The aim of Textile Makerspace is to bring together innovations from both areas. In this case, with its specialist expertise and networks, Karl Mayer sees itself as an intermediary and instigator. “The Textile Makerspace should make space for trying things out, for developing, and for innovative thinking – in the textile industry as a whole, but also in other sectors. In this case, the main focus is on exchange and interaction. We want to make contact, exchange knowledge and use synergies – in other words, we want to build our own community,” explained Michael Kieren, one of the initiators of Textile Makerspace.
The aim is to come up with new developments, some of which have already been set in motion. Smart textiles, wearables and 3D-printed garments have already been at the focus of trade fairs and other events for some time now. Karl Mayer started development work in this field last year with Textile Circuit.
STARTING WITH ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE TEXTILES
Textile Circuit is the first topic to be covered by Textile Makerspace. It demonstrates the possibilities of incorporating electrically conductive yarns into warp-knitted textiles directly on the machine. Functional elements, such as sensors, conductors and coils, can be incorporated very easily, without any additional production steps or compromising the textile characteristics. This has led, for example, to the development of comfortable cuffs for controlling robots and textile charging stations for inductively charging smartphones.
Michael Kieren, together with the Product Manager, Sophia Krinner, presented these types of systems for the first time at the specialist IDTechEx Show! in California, USA, in November 2018. The products being shown generated a great deal of interest. The Textile Circuit and Textile Makerspace were also the topic of many conversations held at the leading trade fair for the sports sector, ISPO, which was held in February 2019 in Munich.
NEXT TOPIC – 3D PRINTING
The subject of additive manufacturing is on the agenda for the next stage of the Textile Makerspace platform. The aim is to combine the possibilities offered by 3D printing with textile technology – in order to design and functionalise textiles individually. The impetus for bringing together new and traditional production disciplines at Karl Mayer was a workshop entitled, Additive Manufacturing for the Textile Industry.
The event was held on 11 January 2018 at the company’s headquarters in Obertshausen. The concept was a great success. Another event will be held on 13 May 2019, the day before the Techtextil exhibition opens. One of the topics will be Textile Makerspace. Other promotional events for the platform are the next Techtextil fair in Frankfurt, but especially ITMA, which is scheduled to take place from 20-26 June 2019 in Barcelona.