From Yarn & Machine Up: The Future of Savvy Textile Making Has Arrived
MEC is not reinventing the wheel, it’s reinventing the future.
Material Experience Center (MEC) aims to find user-centric material solutions — that last and perform above expectations — for designers and brands alike. We highly encourage collaboration as our creative hub is a catalyst for textile innovation and future reinvention. The path we take to arrive at our material destination isn’t just done by simply mapping out our design and creating numerous prototypes for testing — that’s the traditional and less sustainable way. Instead, our product development process begins by selecting the right fibers and the adequate technology to bring swatches to life first. We call this procedure Yarn and Machine Up.
The reason why we take this reverse approach to the traditional way of developing products comes from tailoring products and materials to the specific end use and needs of the consumer. By selecting the right yarns, we are able to create products that are built for the value of the user or wearer. Value that encompasses comfort, aesthetic, function, sustainability and more. When something is of more value to you, you will make sure it lasts a long time — hence, making these materials sustainable in place of acquiring more down the line without having to.
We think it is savvy to choose your yarns first as if they’re your ingredients; this gives you an idea of what your final material will end up looking like, feeling, and what performance properties it offers in relation to what this textile will be applied for. This fiber pre-selection helps diminish material wastage since we’ve already done our deep research on the yarn and machine possibilities. By extending and applying our understanding via testing and experimenting, we further on the case to create alternative approaches.
At MEC, we have created our very own Material Library — a material, design and knowledge platform that showcases how we combine products, samples, yarns, and design. In addition, we elaborate on our machine technology — providing opportunities for designers, manufacturers and consumers to acquire knowledge, get inspired and brainstorm how to enhance the industry. Having access to the Material Library gives you insight on how your next product can be its best version. This is maintained as we collaborate and create innovative solutions by applying the Yarn and Machine Up product development process.
Post-desired fiber selection, choosing the adequate machine isn’t simple. However, MEC experts in the industry — both designers and technical engineers — orient you on which would be best. Though, the path to getting to your final prototype isn’t linear, pre-determining your yarns and machine will allow you more time to explore textile possibilities with what you’ve chosen rather than making test swatches that aren’t close to what you are looking for and need.
Product and fabric examples of our Yarn and Machine Up development process can be found in our Material Library as previously mentioned. For some insight, MEC recently collaborated with Juventus Academy Shanghai for a four piece football uniform set. As it is known, Juventus is a well known European football club made up of excellent athletes that constantly train and of course, perspire. For this partnership, we selected fibers that possessed the following performance features: moisture control, versatility, second-skin feel, breathability and quick-drying to name some. Some of these garments were created on the same machine and others on different ones — still, all made seamless in one go. Due to choosing yarns and machines before designing and fabricating, we were able to play with these fiber qualities and combinations. In addition, the jersey, hoodie, and shorts for this small collection have the Juventus logo already integrated. While, the pair of socks already is an all in one production with toe-closing — a traditional detail finishing that is no longer necessary. For more prototype collaborations you can visit our Material Library and Projects Section.
In conclusion, our reverse approach allows us to create new materials from scratch while inspiring potential discoveries regarding materials and design processes. Yarn and Machine Up allows materials to reach their purpose and exceed expectations. We are always working on finding possible directions to recreate what is already existing with an innovative touch.