Kniterate: the digital desktop knitting machine
Kniterate is a digital knitting machine that wants to change the fashion of how desktop 3D printers are revolutionizing manufacturing. It uses yarn to “print” digital clothing files. Via an easy-to-use Internet platform, users can design garments from scratch, modify models or upload their own images and press “knit”.
Gérard Rubio, CEO
Dr Tom Catling, Technical Director
Triambak Saxena, Chief Financial Officer
Jinhee Park, knitwear designer
Dr Matt Head, shoe designer
People come in different shapes and sizes, and until recently they had to adhere to fashion industry standards and mass-produced styles. Personalized products provide new sources of revenue and create brand loyalty in an era of increasing sophistication among buyers.
Kniterate provides a tool that makes these kinds of tailor-made services more affordable for consumers and manufacturers. You can find Kniterate in the workshops of independent designers, makerspaces, libraries or as part of the in-store experience of retailers.
This will change the current model of the apparel industry supply chain. Right now, retailers ship clothes to half the world and find themselves with excess inventory, which they are then forced to reduce, or worse yet, throw away. With Kniterate, the clothes are made locally and on demand, and because they are custom made, there is no waste due to cutting the fabrics.
New companies providing compact and cheaper versions of industrial tools reflect a recent trend towards the return of small-scale production and the evolution of manufacturing industries. Adding to this move towards distributed manufacturing, Kniterate has created an easy-to-use version of industrial knitting machines that can be set up in any workshop for ten times the cost of their industrial counterparts.
Kniterate helps fashion designers avoid long delays in outsourcing the testing and manufacturing of their designs. It also provides a tool for manufacturers to experiment with new types of yarns and fabrics. Now it becomes easy to experiment and create intricate knitted patterns with conductive threads to create the new wave of clothing. This will help accelerate innovation in the same way that access to electronic components led garage hackers to create the personal computer industry. Soon we will see the effects in different industries like fashion, fabric and material science, performance clothing and medicine.
Kniterate has hundreds of needles that are computer controlled to create loops, which when combined create knits. Kniterate has hundreds of needles that are computer controlled to create loops, which when combined create knits. The needles move in fascinating waves, back and forth, knitting the fabrics into shapes. These can be ready-made, like scarves and hats, or may require assembly, like a sweater.
Kniterate’s software is still in development and will be at the heart of the business in the months to come. Over the past year, the team built a basic prototype of the web application, with which people were able to design certain patterns on scarves, and then knit the file. More recently, the team worked on a more efficient script capable of taking images and converting them into knitted pieces.
Kniterate’s Kickstarter campaign started on March 29, 2017 and will run until May 8, 2017. Kniterate will be available to early-stage backers for $ 4,499, before upgrading to the Bundle 1 price of $ 4,699. Backers will receive their first Kniterate machines in April 2018.
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