Integrating Differentiated Knit Logics and Pre-Stress in Textile Hybrid Structures

  • Sean AhlquistEmail author


This paper describes research in the use of machine knitting for manufacturing highly differentiated textiles and their implementation as the tensile component of a textile hybrid structural system. The fundamental concept of a textile hybrid structure is in generating form through the integration of bending- and form-active behaviours implemented in materials comprised, in some or all parts, of a fibrous nature. A prototype entitled Mobius Rib-knit explores the nature of a knitted textile as a part of such a system. Operating at the level of stitch structure, differentiated form-active properties and non-planar geometries are materialized within a seamless textile. Utilizing CNC machine knitting, a fundamental stitch structure, the rib-knit, is exploited for its elastic nature, while the ability to generate a shaped 3d textile allows for a seamless material to fit to an intensely contorted geometry. These characteristics are tailored to describe visual, spatial and tactile qualities; ones which are unique to the field of pre-stressed lightweight structures. While the rib knit is a conventional knit structure, its novel use is described in this paper as the articulator of surface dimensionality and patterning within an architectonic system.


Textile Hybrid Elastic Yarn Variegated Organization Textile Hybrid System Warp Knitting 
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This research was developed through the support of the Research Through Making grant from the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, as a part of the Knit Architectures project. The initial concepts for the Mobius Rib-knit prototype were developed with students Pandush Gaqi and Yi Yuan, in collaboration with Jane Scott at the University of Leeds. The prototype shown in this paper was developed with the assistance of Jacobo Mendoza.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Taubman College of Architecture and Urban PlanningUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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