Here at Standard Issue, we are so proud to work alongside some of the most talented craftspeople our local industry has.
We’re excited to continue sharing the stories of our in-house makers.
This week, we’d love to introduce you to our Head Knit Technician, Kevin. Kevin’s been in the industry for 47 years and plays a crucial role in each garments journey from beginning to end.
We hope you enjoy learning a little more about his story below.
How did you start in the knitting industry?
It’s a funny story actually. I was at high school and a guy in my class was going for an interview at one of the local knitting manufacturers, they had a nice glossy brochure. I tagged along and I ended up getting the placement. They sponsored me to go to ATI (now AUT) for a 3 year training course, and while studying I worked at the company I had the placement with to gain hands-on experience.
At ATI we got to learn everything from how silk yarn is made, through to the science of dying and finishing, and of course, knitting. It trained us to be Textile Technicians who knew the whole process.
What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed during your time in the industry?
Moving from mechanical machines to fully electronic has been the biggest one. On the mechanical machines, everything knitted off in one rectangular panel, and it had to be cut to shape. Once Shima Seiki machines came int0 NZ in the 90s, things started to move towards electronic. Now we can knit off whole-garment designs! Things are always changing and evolving. It makes it kinda hard to keep up with sometimes, but its also very rewarding.
What would you say are the most challenging and rewarding parts of what you do?
It can often be challenging because it’s always trying to make something that hasn’t been done before - or starting with a base and altering it to make it work for what you want.
That’s also the most rewarding part - being able to programme a style that comes off the machine almost complete and with no faults is a great feeling.
It’s really cool being able to train someone too. When I started out people kept knowledge to themselves more. We used to have to sit there and nut it out till we worked it out (sometimes it was the machine manufacturers fault anyway!), so it’s great to be able to pass my knowledge on.