Knitting machines made for everyone

About Us

Kniterate is an affordable and compact digital knitting machine for your workshop. It turns your digital designs into knitted garments automatically.

We love knitwear. It’s light and breathable, adapts to your body and unlike cut-and-sew, there is almost no waste, because the product is knitted to shape.

We started Kniterate because we wanted to democratize clothing manufacturing. We want you to be able to explore knitting’s potential and locally make personalized goods for your customers, your loved ones and of course, for yourself. Until now this was only possible with industrial knitting machines, which cost upwards of $50,000, take a lot of space and require a technician to operate. We have re-imagined this industrial technology to make it fit into your space.

We are bringing garment manufacturing back to your neighborhood.

Our journey

First OpenKnit prototype, September 2013

OpenKnit (Barcelona, 2013)

At design school Gerard Rubio watched fashion students struggle with old knitting machines. In contrast to the revolution that made 3D printers affordable, computer controlled digital knitting machines have been out of reach due to their high costs and size.

This gave Gerard an idea: What if he could make low-cost automated digital knitting machines for everyone? He set out to build OpenKnit.

Made in the neighborhood (Barcelona, 2014)

Gerard immersed himself into the world of knitting, learning from his teachers at ESDi University and taking apart all the knitting machines that he could get his hands on. His research allowed him to find the right inputs to design the first prototypes of OpenKnit.

OpenKnit was introduced to the world on February, 2014 with the ‘Made in the Neighbourhood’ video.

The video went viral, attracting a lot of interest. OpenKnit allowed Gerard to travel around the world doing workshops, exhibitions and talks.

Kniterate team grew at HAX with Jocelyn and Shane

Kniterate (From London to Shenzhen, 2015-2016)

Gerard moved to London to try to make his vision a reality.  There he met Tom through UCL’s makerspace, the Institute of Making. At the time, Tom was working on his PhD in astrophysics.

Triambak, one of Gerard’s best friends from high-school was also in London, working and studying finance. The three realised their skills balanced each other, so they decided to seek seed investment and build a company together. They applied for HAX, which is the first and largest hardware accelerator and has one of the most selective programs in the world, and they got accepted. They packed up their things and moved to China for an intensive four month program.

Our prototype in motion kept us busy during the entire event

Maker Faire (San Francisco, 2016)

HAX was a once in lifetime experience for the three of them. They had the opportunity to learn from experts about the different challenges of running a hardware startup. From how to manage a business to prototyping and manufacturing.

The prototype that came out of their time in HAX was showcased in Maker Faire Bay Area 2016.

Industrial machines under testing

Factory Life (Somewhere in China, 2016)

The team received positive reviews in San Francisco. Although they knew that there was still work to be done to get Kniterate to produce knitwear with the exceptional quality that users wanted.

To do this, they decided to merge the team’s energy and creativity with the operational excellence of a Chinese industrial knitting machine manufacturer. With this partnership, the machine got a new shape and new features.

Kniterate was determined to bring high-quality, affordable and easy-to-use digital knitting machines to the market.

First prototype coming out of the factory

Machines Room (London, 2016-2017)

After a summer living in the Chinese factory, the East London makerspace and incubator Machines Room hosted the Kniterate team.

The time there allowed Kniterate to make improvements on the machine and explore its potential by developing a selection of fabrics, patterns and garments to get knitwear designers excited about the new machine for an eventual crowdfunding campaign.

It also gave them the opportunity to be part of the London Design Festival 2016.

Kickstarter (2017)

On March 29, they launched their crowdfunding campaign, surpassing its goal of $100K in the first hour. By the time it ended, on May 8, Kniterate had 488 backers that helped the them raise $636,130.

Part of the team moved back to China to work on delivering Kniterate to all its backers. Visit the Blog to discover what they are working on.

From left to right: Alex, Gerard, Triam, Anne, Jipke, and Darren. We missed Chen and Jason.

Makerversity (2018)

While the team in China continue their work to manufacture the machines, Kniterate moved to Makerversity on October 24, 2018 as part of the Makers with a Mission residency.

Made in Barcelona (2021)

The fashion industry is a mess. It exploits some of its workers while leaving a heartbreaking quantity of waste behind. Kniterate came into existence to propose an alternative to this sick industry. A slower and more creative way to produce and consume the clothes we wear.

It was early 2020, and the COVID crisis put the world upside down. After a few years of manufacturing machines in China, an opportunity opened to do what we always dreamed about: to move to manufacturing back home. We used lockdown periods to redesign our machine and move our assembly line to Barcelona. We are very excited to be making machines with our own hands in a more sustainable and ethical way.