Kniterate is described as a ‘digital knitting machine' whereby clothing can be designed online then 3D printed / knitted at the touch of a button. It has been designed as a affordable and compact alternative to the knitting machines of old. Kniterate allows for the design of individual creations via its own computer app and then to download it to a Kniterate machine to be knitted as a garment. Designs can be self created using Kniterate’s own computer application or downloaded from other programs. Even those with no design experience are able to use a Kniterate machine and can choose from and/or customise an extensive library of patterns which come with the Kniterate app.
The machine has six yarn carriers to enable the use of various colours and materials including wool, cotton, acrylic and silk etc, along with smart yarn tensioners equipped with sensors to detect yarn breakage and large knots and needle selection is computer controlled.
Kniterate software allows the user to drag and drop from a variety of stitches and import images and text into their creations. Designs can also be imported to Kniterate from other programs and the software incorporates a social media platform for users to share creations with other independent designers.
The three co-founders of Kniterate Gerard Rubio, Triambak Saxena and Tom Catling carried out the design work for Kniterate at University College London and a seed-funding campaign on Kickstarter has reached its financial target.