The Ministry of Supply shop in Boston has a special 3D knitting machine – one that uses 4,000 needles to make a custom-fitted blazer in less time than it takes to watch an average Hollywood movie. Made by Japanese company Shima Seiki, the 3D Print-Knit’s production process requires minimal human labour. Each customer can choose the colorus, cuffs and buttons of the garment, take a body scan to get the right fit, and all it takes is for an employee to program the machine before a blazer is produced.
Beyond not requiring human labour, there are other advantages with this fabrication process as compared to a traditional cut-and-sew production:
- They fit you like a glove, since the clothes are designed with shape and the strain placed on clothes in the use-phase
- While garments traditionally fail at the seams, the clothes are more durable as their shape is programmed
- Minimal scraps are created as the garment is produced directly from yarn, typically reducing garment waste by 35%