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Karl Mayer unfolds new applications in warp-knit textiles
Feb '13
New applications for warp-knitted textiles unfold

A student project carried out at the Faculty of Applied Art, Schneeberg, in conjunction with KARL MAYER MALIMO during the 2011/2012 semester

KARL MAYER’s textile machines produce warp-knitted textiles which make many areas of day-to-day life easier, better and more attractive - and they also provide the inspiration for new works of art.

The results of a joint project carried out by KARL MAYER MALIMO and the Fakultät Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg der Westsächsischen Hochschule Zwickau (Schneeberg Faculty of Applied Art at the WHZ University of Applied Sciences, Zwickau) will now be presented.

This unconventional project was initiated by Udo Dietrich who works in the Development/Engineering Department of this machinery manufacturer. The objective of the initiative was to “highlight the hidden applications of warp-knitted textiles and to make us more aware of them.” He used his contacts with Prof. Ines Bruhn and Bettina Fleischer, a graduate designer, to organise a joint student project entitled: SURFACE – BODY – SPACE”.

Aims and implementation of the project

The project involved manipulating three-dimensional shapes to produce different objects. The outer shells also had to be produced from structured technical textiles. “The topic meant that the students had to get to grips with basic design principles and use them in three-dimensional space. The abstract nature of the study meant that the functional aspects could be ruled out, whilst quality and visual design criteria formed the focus of the work,” explained Ines Bruhn when speaking about the requirements of the project.

In order to meet these objectives, the period from October 2011 to the end of January 2012 was earmarked for the project.

To enable them to put their ideas into practice, the students were given a wide variety of warp-knitted fabrics and webs featuring different fibre compositions, processing routes, patterns, densities and finishes. The materials were supplied by KARL MAYER MALIMO, who was also on hand to give help and advice. Consequently, Udo Dietrich gave an introductory talk to the students in their third semester to mark the start of the project, during which he presented the textiles and described their characteristics and methods by which they had been produced.

The design students were then given the red light to get to work. They produced design drafts, modified their design ideas systematically, produced small batches of preliminary, three-dimensional shapes, and finally selected and produced their best design. The results speak for themselves and have been published in a catalogue sponsored by KARL MAYER. “The designs featured a wide range of different ideas and all the complexity and poetry of different methods of working. They are mainly based on analysing natural shapes,” said Ines Bruhn when speaking about the results of the project.

Karl Mayer

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