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Fabdesigns Reopens Innovation Lab For Technical Knits
Dated - 11 Jul , 2013
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Innovative textile engineering company Fabdesigns, Inc., which specialises in engineering knitted fabrics for apparel and footwear has reopened its textile laboratory to offer consulting and development proof of concepts in footwear, technical, industrial and advanced performance knitted textiles. The lab will be fronted by Bruce Huffa, originally from Leicester, UK, who was the brains behind the Nike Flynit shoe that was developed on Stoll flat knitting machines.

The move to reopen the Fabdesigns textile laboratory in Los Angeles comes after securing multiple functional patents for its’ clients in footwear and medical products, and the expiration of several years of exclusive non-compete contracts and NDA’s. The company, which has been engineering sophisticated and complex textiles since 1988, currently develops confidential intellectual property in the USA for the film, military, medical, aerospace, home furnishings, and high-end fashion.

“Flat knitting, gives the factory the ultimate control of its’ resources,” Bruce Huffa, the executive engineer, says, tying up yarn on his electronic knitting machine. “Optimising efficiency with our technology has been proven time and again to enhance the particular company’s economic growth potential, increase the company’s prosperity and make them more competitive – all while minimising waste, using less energy, and building their manufacturing knowledge. In a world where most manufacturing waste is a huge problem, an overlooked point that many manufacturers fail to consider in calculating the real costs, is both the financial and environmental impacts, of manufacturing. Our type of mass customisation is a glove fit, or a shoe fit,” he adds.

Formerly from Leicester, England, Bruce Huffa is the guy who invented the Nike Flyknit bringing this technology to Nike’s HQ in Beaverton, Oregon after developing the concept on Stoll flat knitting machines, according to his wife Connie Huffa. “We are now four years more advanced than that technology in materials and techniques as well as machinery,” she said.

“Film, fashion, and technical expectations here in Los Angeles are created for the taste makers of the world,” she continued, knowing that our clients expect the bar set high, we advocate best practices that promote healthy safe working environments with reliable consistent production methods.

Huffa developed the Stoll Flynit shoe on Stoll flat knitting technology
Though we have many differing types of clients, materials, and types of projects, we are sensitive to their need for confidentiality, exclusivity, and security; therefore we keep access to the lab at a need to be here basis. Our clients also prefer that we don’t publicize who they are. We also prefer that policy since they have their own marketing claims that speak for their respective industries and carbon footprints.”

Bruce continues. “We make very complex, high quality products for our clients, and use much less of the planet’s resources, regardless of the size or location of the company they designate for manufacturing the product.”

“Saving materials, by using just what’s needed, is also a perfect fit for companies like aerospace and medical products where the raw materials can cost several hundred dollars per pound.” He points out several spools of Kevlar and extruded silicon. “We use real production equipment to create manufacturable prototypes and establish lean global best practices and processes that address material usage and minimizing the company’s carbon footprint, starting from the supply chain. We minimize labor through finishing edges in the knitting process, digitally integrating features like pockets, tunnels, and cables, then eliminating as much cutting and sewing as the customer will value. Having control of production also means simplifying manufactured inventories and stocking only raw materials. Engineering products as ‘Just What You Need’, seems truly the next lean step after JIT, (Just in Time).”

Source: Knitting Trade Journal
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