Knitting is a technique used to make an elastic material using one long yarn, with two or more knitting needles. In the TextielLab knitting and weaving are considered to be the most important techniques to make fabric.
The decision to move from hand knitting to a knitting machine is primarily determined by:
  • product numbers. More products can be made on a knitting machine than by hand.
  • the finished result. The final product is more uniform if made on a machine.
  • speed. Products made on a knitting machine are finished faster.
  • length of the process. Developing a product for a machine takes longer. But the rest of the process is much less expensive and time-consuming than knitting by hand.

The TextielLab uses flat knitting machines. It is possible to choose between knits with a chunky or a fine gauge.

The difference between chunky and fine knits are determined by:
  • the number of needles per inch: the more needles per inch, the finer the knit.
  • the thickness of the yarn. Thicker yarn tends to be used for chunkier knits.
The machinery in the TextielLab can produce chunky or fine knits.
Knitting is primarily used in the fashion industry. 
Knitting is divided into three types:
  1. Cut & Sew -  binding and stitching
  2. Fully fashioned -  knitting panels before finishing the seams
  3. Knit & Wear -  knitting a shape from a single fabric 
Studio Marcel Wanders (Yearbook 2013)
Fashion museum Hasselt, Belgium (Yearbook 2013)
Pauline van Dongen - Wool diaries (Yearbook 2013)
Esther Dorhout Mees (Yearbook 2013)
Karin van Dam (Yearbook 2012)
Dagmara Stephan (Yearbook 2012)
Conny Groenewegen (Yearbook 2012)
Bernotat & Co (Yearbook 2012)
These facilities are particularly suitable for fashion, interior and product designers. 
  • In knitting, you work towards the finished product and its shape from the start. In addition, the shape is created from one yarn. This is not the case with weaving. Every woven fabric is based on at least one warp thread and one weft thread. 
  • Woven fabric is less flexible than knits, which are more elastic (compare a knitted T-shirt with a woven blouse.)
  • Weaving has a set base structure (the warp), whereas knitting has no such base structure.
  • Knitting makes loops in the fabric, whereas weaving creates knots. A knit is therefore much more pliant.

The TextielLab has two types of Stoll flat knitting machines: one with a chunky gauge and one with a fine gauge. 
Fine gauge:
Type: CMS 340 T.C. Knit & wear
Knitting width: 1830cm (72”)
Gauge: 2/2mm (12 rows per inch) one inch = 25,4mm.
If the yarn is thick, sometimes products are made with 6 needles per inch

Chunky gauge:
Type: CMS 830c Knit & wear
Knitting width: 2/30mm (84”)
Gauge: 5,08mm (5 rows per inch) one inch = 254mm.
Yarns: If the yarn is thick, sometimes products are made with 2.5 rows per inch

Note: the type and thickness of the yarn to be used is evaluated by the product developer.
You can start work in the TextielLab as soon as your request has been approved and the contract has been signed. It is important to be well prepared before starting at the Lab. See below for more information.
TextielLab knitting essentials:
  • Determine the gauge setting: fine or chunky?
  • Determine the desired qualities of the knit: thin and flexible or thick and strong?
  • Determine the desired technique: cut & sew, fully fashioned or knit & wear
  • When submitting the drawn pattern, supply sizing in centimetres rather than clothing sizes.
  • A laptop. If required, your design can be adapted on the spot.
Specifications for files & software
We use the M1+ version by machinery company Stoll.
Due to the complex and time-consuming design and development process involved in knitting, as well as the many possible shapes, structures and stitches, it is very important to begin with an intake session at the Lab. 
Bring as many sketches, materials/yarn samples, pattern sections or a model to the intake to enable us to give you good advice, tailored to your project. There are many samples available in the TextielLab to illustrate the full range of possibilities available with the Lab’s machines.
Jacquard design
To knit a jacquard pattern, the design must be created in Photoshop; a TIFF file in RGB.
A TIFF file with the required amount of pixels, with each pixel representing a single stitch. 
Fine gauge: up to 800 pixels 
Chunky gauge: up to 400 pixels
Note the exact number of colours in this file by using the ‘save for web’ option. Save it as a GIF file, open it again and then convert it to TIFF - RGB.

Fully Fashioned project and/or Knit & Wear
To prepare for a fully fashioned project and/or a knit & wear product, you need to have a technical drawing indicating the sizing. This does not need to be to scale (1:1), although that may be useful. 
In the TextielLab, you will work together with product developers and have the support of a technical team. In this way, you can make the most of the specialist knowledge and expertise available at the Lab. 
Creative team | development & programming
Sarena Huizinga
Jan Willem Smeulders
Technical team | technical support & production
Suzanne Oude Hengel
Will van den Heuvel