knitwear knowledge


Ever since Nike came out with their Flyknit technology, knitwear has indeed taken flight in footwear. Pretty much any sneaker brand now has its own knitted uppers. For people working in the industry this requires a whole new kind of knowledge, since knitting an upper is of course completely different from sewing one. Even people with a background in apparel need to brush up on their knitwear knowledge, since the properties expected of footwear knits can be almost opposite to those of clothing.


Over the past years we have received many questions from both our consulting customers as well as our students: "What yarns can we use for knitted uppers? What kind of machines should we look for? What is the difference in price and quality between various knitting techniques? How should I design for knits?" and of course.... "How can I get around the patents of brands like Nike and Adidas?"


We are very happy that we can now answer all of those questions and more in only one weekend! The Footwearists have teamed up with Knitwear Lab from The Netherlands to offer specialized training in the area of footwear knitting. Owner Thijs Verhaar is a seasoned industrial knitting expert. He started over 35 years ago in knitting apparel, but as he received more and more requests for knitted footwear, he decided to specialize in this direction as well. He is now developing uppers for brands like Filling Pieces and Alexander Wang. He can experiment and develop samples in his own studio and collaborates with a knitting factory in Turkey to produce series.


During the Knitwear Knowledge weekend he will open the doors of his state-of-the-art knitting lab to a maximum of 10 footwear professionals, to teach them the "knitty gritty" of developing knitted uppers for shoes, so they will be able to supply designs that can be produced to a knitting manufacturer and understand what kind of knitting techniques they would need for different purposes.


course program:


Saturday morning: theory about fibres, yarns, techniques and machinery

Saturday afternoon: applying kowledge by practicing with designing knitted uppers, to better understand what is possible. Participants can also bring specific questions or knitting projects that they are working on and get personal advice.

Sunday morning: reviewing designs, discussing options and alternatives for yarns, patterns and textures

Sunday afternoon: understanding how knitwear is programmed. There will be a progammer present to demonstrate techniques and knit swatches


course details:


Level: this is an intermediate course meant for people who already have some footwear experience and understand the basics of how shoes are made. If you have no footwear experience at all we recommend that you follow our Sneakerology course first.

Location: Knitwear Lab, Josephine Bakerstraat 81 in Almere, The Netherlands (30 minutes by train from Amsterdam)

Duration: one weekend

Maximum number of participants: 10

Teacher: Thijs Verhaar


Dates in 2018:

May 12-13


Course times: 10:00 - 17:30 each day


Price: 2 class days at an intermediate level price, so this amounts to €400 (excluding 21% VAT, if applicable). This amount is to be paid in advance.


Included in the course price: swatches and samples that are used in class, lunch and coffee/tea

Not included in the course price: flight tickets, hotel accomodation, transportation to and from Knitwear Lab


How to apply: please send an email with your CV (LinkedIn profile) and short motivation to join this course to [email protected]


Possible extras:

Knitwear Lab offers the possibility to develop and manufacture knitted uppers for footwear brands at competitive prices. Of course there is room to discuss this during the course.