Yonael Berhe, Carter Davenport, Aaron Dreyer, Brennen Smith
The main objective of this project was to create a new product tailored to fit within Champion Brand’s gamer line of products, tailored towards Gen-Z. The product that was chosen to be created was a backpack. What is intended to be accomplished through the development of this bag is a more cost effective, lightweight, minimal bag as opposed to current bags on the market that are created specifically for gamers.
The near whole garment knit construction and high level of customization of the bag is what will make it a unique and viable addition to the current market. Almost every aspect of the bag can be produced using a flat bed knitting machine, with the end goal of creating a knitted bag with minimal cut and sew. This flatbed knitting process will eliminate manufacturing steps, in turn reducing production costs. Flatbed knitting also provides a high level of customization, allowing for extremely versatile pocket shapes and aesthetically pleasing patterns all to be constructed in one manufacturing step.
The various types of fabric construction, fiber types, and fabric finishes were the main focuses of the team throughout the semester. Knit fabrics are naturally porous and possess high stretch. These typical attributes of knitted fabric had to be addressed for their use in a backpack, and were done so mainly through the development of a knit structure paired with specific yarns, a fabric finish, and knitting machine settings. Continuously developing these areas helped to optimize fabric cover, improve water repellency, and decrease extensibility. In the single process of knitting one of these bags to be sewn, there were also certain structures developed and knitted
that serve to provide padding in designated areas of the bag to provide impact protection for items being carried, as well as comfort to the wearer.
This year, the team learned much about what it takes to develop a product over an extended period of time. The main takeaway for the team was the fact that hardships and roadblocks will almost always play a part in the creation of a product, and that cannot stop you. It is important to keep a level head, trust in your teammates, and keep working towards your goals.