Inside a bright West Michigan studio with an impressive yarn wall and an even more impressive collection of production knitting machines, designer Liz Hilton creates 3D knit products for clients and invents more machine knitted products of her own.
Welcome to KNITit, the studio Hilton founded in 2015 on South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan to meet a need for customized 3D knit innovation without the production commitment.
While Hilton has experience working with corporations and individuals to create textiles for many applications including fashion, office furniture, automotive and medical, she also draws on her life experiences to develop products of her own. She’s the inventor of a 3D baby swaddle that she also manufactures and sells herself. The beauty of this cozy product is that it is escape proof and can keep babies contently swaddled through the night, while giving tired parents easy access to change diapers without having to remove the swaddle.
Editors’s note: At the time this interview was recorded, Hilton was selling her popular swaddle under the name “Hoodini,” but revealed in a video posted later on Instagram that she is being forced to change her product name after she was contacted by an attorney representing Patagonia, alleging she was infringing on the trademark of a jacket sold by the national retailer. While this is a certainly a frustrating situation for a small upstart business, Hilton is forging on using the name “Swaddelini” and you can buy one for your little “hoodini” by visiting her shop.
Hilton attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in her hometown of New York City and went on to study at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. She also earned certifications in Germany and Japan where she worked for Stoll, the leading manufacturer of CNC flat bed weft knitting machines.
On this episode of the podcast, Hilton discusses her process, inspiration and mission to educate as many people as possible about the vast potential of 3-D knitting.
Grab a project and settle in for an conversation with Hilton and be forewarned that you might find yourself inspired to invest in a knitting machine after the show.
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