Joint development led to new applications for warp-knitted textiles

Joint development led to new applications for warp-knitted textiles

During the semester 2011/12 a joint development took place in the form of a student project at the Faculty of Applied Art at WHZ University of Applied Sciences, Zwicknau, Schneeberg (D) and German Karl Mayer Malimo

The unconventional project – the timeframe was set from October 2011 – January 2012 – was initiated by Udo Dietrich working at the Development/Engineering Department of Karl Mayer and with the objective to “highlight the hidden applications of warp-knitted textiles and to showcase the company. He made use of his contacts with Prof. Ines Bruhn and Bettina Fleischer, a graduate designer to organise the joint student project “SURFACE – BODY – SPACE”.

The project involved the manipulation of 3D shapes to produce different objects and the outer shells were also to be out of structured textiles. Students had to apply basic design principle sand use them in 3D space. The abstract nature of the study meant that functional aspects could be ruled out, whilst quality and visual design criteria formed the focus of the work according to Ines Bruhn.

To support the students’ ideas they were provided by Karl Mayer Malimo with a wide variety of warp knitted fabrics and webs featuring different fibre compositions, processing routes, patterns, densities and finishes. Udo Dietrich gave an introductory speech to the students in the third semester to launch the project and by presenting the textiles, their characteristics and production methods. The students started with design drafts, modified their design ideas, were producing small batches, added 3D shapes. Finally they made a selection and produced their best design. The results were published in a catalogue funded by Karl Mayer.

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