If you’ve always wanted to design clothes but never gained the technical skill, the Kniterate digital knitting machine (now raising funds on Kickstarter) could be just the device for you — that is, if you have $4,699 USD (about $6,300 CAD) to invest in this new venture.
The Kniterate desktop digital knitting machine was designed to “democratize clothing manufacturing,” in the words of co-founder Gerard Rubio who, along with co-founder Triambak Saxena, studied large industrial machines which cost upwards of $50,000, in order to create a smaller, much less expensive version — somewhat like a home knitting machine, but easier to use.
To create with Kniterate, users will be able to start a design from scratch using the company’s web design app or load an existing design from its online library (both are still in development). They can also modify standard sizes to fit their needs.
Tried and tested yarns include wool, cotton, acrylic and silk, but the company says it accepts all different kinds. Once the item has finished printing, a little finishing is needed on the edges of simpler items, like scarves, and more assembly is needed for more complex items, like sweaters.
The co-founders say Kniterate is aimed chiefly at small fashion businesses, design studios, maker spaces and schools. With 34 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, the company has already raised over double its goal by selling the device at a reduced rate than its expected $7,499 USD (about $10,000 CAD) eventual market price. Estimated delivery for the machines is April 2018.
Who wouldn’t want to create clothes perfectly tailored to their bodies and personal style? The price tag is certainly a barrier to purchase for those who would like it for personal use, but when plastic 3D printers were first emerging, their prices also made it difficult for individual purchase, forcing makers to congregate at a communal maker space. Now, there are many affordable options even under $500.
Additionally, even if evaluated just as a tool for small business owners or potential small business owners, the Kniterate has great potential. The only remaining question is what the grandmas of the world think of this innovation. Grandmas (or knitters in general), please weigh in on this subject in the comments.
Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not. Sticky or Not began as a series on MobileSyrup’s Snapchat account in which Rose Behar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad). Now the series is expanding to include articles, because who doesn’t love a quirky new gadget?