3-D knit transformations

Smith, AE
Kalyanji, J
Fraser, G
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School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology

Rapid advances in seamless knitting technology are opening up significant opportunities in the design, production and application of knitted textile preforms. Introduced in the mid 1990’s, seamless machinery enables shaped, 3-dimensional knitted forms to be produced entirely by machine. While garment producers globally adopted the technology for its economic efficiencies, the standardised templates in the technology’s software have generally reduced the sophistication of designs produced. Although the signifi cant unrealised potential in seamless technology is widely acknowledged, designers and manufacturers are facing diffi culties in understanding and integrating the complex technology into their practice. There remains a fundamental gap in knowledge and skills, in part due to a simplified and modular garment based user interface, which fronts a complex and sophisticated technology. Of the limited research in this area, most relates to garment shaping. More recently, we have started to see sophisticated applications of this technology in highly technical or artisanal design outcomes emerging from textile research centres.

The design and production of knitted textile forms in 3-dimensions, as opposed to the 2-dimensional fl at pattern and construction of the past, is a significant conceptual shift for traditional textile design practice. Traditional craft and design practices are often disrupted by the emergence of new technologies. We believe that the disruption created by seamless knit technology has the potential to vastly change both the design and application of knitted textiles, moving knitted textile manufacturing up the value chain.

This installation showcases the advanced capabilities of seamless knitting technology for innovative, 3-dimensional form building and high-end design outcomes. The group submitting this proposal consists of a knitwear designer, knitted textile designer and knit technician. All are experienced in this field, and will draw on current research and developments to work collaboratively in producing a collection of seamless knitted products that demonstrate unique shaping, 3-dimensionality, pattern and texture. The collection includes both garment and non-garment applications and may incorporate smart textile applications.

Published in Exhibition Creative Works. Shapeshifting, pp. 14-15. Retrieved from http://www.shapeshifting.aut.ac.nz/
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