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Dissolving design boundaries with 4D-KNIT

Karl Mayer 4D-KNIT styles in the new gauge E28, offer style, lightness and a soft touch.

13th July 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Obertshausen, Germany


Thanks to its 4D-KNIT technology, knitting machine manufacturer Karl Mayer has redefined the notion of warp knitted spacer fabrics. The 4D-KNIT term represents a completely new generation of spacer textiles that are based on the basic construction of conventional 3D warp knitted fabrics, but that significantly deviate from traditional designs.

The spacer layer is particularly different in that the space between the upper and lower can be filled with bulked yarns to achieve unprecedented effects in performance and design. In addition to a smooth pattern, two-tone colouring and breathable mesh zones as before, the two surfaces can have clearly pronounced relief designs – each with individual placements and dimensions.

The apparel sector in particular can benefit enormously from these new 4D-KNIT fabrics

Depending on the amount of filling and the design of the plastic motifs, a wide variety of styles are possible, from cosy padded jacket fabrics that keep you nice and warm in winter to breathable textiles for functional shoes.

The new warp knitted spacer fabrics are normally produced on a RDPJ 6/2 EL FB, in gauge E 24. However, to further explore the potential for the sportswear and outerwear sector, Karl Mayer’s textile product developers have produced the first 4D-KNIT products on a double needle bar jacquard raschel machine in gauge E 28.

New expression of fabrics for sports and leisure

Material processed in gauge E 28 is commonly used to produce fine elastic sportswear items. Skilfully threaded-in on the machine, the result was a fabric that weighed significantly less than its E 24 counterpart and felt soft to the touch. What’s more, the functional chic design hits just the right mark, Karl Mayer says.

4D-KNIT style in gauge E28. © Karl Mayer

With its two jacquard bars, the RDPJ 6/2 EL FB makes the front side and back side of the top as a single piece with fashionable 3-dimentional bulky form – including every sophisticated design detail. These include contours to mark the cut edges, flat bars for segmentation, open mesh parts and underpadded relief patterns with small-format geometric motifs. The small repeat of high-low effects reduces the fabric’s contact area on the skin and therefore minimises any unpleasant stickiness caused by sweat, while perfect thermoregulation for sport and leisure is ensured by breathable mesh areas with sufficiently large openings, and built-in elastic zones offer freedom of movement.

Yuji Yamamoto, Regional Product Owner for double needle bar raschel machines at Karl Mayer, wants to use the new series to appeal primarily to fashion and sportswear manufacturers. “The apparel sector in particular can benefit enormously from these new 4D-KNIT fabrics. The low weight and soft feel guarantee a high level of wear comfort, and the yarn material in the spacing also offers good insulating properties with extremely low discharge of microplastic particles, since we do not use brushing or raising processes,” explains the textile specialist.

More information on the pattern is available in Karl Mayer’s virtual showroom.

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