Utilizing 3D Integrated Flat Knit Technology for Wearables
Before we talk about wearable tech, let’s talk knitting. In fact, 3D knitting is one of the most complex ways to use flat knitting equipment.
3D integrated Knit Technology is a textile manufacturing format that precisely engineers yarns and fabric variations solely where they are needed for creating load or performance mapped products with a virtually seamless fit.
The knit structures are specially engineered for performance to create light weight designs that minimize excess materials, and feature only what is actually needed to make the product. There is nearly zero waste..
Mapping added strength, stretch, compression, and dimensionally stable regions, we knit each piece while also including wiring or conductive materials that are easily built into the fabric digitally, and produced efficiently and consistently with minimal sewing or finishing.
Stoll ADF (Above) Vertical feed & Independent compound yarn feeders allow for minimum bending of metal materials. Since the ADF debuted in 2012, we have knit and integrated more diverse yarns accurately.
This technology allows for more than just yarn or fiber to be inserted:
Starting with Fibers & Yarns
We create advanced flat knitted wearable and embedded technology solutions, components, and materials for:
In flat knitting, we build the product at the same time we’re knitting the fabric. This is a completely different approach, than cut and sew, or fast fashion. So in addition to navigating the embedded technology, we also need to build base fabrications and structures to support and protect the technology.
We first start with the ‘unique’ problem for the base construction
We then start building a robust product design plan for the electronics placement.
Products can't just look good from aesthetics perspective (wannabe) when we are dealing with serious health and safety issues such as:
Below: Conductive intarsia binding used in Bio-electric Compression Armor Presented in May 2013, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at LAUNCH sponsored by NASA, Nike, US State Department and USAID. Bekeart stainless steel. Conductive material is only on the interior of the edge binding and connects all horizontal and Vertical conductive inlays.
We start building protection into the design from the very beginning of the process. We consider which combination of building blocks is an effective solution, efficient as well as the most cost effective
Below: Multiple types of Bio-electric Compression Armor Presented in May 2013, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at LAUNCH sponsored by NASA, Nike, US State Department and USAID. (Below) Close up of diagonal inlay in compression armor, ready for sensor application and integrated stretch zone.
We can literally body map the protection by increasing the density of certain fibers and reducing others.
Incorporating wearable technology in combination safety & protection features is cost efficient : i.e. RFID chips embedded for security, integrated wiring and conductive fibers for sensors, antennae knit in for electronics, flexi solar cells embedded in fabrics while it’s being knit, and a lot more.
Below: Vertical and multi direction conductive inlay, Presented in May 2013, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at LAUNCH sponsored by NASA, Nike, US State Department and USAID. (Center) Embedded solar cell inserts engineered in transparent 3D knitted pocketing, Presented in May 2013, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at LAUNCH sponsored by NASA, Nike, US State Department and USAID. (Right) enbedded whipped cable - 2003 Fabdesigns, Inc. for Angeleica-Val
(Above) Vertical and multi direction conductive inlay, Presented in May 2013, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at LAUNCH sponsored by NASA, Nike, US State Department and USAID. Presented in October, 4 2014, by Fabdesigns, Inc. at IFAI Advanced Textile Expo
Drawing on Technology Specialized Fiber: Cross Over – with wearable or embedded technology
What does this mean it terms of products?
Combining Multi-Environment Protections
As in any business decision, give the customer what they want. If the end customer appreciates the technology, and is willing to pay for it, there’s a practical business reason to use it.
So, in choosing to build wearable technology into products, choose your path wisely.
Connie Huffa – Fabdesigns, Inc.
Copyright © 2017 Fabdesigns, Inc., All rights reserved.
Note: The above excerpt on ‘wearable tech’ is a portion of the seminar presented by Connie Huffa of Fabdesigns, Inc. at IFAI advanced Textiles Expo October 4, 2014 as part of ‘Creating Safety & Protection”
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