely background and will for creation was channeled into textile design software almost by chance. They first wanted to make an image database of fabric designs, like an on-line sourcebook of ideas. As they presented this idea to local industry, they quickly became aware that they don't speak the same language. The industry had no use for such image database, since they were lacking the most basic CAD tools. Dušan and Simon have started to listen to their potential customers, and they have never stopped since then. Arahne's customers shape Arahne's products. Weaving mills in Slovenia at that time were in worse shape than the garment manufacturers. So garment "giants" like Mura were not interested in any r&d, as they could buy finished CAD products on the market. And weaving mills had so little money that they could not, so even collaborating with two young software engineers in a two year project did not look so bad. Arahne has installed dobby systems in factories at the end of 1993, and first jacquard CAD system in mid 1994.
Slovenia has a population of only 2 million people, so Arahne's team knew they had to export their software from the very start. In 1995 Arahne has exhibited at ITMA fair in Milan, Italy for the first time, and it has been to every ITMA since then (1999 in Paris, 2003 in Birmingham, 2007 in Munich, 2011 in Barcelona). Arahne had gained first international sales already in 1995. Coming from a small nation, where most people speaks at least 3 languages, Arahne has a culture of investing in translations. So its software was developed from the start with translations in mind, and today Arahne has the software text translated in 12 languages.
Just as the language is a tool to interface to people, CAD must also do the CAM part, that is talk to the weaving machinery. Arahne's software currently reads and writes over 40 different file formats. Many of these formats are hard to get, poorly documented, and need to be tested with a customer who has this equipment (loom, warper, drawing-in machine). Many years on the market exposed Arahne to the diverse incompatible textile machinery, and it overcome this obstacle by implementing the necessary interfaces. From the technical point of view, Arahne has started its development on Unix, since Windows was not mature as a CAD platform in 1992. This has brought many problems with installation and drivers, and in some cases also hurt the company commercially. Situation got gradually better since 1997, when Arahne ported its software to Linux. And it will get even better in 2011, when the company will launch the Apple Mac OSX version. Nowadays Linux is no longer greeted with fear, and designers just love their Macs. For companies who need Windows at all costs, virtualisation comes to the rescue, and Linux runes nicely in WmWare or VirtualBox. The choice or Unix/Linux was not all bad. Operating system is extremely stable, and it allowed us to use single development platform for almost 20 years. This means 20 years of gradual improvements, bug fixes, solving customer's problems. Instead of working on changing programming languages and user interface toolkits.
Geographically, Italy is the strongest European market for Arahne, and thanks to good highway system they can reach main textile centers like Milan, Biella, Como, Prato in 4 to 5 hours by car. The percentage of Arahne's Asian sales is also growing every year. Asian customers enjoy the high quality European product, which has matured with gradual improvement over many years. Export represents 93% of company's income in 2009.
In the 20 years of business, we never heard a textile businessman or woman saying business is good. Always crying. And yet population is growing, and most people wear clothes. Textile business is hard and highly competitive. But is it not going away, it is growing every year. So the future of Arahne is bright.
...read more...Arahne's Success Story in Intel Software partner Program
Arahne presentation video from ITEA 1996 Award in Brussels