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High Tech Knitting

November 22, 2016

Knitwear is a $200 billion business that produces nearly 20% of all garments sold annually. This segment of the fashion industry is being rapidly revolutionized by new digital fabrication technologies. Our Fashion Design programs are getting out ahead of these changes having recently purchased a state-of-the-art Shima Seiki SSR 112 variable gauge electronic weft knitting machine, along with three SDS-1 Apex 3 computer design stations. These recent acquisitions expand our weft knitting/knitwear capabilities for both traditional design work, but also for also for interdisciplinary collaborations with other Drexel Schools and Colleges who can benefit from our new structural textile design abilities.

The Shima Seiki SSR 112 will provide students the opportunity to design, program and create custom full-fashioned knitwear and knit textile products. Weft knitting is the second most common method of textile fabrication globally, and we are excited to help further prepare our students with key knowledge of knitting industry design and manufacturing methods with this tool.

The SDS-1 Apex 3 computer design stations will be used by students to build knit programs for use on the Shima, as well as create virtual “knit-down” samples for collection and portfolio use. Beyond knit design, the Apex 3 system is an all-in-one design tool for fashion and textile design. Students will have access to all of the system’s modules that include print and woven textile design, pattern making, mapping and portfolio presentation.

Machine Knitting for Fashion Design is an elective course in the Fashion Department that runs three times a year. Here students can gain exposure to double bed weft knitting, stitch design and Shima Seiki programming. For questions, or more information on the Shima Seiki SSR 112 and accompanied design stations, please contact Fashion Design Professor Jackie Kilmartin at