Kniterate – the brain-child of Gerard Rubio, a design student who, whilst studying in Barcelona in 2013, set out to do for knitwear manufacturing what 3D printing had done for product design and realisation.

Kniterate scarf
Photo credit : Kniterate

The purpose of Kniterate is to create a compact, affordable, fully-automated knitting machine and design system that allows designers to more-easily create fully-fashioned and creative knitwear and knitted textiles. With the ability to create quickly and efficiently fully-shaped pieces, in a potentially more domestic environment, the designer can produce innovative, original product with minimal waste, having sole direct input in the manufacturing process.

Kniterate jumper
Photo credit : Kniterate

Following initial trials, and a four-month intensive programme at hardware accelerator firm, HAX, Gerard and his two friends emerged with their first prototype, showcasing their development at the Maker Faire 2016 in San Francisco. Working with a Chinese knitting machine manufacturer, they developed their design further, returning to East London to be hosted by innovative business incubator and designer-maker space, Machines Room. Having successful started and subsequently smashed their Kickstarter campaign target in 2017 to crowdfund $100,000, Kniterate, with 488 backers raising $636,130, are now working relentlessly to deliver their refined and tested software and hardware to ‘Kniterators’ around the globe.

Kniterate have collaborated with the likes of craft, conceptual brand DEGEN, and footwear designer and researcher, Matthew Head, who has worked alongside Kniterate to create a knitted sneaker using the new machinery and software.

Kniterate sneaker
Photo credit : Kniterate

Kniterate can be pre-ordered via their website for a current price of £7199 until March 2018, where the team will then work to reduce the gap between pre-order and retail price again.

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As a practicing knitwear designer based in Nottingham, UK, Charlotte works as a freelance knitwear consultant for designers, brands and manufacturers, having trained extensively in knitwear and knitted textile design at Nottingham Trent University. With a deep, historical love of and background in textile and knitwear design, Charlotte is inspired by the engrained traditional context of textiles across the world and takes her greatest inspiration from immersing herself in new places and cultures. Charlotte approaches knitwear design holistically, working collaboratively with suppliers and mills to ensure sustainable and ethical design and manufacturing practice.