The design benefits of Knit and Wear® are based around what can be created without seams and thinking in a three dimensional form as opposed to the trational flat pattern approach. For example, detail can be added where there are usually seams and the sleeve line can be enhanced with detail.
Structural detail can be continued over the shoulder, neckline and sleeve edges, which is especially effective with sculpted edges and three dimenstional structures. Not only are such details usually difficult to knit as a consequence of seam interference but they are also very costly and time consuming to link. Knit and Wear® makes it possible to add detail to the actual fashioning marks, which is impossible in full fashion.
The Knit and Wear® machines become limited to jacquards with a minimal amount of colours. There is always a difference of one course between the front and back to consider in jacquard designs, this is because the machine starts knits at the back adding a new course on top of the last each time. Therefore, it is not possible to have a perfectly straight line running through the side of the garment, as there will be a difference of one course of knitting in height.
Knit and Wear® requires a high level of technical knowledge because of the complicated technical requirements of programming. Good communication between programmers and designers is essential because they may be able to achieve a certain look by implementing different techniques, and at a quicker rate because fewer samples will need to be developed.
Q: Do designers need technical knowledge?
A: It is hard to find a programmer with a creative mind, in a design sense, as they are most often engineers. Designers and programmers need to work together so that they can push each other in terms of what can be done. Becoming too concerned with the technique as opposed to designing freely can stifle design.
With Knit and Wear®, operates in a three-dimensional aspect, as opposed to two-dimensional, changing the way one needs to think about design. Technical staff can be hard to find, the machines are expensive and there are limits to the technology. Having programmers and designers working together is often the best combination. Chanel uses the approach of having a design with a limited amount of information detailing the specifics, they then give the design to four different factories to see what each comes up with, then choose the best one. This is done so that Chanel believes they have explored the technical possibilities associated with the design, and they have a wealth of resources.
It is beneficial if designers have a medium level of knowledge and a very skilled programmer. This gives the designer enough information to be able to efficiently communicate and even present other technical possibilities without stifling the design process by being caught up with technical constraints. This allows the designer to push the programmer by asking the right questions.