Engineered Knit technology

The global apparel industry finds itself in turbulent waters as the world gradually adapts to the ‘new normal.’ Brands find themselves grappling with significant changes on multiple fronts.

Some trends which have been visible in the past, such as the need for agility and speed-to-market, have intensified significantly. Consumer demand has transformed, as consumers working from home – a trend that by all indications is likely to remain for the foreseeable future – demand versatile apparel that delivers on both comfort and fashion. Amid these changes, certain long-term trends remain relevant – mainly producing clothing with the minimum possible environmental footprint.

How brands respond to these changes and challenges is critical since it can lead to either loss of one’s competitive advantage or further increase it. As brands seek holistic solutions which would enable them to address both pandemic-induced changes effectively and respond to long-term trends, advocates are drawing attention to the vast potential of ‘Engineered Knit’ or ‘E-Knit’ in this regard.

E-Knit: A game-changer for brands

Among such advocates are MAS Holdings, South Asia’s largest apparel tech company. Considering its experience of more than 30 years in product development for some of the leading international fashion brands and the company’s vast expertise in tech, including in Engineered Knit, MAS’ endorsement of E-Knit carries significant weight.

The company sees the potential for brands to re-imagine their product offerings and bring in a new dimension to apparel and design and construction through E-Knit. MAS’ approach to E-Knit incorporates the latest technology, which the company has simplified, into the next-generation flat knit evolution, leading to a more sophisticated product outcome.

“For designers, our engineered knit solutions provide sophisticated yarn and construction possibilities beyond traditional cut and sew,” says Nadisha Daniel – General Manager, Business Development, MAS Matrix.

A compelling case for E-Knit

MAS’ compelling case for E-Knit is hard to refute, considering its superior performance on multiple fronts.

On consumer preferences, with working from home becoming more mainstream globally, the boundary between work and officewear has been disrupted, leading to higher demand for categories such as all-day activewear. Consumers seek versatile clothing that can offer a high degree of comfort, which E-Knit is ideally geared to provide. E-Knit enables manipulation of the properties of the fabric (in terms of thickness, breathability, level of heat regulation, etc.) in such a way that it fits different body types perfectly and moves in sync with the body (akin to a ‘second skin’).

The ultimate result is that E-Knit can offer a superior personalized fit, exceptional stretch, excellent breathability and durability, greater comfort, and support where it matters while eliminating the need for seams, which helps avoid skin irritation. Hence, it hugely enhances the light, breathable, and snug nature of traditional knitwear. E-Knit can be applied for both closer-to-body and outerwear.

E-Knit technology is also highly environment-friendly, compared with alternatives. Seamless production through E-Knit results in as much as 15% to 25% reduction in wastage, in the case of outerwear. Engineered Knit also enables the use of more degradable and recycled material – including staple yarns such as cotton or wool and natural dyes. In the case of MAS, E-Knit also consumes substantially less energy, given the high verticality of the production process. Since production takes place primarily in one location, it reduces the carbon emissions arising from transport, for instance.

The high verticality of MAS’ E-Knit production also results in a notable reduction in the speed-to-market, allowing brands to respond faster to changes in consumer preferences. The possibilities of disruptions to the supply chain are also minimized due to the high centralization of production.

An opportunity for brands to capitalize on

Considering its long list of benefits compared with alternatives, it is evident that the potential of E-Knit is highly under-utilized. MAS is seeking to change this situation.

“Our knit capabilities are enabling us to create consumer-centric and purposeful products. We are excited to partner with world-class product specialists to create breakthrough solutions,” says Palitha Liyanage, CEO of MAS Matrix.