Napapijri launches new form of digital manufacturing
by Danielle Wightman-Stone
Italian premium casual-wear brand Napapijri is launching a new form of digital manufacturing for autumn/winter 2018 called Ze-Knit, as part of its strategy to transforming their production process, to reduce waste and speed up the process without effecting prices.
Utilising computer-controlled knitting technology that, similar to 3D printing, knits items following a digital path, Napapijri has created a line of contemporary everyday wear based on ergonomic design principles that focus on the body’s movement to improve comfort and functionality.
Each garment from the Ze-Knit collection has been knitted from a single yarn rather than a piece of fabric, meaning that the technology removes many of the historical production limitations from the hands of the designers giving them the flexibility to use various materials, coatings and colours at any stage of the design.
The application of the technology allows Ze-Knit to have multiple functionalities that are weaved into the design, such as ergonomic flex points around the joints allow the items to move in tandem with the body greatly improving comfort, while boiled wool, a fantastic natural insulator, is used in varying quantities to align with where the body needs it most, and, in addition, an odour-capturing yarn coating is placed in the underarm to prevent odours escaping.
Napapijri utilising technology to reduce environmental impact
The new form of digital manufacturing also reduces the brand’s environmental impact, as the Ze-knit’s production process reduces raw material waste by up to 30 percent compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, because computer-controlled knitting technology shapes the garments directly into panels ready to assemble.
The technology also means that Napapijri can move from a mass production to a demand supply model, where every item is made to order, eliminating unnecessary waste. The digitisation of the design and production process allows for mass customisation with every element of the design being able to be tweaked from body dimensions to the materials used. In addition, with complete garments made in one machine, production can be placed closer to the demand, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of every item.
Napapijri aim is that in a “not too distant future” that it can offer shoppers the opportunity to order a fully customisable item that is made from scratch and delivered within 24 hours.
The debut Ze-Knit collection spans across menswear and womenswear featuring jackets, trousers, jumpers and even an overall, which are available in either black or blue.