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Think 3D printing for knitting - Meet Kniterate the digital knitting machine

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by Startacus Admin


We are liking the look of Kniterate, a compact digital knitting machine (think 3D printing for knitting) that can create custom designed knitted garments like scarves, beanies, shoe uppers, sweaters, and dresses, and aims to bring fashion fabrication back to the masses! 

Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, it looks like the general public agree too, and with 20 or so days left (at the time of this article going live) the project has had over 250 backers and is super over subscribed in terms of its initial kickstarter crowdfunding target of £100k. Congrats Kniterate! (Why not drop them a tweet too to say congrats!)

The aim with Kniterate is to bring an affordable and compact version of an industrial knitting machines into a person's home or workshop, and automatically turn someone's digital designs into knitted garments. Targeting amongst others, the independent fashion designers, makers, makerspaces and libraries, the price currently comes in at approximately a tenth of the cost of an industrial knitting machine. (nope, we ain’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes).

Create a design and Kniterate will knit it for you.Kniterate

Their process makes it easy for a user to scale from one-offs to production quantities. Kinterate highlighs that until now the only similar tools available were industrial knitting machines, which cost upwards of $50k.

The process seems pretty simple, and apart from creating your own design from scratch or using a template, the machine simply does the rest and knits you a ready-to-wear piece of knitwear or garment.

The Kniterate software is currently under development, but will allow you to simply create design, edit and share your garments and accessories, or of course use the templates that will be provided.

KniterateThere is of course, the potential that this could, in part, change the current supply chain model of the garment industry. At the moment retailers ship garments half way across the world and end up with excess stock, which then they are forced to mark down, or even worse, throw away. With Kniterate clothing is made locally and on demand, and because it’s made to shape there’s no waste due to cutting fabrics.

Kniterate is the creative brainchild of Gerard Rubio, who 4 years ago started OpenKnit, an open-source knitting machine. The project went viral thanks to its video “Made In The Neighborhood”. In the Autumn of 2015 it was selected to be part of HAX, the first and largest hardware accelerator, in Shenzhen, China. After showing their HAX prototype at Maker Faire Bay they went on to partner with an industrial knitting machine manufacturer, living in the factory the summer of 2016. Since then they have been working with London designers to create samples that show Kniterate’s potential.
Kniterate - digital knitting machine

Gerard Rubio, said: “Until now the production of clothing has been in the hands of a few companies or skilled individuals. Kniterate was born to change that, and to democratize clothing manufacturing, allowing anyone to create high quality personalized garments and accessories.”

The Kickstarter campaign started on 29 March 2017 and runs through to 8 May 2017. With the Kniterate early bird ($4,499) selling out in the first hour. We look forward to watching how this project progresses over the coming months. Talking of 'watching', why not take a gander over their Kickstarter video, which we've added below...


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Published on: 5th April 2017

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