Custom computerized knitting

Posted July 5, 2005

One theme that tends to recur in modern commerce is personal customization and just-in-time, one-off manufacturing: order exactly the computer configuration you want, make a T-shirt that appeals to no one else but you, print a book when you ask for it, and so forth. These guys now have a way to do custom knitting from a design you send in. Rather than inking an image onto a shirt, they can actually put a photo onto a sweater by controlling how the different (albeit few) colors of yarn are arranged.

The particular business arrangement here is a bit odd: they seem to not want to sell the knitting service directly, but instead get other small businesses to act as middlemen in niche markets. Not crazy, but unusual compared to CafePress and the like. In any case, it's good to have a service like this available, since I'm looking forward to the day when I can print up a set of clothes to my measurements and color design as easily as I can print business cards. It's ironic that we hold clothes to be such a powerful statement of personal expression when most of us have relatively little input into making them.