GeekWire reports that Amazon has just won a patent for what is called "on-demand apparel manufacturing," which creates "a system in which computer software collects clothing orders from all over the world and comes up with an efficient plan for fulfilling them," and in which "machines only start snipping and stitching once an order has been placed."

The patent also says that orders “can be organized by the computing environment into one or more groups of orders based on one or more productivity factors, such as size, shape, fabric type, or delivery location for the textile products,” the patent says."

The process, according to GeekWire, may be applicable to more than just clothing - it may be able to be used for "accessories (e.g., scarves, gloves, hats, bags, belts, etc.), footwear, bedding, curtains, towels, etc., in a wide variety of materials including, but not limited to paper, plastic, leather, rubber, and other materials.”

KC's View: Look at this as being yet another effort by Amazon to innovate around a basic truth that typifies its business - when millions of people are on its home page at the same time, they all are being exposed to different homes, because those pages are organized and oriented around past behavior and demonstrated interests.

That's what on-demand manufacturing would seem to be focused on, as Amazon tries to rethink and rebuild a supply chain that is more personalized.

By the way ... contrast this move by Amazon with our story above about Target backing off innovation initiatives that might help it in the future.