Growing up, you couldn't get cooler or more stylish than wearing something you created yourself. Proof: I had a short run as a seamstress of sorts after my high school peers saw the pair of ripped denim I brought back to life with a few obnoxiously bright scraps of fabric. It fizzled quickly—self admittedly, I couldn't sew a straight line then and still can't—and so did the DIY fashion trend as we moved on from Friday night football games and prom. Suddenly hot off the runway knock-offs became choice over scrapping together a completely unique statement shirt. OpenKnit is keeping the DIY spirit alive and well, with a very design-savvy production method, of course. While the machine's finished garments may lack a certain je ne sais quoi when it compares to the ready-to-wear market, the style is all in the production method—which is the kind of thing we get excited about.
OpenKnit is a an open-source digital fabrication machine that creates garments on-demand from a mess of yarn to finished sweater. Better yet, it's pretty quick to do so—said sweater can reportedly be completed within an hour. The machine is powered by Knitic (which we previously covered here), making it possible—and easy—for users to design their personalized pattern and feed it into the printer. More on OpenKnit from its website:
OpenKnit offers an alternative landscape to this production model. It's an open-source, low cost (around $750), digital fabrication tool that affords the user the opportunity to create his own bespoke clothing from digital files. Designing and producing clothes digitally and wearing them can now happen in the very same place, rewarding the user with the ability to make decisions regarding creativity and responsibility.
Seeing the machine in action is the only way to do it justice:
Or maybe this pixelated throwback video will give you a better feel for how it's done:
Just as entertaining as watching the machine at-work may be the guerilla marketing campaign designer Gerard Rubio takes on (as shown in the video). From far away, the OpenKnit garments look right at home among the featured store displays—see if you can spot them:
Keep an eye on the project's website for more updates.