3D knitting with Santoni

Course dates: December 11-15 , 2023

Would you like to knit full footwear uppers in a matter of minutes? Do you want to construct shoes that can be made though automated manufacturing and need minimal assembly?  Then this is the course for you!

You will work on the Santoni XT machine, a state-of-the-art circular  knitting machine that creates sock-like uppers for footwear that do not require any stitching and can be steamed into various shapes.

You will not only learn how 3D knitting works and which yarns can be used for it, you will also create your own 3D knitted upper and design your own innovative footwear construction, using this upper.

Seats for this course are highly limited though, so everyone will get enough time on the machine. We can only allow 6 people in total, so you will have to be quick to enroll! 

Would you join a live class around this visual forecast that talks about the technology behind the Yeezy Foam Runner and how this could evolve into the future? Leave your email below to receive an invitation!

Who should follow this course?

This course is meant for all footwear designers and developers that are already working with knitting or would like to work with knitting in the future. It is especially suitable for designers and developers that want to manufacture footwear in a more automated way and with a focus on design for sustainability and disassembly.
Since circular knitting is a technology that you cannot learn in school, it is essential that you update and upgrade your knowledge and this course is ideal for that. You do not need any previous knowledge of knitting for this course, but we do expect that you are a professional designer, since this is not a basic design course. 
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The XT machine creates a double sock - one on the inside and one on the outside - and that allows for a whole range of innovative modular constructions. Depending on the yarns that are used, these socks can be steamed into a lot of different shapes, using 3D printed lasts and counter molds. This means that we could seriously change the construction and aesthetics of footwear, such as the images your see here of examples we made in house and a project by Santoni, HP and Decathlon.

Course program

Day 1

  • Introduction
  • Theory on knitting:
  • Flat versus circular
  • How does the XT machine work?
  • Advantages and limitations
  • Inspiring showcases
  • Essential design principles for circular knitting

Day 2

  • Deep dive into materials
  • How are yarns made?
  • Which yarns are good for circular knitting and why?
  • Synthetic yarns versus natural yarns
  • Yarn combinations
  • Weight and thickness of yarns
  • Hands-on practice on the XT machine

Day 3

  • Modular footwear constructions
  • Group brainstorm
  • Ideation sessions
  • First design sessions
  • Basics of programming for the XT machine
  • Making the first upper designs

Day 4

  • Knitting the upper designs (in groups)
  • Briefing Matteo on the upper idea and working with him on the programming.
  • While one group works on the machine the other groups further refines the rest of the shoe construction and makes a prototype if possible

Day 5

  • Finalizing the upper designs and constructions
  • Troubleshooting for the XT machine
  • Final questions
  • Certificates

What is included

5 days of in-depth classes in Barcelona
Access to our Santoni XT machine
Yarns to knit your upper

What is NOT included:

  • Travel to and from Barcelona
  • Specific yarns that we do not have at the lab (you are required to work with what we have)
  • Laptop with Photoshop and Illustrator 
Meet your instructor

Matteo Fontanari

Matteo has more than 16 years of experience in circular knitting, first as a sock designer for Calzedonia and now he is the project manager for knitted footwear uppers at Lunati Group, the mother company of Santoni.
He works with companies around the world, including some of the most famous brands on the market today. Since this is also how he fills most of his time, it is privilige to be able to take a class with him directly!
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Meet your instructor

Nicoline van Enter

Nicoline is the founder of Footwearology and renowned footwear visionary. She is specialized in lifecycle design and circular constructions and will be teaching that part of the course.
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