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Textile Maker-space

Believe it or not, the days for the usage of smart monitoring devices such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, Oximeter, Accelerometer are over! The textile MAKERSPACE at Karl Mayer is the ultimate innovative platform that creates technologies that are beyond textile production alone. It can be applied on Wearables, Smart or Intelligent textiles, Interactive textiles, Additive manufacturing, 3D- printing or coating, New textile surface and New textile production.

With its Worldwide locations in Japan (R&D center) , China (PR) and its Headquarter in Obertshausen, Germany, you are now able to customize your own warp knitted products for active & sportswear, lingerie, outdoor, automotive and agricultural fabrics.


With years into the making, Karl Meyer, the German knitting giant, has achieved an exclusive on demand technology employing tailored fiber placement of functional yarns directly into the textile process.

3 dimensional sensors

It all starts with the warp knitting technique , where 3 strategically three dimensional sensors are placed into the textile. The greater the dimension with skin contact, the better. The signals are improved and this equals looser fit garments and more variations of design.

The first test was done on the Smart Shirt. For each of its 3 sensors, 5 conductive materials are integrated as threads. It allows the measurement of temperature, heartbeat and humidity of the wearer.


This bi- elastic fabric can also utilize different types of conductive materials, as shown on the picture below, and also allows logos and zones to be placed as a Jacquard.

The Textile Control Panel

This textile remote control is conducted on a Multibar-machine of KARL MAYER. The conductive threads create buttons that instantly send a signal to the robot while being touched.

The functions can be integrated to different ground structures that might be rigid or elastic.

These control panels can be used for different applications. At this point of development the wearer is able to literally interact and "play" with robotics.

Please see example as follows:

Inductive Charging

This textile structure can be used for inductive charging. Each spool consists of 16 windings and measures 5cm (2”). It is made on a Multi-bar machine. The windings are formed by isolated copper wires that are directly applied during the production process. The ground structure can be modified for variation in its flexibility. At the end of this process, it is possible to charge a smartphone for example.

A Functional fabric in production of Karl Mayer's Multi-bar machine.

Each TEXTILE-CIRCUIT product is based on the warp knitting technology by KARL MAYER. With the employment of this technology , many textile characteristics are generated.

During the production process, the String-bar technology forms functional structures. These can be shaped the way the application requires it. The structures consist of an additional yarn system that is integrated in the ground fabric. With tailored fiber placement each function can be added precisely to where it is needed. In this fashion, the client can utilize different materials like insulated and non-insulated conductive threads at the same time.


  • Producing textiles and integrating function directly in one step

  • Tailored fiber placement of functional material

  • Keeping the textile characteristics

  • Fast, well established textile production process

  • Various textile structures can be formed

Each Functional material can be a guide in the String bars (notice it in black)

Multi-bar Machine: Ground materials are feed by beams while yarns for tailored fiber placement come from the creel.


The new technology, will merge the best of both worlds: Additive manufacturing and textile industry.

All will be facilitated with continuous trials to print directly on a fabric utilizing various methods from the additive manufacturing. Some examples of these technologies are :

Selective Laser Sintering, Fused Deposition Modeling and printing with two components. Applications of textiles with additive manufacturing.

By focusing primarily on printing directly on textiles during the production process, it is then possible to create and elaborate textiles that can be individually designed.

In the shoe category, for example, reinforcements or brand logos can be inserted into the pattern.

The field of automobiles also offers a wide range of applications. Headliners with integrated fastener or door panels with direct printed switches.

Advantages in the clothing industry, generates reinforced parts in both sport textiles (integrated reinforcement such as Kinesio Tapes or muscle support) .

In addition to clothing, shoes can also benefit from this technology. It provides a motion support, with easy placement of designs of team logos, and players names and an upper hand of individually 4D printed shoes.

When analyzing functionality, for Pattern-Support, here are some mentionable benefits:

  • Pattern-support for existing textile applications

  • Simple Flat fabric for designing

  • Reducing complexity of traditional lace fabrics

  • Function integration

Another superior quality, reflects into the Holders & Reinforcement system: Holder systems such as buttons, fastener, bra-bows or clips, as well as reinforced areas for muscle support are printed directly on the shirt.

Combining the high productivity of textile machines and the flexibility of additive manufacturing, this provides an opportunity to reduce production steps as well as lessening the complexity of the machine handling.

Process of printing directly on a textile during textile production

The additive manufacturing steps take place directly on the warp knitting machine and print directly on the textile fabric. The existing prototype can be used with different printing technologies. Steering of the printing system communicates directly with the warp knitting machine and the patterning system. The printing is stitch and pattern precise, which can be used to bring logos, player names or tapes for muscle support on designed shirt from a jacquard machine or positioned flowers in a lace fabric. Additive manufacturing can be useful for each of our machine categories.

Precise position of the printing head

Printing on Lace

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM utilizes a filament of a thermoplastic material to fed continuously in a heated extruder head. The filament is deposited layer by layer to create a solid component

In particular, the adhesion between the printing polymer and the textile is important for the result.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS is a well-known process for the additive manufacturing. It is characterized by high-precision components. This exact deposit is indispensable for use in the textile sector. This technique uses a laser to sinter powdered material (e.g. polyamide) to melt layer by layer together to create a solid structure. Due to the precise control of the laser, the textile can be specifically printed with components such as eyelets, holders or reinforcements

2-Component Process

This technology is new for the field of 3D-printing. Two liquids are mixed together in an extruder and deposited on the textile.

Due to a short time, the liquid gets stiff. Typical materials are silicon and PU- materials. The process does not require high temperatures, which is one of the reasons why this process was initiated to integrate into a textile production. Another reason is the easy handling of the printing head.


In specific, elastic fabrics which are produced with a tension on the knitting machine, can have a completely new design possibility by direct printing on the machine. With printing of special designs on the textile, a 3-dimensional component is created when relaxing.


In a sum, Textile-Circuit will target electronic textiles and integrate functional areas like sensors, conductors and coils into the textile surface directly during the textile production process. Interactive structures will contain reduced production steps and still keep the textile characteristics like flexibility and softness of the product.

Rapid-Textile will combine the flexibility of the additive manufacturing and the productivity of the textile industry, both together will create a tool for mass customization. To bring these industries together, Karl Mayer is creating a space for makers, organize workshops and will present solutions for application. The Textile MAKERSPACE!

For more information, please visit Karl Mayers website at :

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