Sunday, March 6, 2011

Knitwear Designing Tutorial Guide

As in weave design, the design of a new season’s range will usually start with the development of a colour palette. This will come from initial ideas generated in response to information from a briefing meeting. Suitable yarns will then be selected. The working through of design ideas is very much restricted by the type of knitting machine being used and type of structures that can be created on it. Inspiration from drawn work will influence the textures, colours and proportions of a knitted fabric. Creating visual representations of sketchbook work is only possible when machinery with jacquard patterning capabilities is used.


Some designers will put their initial design ideas straight into graph form, ready for translation by a knitting mechanic. Other may do more paperwork, perhaps developing fabric and garment styling ideas side by side.

The fabric ideas worked out, the designer will then usually decide which yarns should be tried in which fabrics. It is usual to knit several swatches to enable the designer to see how any fabric looks in different yarn and colour combinations.

For the knitwear designer, concerned with the design of final garment as well as the fabrics, styling ideas must then be worked out. The designer of cut and sewn knitwear will probably sketch out styling ideas, and the next stage will be to cut knitwear patterns. A first sample will be cut out and made up, pressed, measured and tried for fit. Any necessary alterations will be made and a second sample made to check that these alterations and the final specifications are correct.

To help knitted fabric and knitwear designers, there are specific CAD system available which allow representations of fabric to be viewed before knitting. They also often allow fabric ideas to be mapped on to knits garments, and these facilities should cut down on actual sampling time. In practice, this is not always the case as the ease of changing things on the computer often results in requests for more initial work giving more choice.

On the garments and colour ways that will form the range are decided upon, the range is then ready for presentation to sales teams and customers.


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