BY: SHAWNTAE HARRIS
For the most part, clothing stores are one in the same. Most stores still only carry clothes in a range of sizes and styles that are advertised to fit the “average” size. So what happens to the people that are wider, smaller, or bigger than the average; they have to look elsewhere. While numerous specialty stores aim to meet the needs of those who identify as plus size, petite, or even those who are tall, often these specialty stores are harder to access and more expensive.
Enter Kniterate. Kniterate is a digital knitwear company that is allowing everyday people to make their own clothes by entering their designs into a computer. People can either choose their own designs or choose from the hundreds of designs from the web app. The machine does the real work.
“We come in all sizes but our clothing is still mass produced,” said Gerard Rubio, co-founder of Kniterate.
The machine takes these designs and spits out a new knitted scarf, sweater or pair of shoes; whatever your desires are. The company wants to be interactive as well. Allowing people to share their unique designs on the website to share with others.
The company was formed out of a frustration with knits. The four-year company is a solution to easy access clothes. Sometimes people just do not have the time to go to the mall after a busy work day and even busier weekend. We’ve all bought a sweater or shoes and waited days to get it in the mail.
Rubio watched students struggle to produce good knitwear during fashion school. He created the first prototype in 2013 in Barcelona. Fashion students or early fashion designers can use the machine to bring their idea to life. They can use the preexisting design they made or create a brand new line of knits for sale. Doing each piece knit by knit can be too time-consuming and difficult.
The big knitting machine has hundreds of tiny needles that are controlled by the computer. The colours are interchangeable, as is the fabric it can be made with – options include cotton, wool, acrylic or silk.
Rubio is an artist who is mostly known for incorporating fashion with technology. Three years ago he made an elaborate fashion show featuring a fashion orchestra. A year before that Rubio made a sweater that created music with movement.
Triambak Saxena is a molecular biologist with a financial background, and Tom Catling is the expert on 3-D printing, coding and a co-investor with Kniterate.
Jinhee Park is the designer graduating from Bunka fashion College in Japan. She is now studying fashion in London College of fashion.
Finally, both Daniel Carmona and Héctor Anadón work on software and web design.
Kniterate has started raising money to mass distribute
The machine raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter, and within one hour it already reached its goal of $100,000. The fundraiser has less than 25 days to go on Kickstarter.
For a $5 dollar pledge, the company can throw lunches and the backer will be included. For a $50 pledge the backer will get a Kniterate scarf. They are also offering discounts on the design machine.