Kniterate is a digital knitting machine that wants to change fashion the way 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, edit templates or upload their own images and press "knit".
Gerard Rubio, CEO
Dr Tom Catling, CTO
Triambak Saxena, CFO
Jinhee Park, Knitwear Designer
Dr Matt Head, Footwear Designer
People come in different shapes and sizes, and until recently they've had to conform to the standards of the fashion industry and mass-produced styles. Personalized goods provide new revenue streams and create brand loyalty in a time of increasing buyer sophistication.
Kniterate provides a tool that makes these kind of bespoke services more affordable for both consumers and makers. You will be able to 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 supply chain model of the garment industry. At the moment, retailers ship garments half 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.
New companies providing compact and cheaper versions of industrial tools reflect a recent trend towards bringing small scale production back and changing manufacturing industries. Adding to this movement towards distributed manufacturing, Kniterate has created an easy-to-use version of industrial knitting machines that can be installed in any workshop for a cost ten times lower than their industrial peers.
Kniterate helps fashion designers avoid the long lead times of outsourcing testing and manufacturing of their designs. It also provides a tool for makers to experiment with new types of yarns and fabrics. It now becomes easy to experiment and build intricate knitted patterns with conductive yarns to create the new wave of wearables. This will help accelerate innovation in similar ways to how access to electronic components led garage hackers to create the personal computer industry. Soon we will see the effects in different industries like fashion, fabrics and materials sciences, performance wear and medicine.
Kniterate has hundreds of needles that are computer controlled to create loops, which combined create knitwear. Kniterate has hundreds of needles that are computer controlled to create loops, which combined create knitwear. The needles move in mesmerizing waves, back and forth, knitting fabrics into shapes. These can be ready to use, like scarves and beanies, or may require assembly, like a sweater.
Kniterate's software is still in development and will be the company's focus in the coming months. Over the past year, the team has built a basic prototype of the web-based app, with which people have been able to design certain patterns onto scarves and then knit the file. More recently, the team has been working on a more efficient script that is able to take images and convert them into knitted pieces.
Kniterate's Kickstarter campaign started on 29 March 2017 and runs through to 8 May 2017. Kniterate will be available to early bird backers for the price of $4,499, before moving to the Batch 1 price of $4,699. Backers will receive their first Kniterate machines in April 2018.