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SHIMA SEIKI knitting machines in action at RMIT Gallery
Mar '10
Three SHIMA SEIKI computerised knitting machines have turned RMIT Gallery into a temporary “mini lab”, as part of The Endless Garment exhibition.

The machines, on loan from Ramsay McDonald, will be working until 21 March. They will enable gallery visitors to watch technology in action, producing highly original and experimental fashion design.

Staged during the 2010 L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, The Endless Garment celebrates the fusion of the mass-produced and machine-made, together with the unique vision and the creative energies of the designer.

According to The Endless Garment co-curator Ricarda Bigolin, it is a rare privilege for people outside industry to be able to see the SHIMA SEIKI machines up close in action.

“The show is about machine knitting and in putting it together we felt it was essential to have the SHIMA SEIKI machines in action in order to show the capabilities of HOLEGARMENT technology, which is 3D seamless knitting technology,” Ms Bigolin said.

“It is extremely difficult for designers to have access to these machines, as they have a commercial application in industry. We are very grateful to Ramsay McDonald for not only loaning us the machines for the exhibition, but for supplying a technician to stay at the Gallery and answer questions while the machines produce experimental garments.”

The SHIMA SEIKI machines use digitally programmed data, which ensures consistency and production on demand with minimal wastage of materials.

According to Stephen Long, from Ramsay McDonald, there has been considerable interest from industry seeing the new SHIMA SEIKI machines in action at RMIT Gallery. “People will be able to see the Mach2-X model, which is the only true gauge WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine available on the worldwide manufacturing market,” Mr Long said.

“They will also be able to see the SWG Mini, which is capable of producing a broad range of designs from the true 3D glove to the one piece beanie-scarf, as well as the APEX, an 'all in one' design platform which supports all facets of planning, design, virtual sampling and 3D modelling.”

RMIT University

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