TECHNIQUE

Knitting

The TextielLab is equipped with computer-controlled industrial Stoll flat knitting machines, a Mayer & Cie circular knitting machine and a new ADF flat knitting machine that can produce woven-like structures.

In the TextielLab, you can knit straight lengths, separate panels and seamless pieces that are knitted into a shape. 3D sneakers and even lamps have been knitted in the lab. We recently acquired an ADF flat knitting machine which is more precise than other flat knitting machines and offers greater technical possibilities. In addition, it can produce woven-like knitted structures by allowing for the insertion of inlay yarns between the stitches. These yarns can be used to strengthen specific areas or pad the knit. Visit our digital Sample Studio to find out more about what our knitting department has to offer.

Technique
Knitting is a method of making fabric by creating loops in a single continuous thread with two or more needles. Knitted fabrics are highly elastic and are primarily used in fashionwear, interior design, art and product applications.

Circular knitting machine, photo: Merel van Dooren

Knitting machines
The TextielLab has three computer-controlled Stoll flat knitting machines, with a width of 72 or 84 inches. Each needle bed has between 419 and 1,175 needles, enabling the machines to knit from coarse to very fine structures. The machines can produce fabric by the metre as well as 3D objects and flat shapes with finished edges. All the machines use M1Plus pattern software.

We also have a circular knitting machine. This has 1,680 needles and so produces the finest knits. The machine’s diameter is 30 inches, and the knit is always tubular. This machine produces jacquard or double cloth knits by the metre.

Garencollectie voor het breien

Photo: Dana Dijkgraaf

Yarn collection
The TextielLab has an unrivalled yarn collection. Besides standard yarns, the lab also researches and buys special yarns. We work with sustainable yarns from European suppliers wherever possible, and we research specific applications for different yarns in textile products.

Finishing
All fabrics come off the machines unfinished. They can be finished to your specifications in the assembly studio by a team of experienced tailors.

Working in the TextielLab 
Would you like to work in our knitting department? Click ‘Submit request’ to send us a project proposal with a clear description of the concept and intended result. The project must relate to interior design, art or fashion. We will assess the proposal on motivation, innovation and artistry. If there is a match, we will invite you for an intake interview to determine whether the project is feasible. After the interview, we will send you a work plan and quote. Once you approve this, we will schedule the development of your project. For the best result, we recommend that you are in the lab as much as possible during the development phase. If you are unable to come yourself, you can also work remotely. Please contact the Front Office to help you set this up.

How to submit a design
Once we have accepted the project and scheduled the development days, we will ask you to submit a design according to the specifications below.

  • Your digital design can be loaded into the knitting software. If your design has a pattern, you can create it in Illustrator or Photoshop.
  • Each pixel in your digital design represents one stitch on the machine; the number of stitches you knit depends on the approach. Discuss this with the product developers.
  • If your design has a pattern, create a TIFF file in RGB colour mode. Specify the exact number of colours in the file by selecting ‘save for web’. Save the GIF file, open it again, then change the file to TIFF – RGB.
  • Does your design have separate panels, or is it ‘fully fashioned’ without seams? If so, please submit a technical drawing showing the dimensions. A full-scale prototype or pattern is not required but can be very helpful during development.

Costs
The cost of developing a project in the knitting department depends on several factors that vary for each project. These include the number of development days, the materials used and whether any assembly is required. The full rate for a development day is approximately €500 (excl. VAT). Thanks to a subsidy from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Province of Noord-Brabant and the City of Tilburg, the lab can cover approximately 35% of the total costs per project, if makers pay the remaining costs themselves. If you work for a client, we cover 15% of the total costs per project. We cover 50% of the total costs for young talent (graduating students). If your project is already subsidised elsewhere, we charge the full rate per development day. This is to avoid the same project being subsidised multiple times.

After the intake interview, the lab team will determine how many development days are needed to realise the project. Additional fees will be charged for materials, assembly and any other costs incurred. After the intake interview, the lab will send you a final quote.