Fabdesigns, Inc.

3D Knitting Wearables?

What Does It mean To Knitting?

  

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:

  •            Vertically
  •            Horizontally
  •            Multi directional
  •            Changeable direction
  •            Change materials between stitch structures
  •            Change materials between fabric face & back repeatedly
  • High speed transfer of stitches
  • Computerized control right on the      machine
  • Sequential knitting, and mass      customization

If you would first like to see the challenges of designing and engineering wearable tech (Click here)

Starting with Fibers & Yarns

We create advanced flat knitted  wearable and embedded technology solutions, components, and materials for:

  •            Medical
  •            Military
  •            Footwear
  •            Aerospace
  •            Architectural applications
  •            Upholstery & auto
  •            Wellness
  •            Consumer products
  •            Industrial applications
  •            Sport and fitness
  •            Technical apparel

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

  •            Standing up to detergents, cleaning solutions (ISP)
  •            Bacteria build up
  •            Salt water corrosion
  •            UV resistance
  •            Abrasion resistance
  •            EMF or RF shielding
  •            Impact resistance
  •            Rot resistance
  •            Mildew resistance
  •            Fire resistance
  •            Leak proofing
  •            Infrared avoidance
  •            Laceration resistance
  •            Extreme Temperature requirements

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:

  •            Virus transfer in upholstery,
  •            Overheating in work out wear,
  •            Conductive fibers adding to electromagnetic fields,
  •            Too high a tension in compression
  •            And, other technical issues that would compromise a product design. 

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

  •            Fiber attributes
  •            Yarn structures
  •            Fabric constructions
  •            Coatings, finishes, and after processes

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

  • Architectural – Structural with      ‘Smart’ attributes
  • Compression/Muscle Support and      also Skin breakdown resistant
  • Breathable with Impact resistance
  • Laceration resistance
  • Taser resistance &      dissipation
  • No-drip FR with Faraday      Shielding: EF, RF, Microwave
  • Insulating fabrics (EF &RF)
  • Structural – sub for fiberglass
  • Geotextiles with embedded sensors
  • Agro-fiber composites with      embedded sensors
  • Footwear with multiple functions
  • Hypoallergenic fabric (those with      compromised immune systems) and dissipative
    •              Apparel
    •              Home furnishings
    •              Bedding
  • High Use Public Upholstery
  • Indoor / Outdoor with embedded      heating / cooling elements / sensors
  • Office/ Hospital Draperies – self      deploy, modular, and change opacity
  • Industrial Work wear –      dissipative, Ef and Rf shielded
  • Automotive - embedded heating /      cooling elements / sensors
    •              Public Transportation interiors - - embedded heating / cooling elements /       sensors
    •              First Responder Vehicle interiors - embedded heating / cooling elements /       sensors

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”

Mailing address: 327 Latigo Canyon Road, Malibu, California 90265

Website: www.fabdesigns.com  

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