On November 6th, we were honored to have our guest, Jag Sodhi, of Stoll Knitting, present to us in the Textile Design studio. Stoll, based in Germany, is one of the leading developers and producers of advanced v-bed weft knitting equipment. We are thrilled to have the ADF530-16 BW model on campus and available to Textile Design students to learn on and use.
Of the many cool things that Jag shared with us, a few things stuck out. First, the most exciting advancements in the textile industry are happening on the weft knitting side. Industry innovators are finding that weft knits are incredibly flexible (pun intended) and can solve several of the challenges the textile industry faces. Among these challenges are the rise of custom-fit, on-demand manufacturing, information protection, and counterfeit products, and our need to curb fast fashion’s devastating waste problem.
The other point that really stood out was that electronic weft knitting is proving to be so nimble and quick that tech companies are recognizing its advantages in the development of smart textiles. Jag told us that currently, all of the exciting advancements are happening behind the locked doors of secret rooms deep in tech companies’ research departments, and not, surprisingly, in apparel.
For the layman, knitting equates sweaters. And true, for most of weft knitting’s history, the driving force of knitting technology has been the fashion and apparel market. However, with the advent of smart textiles, weft knits versatility and speed, and Stoll’s stellar software and machine capabilities, it makes sense that tech-heads are seeing the possibilities weft knit fabrics have to offer.
Jag’s presentation about Stoll and their machine and software capabilities really opened our eyes to the possibilities they have to offer. It’s refreshing to see that knits are starting to be widely considered for other uses than apparel. And for our students, it was truly remarkable to see a whole field of career opportunities open up before them.