The Design Process-from sketch to retail

Have you ever pondered how your favorite sweater or blanket came to be? We, at Mountain Meadow Wool Mill, would like to enlighten you. While each product is unique and varies a little in the process, they follow a similar path of product at Mountain Meadow Wool. 

The Sketch

Good ol' fashioned pencil and paper usually gives us a start. Someone starts sketching ideas, refines them, and eventually lands on something likeable enough to go to the next step. There are a few important components to keep in mind. First, time on the knitting machine directly correlates to the price point. In order to keep the price point down, we try to keep with simple designs. In the two images below, the image on the left, while beautiful, took too much time on the machine. The image on the right, is a much simpler pattern and ended up making the cut to production. Second, because of the capabilities of our machines, we use a maximum of three colors.

      

The Computer Programming

After the initial design is finalized, it is time to transfer that to the computer. A digital image is captured and uploaded into our design software. The image then must be pixelated to correspond to the knitted stitches. After the image is pixelated, the edges are cleaned up and adjustments are made. The final design is then programmed into the knitting machine.

Knitting Prototypes

Now it's up to our knitting machines to see how well they follow our pattern. Prototypes are knitted to make adjustments to size, design, and weight of yarn. Sometimes this process is short and sweet, and other times, it takes quite a while to get to that end "perfect" product. Watching the products roll off the machine is suspenseful and feels a little like Christmas morning.

The products are looked over carefully to make sure there are no missed stitches, that the gauge is correct for the desired effect, and that the pattern is coming out as planned. What do we do with all the re-do's? At Mountain Meadow Wool, we have an excellent line called RENewe where we repurpose as much as possible into amazing new products. You can read all about our RENewe line in our blog post, "RENewe'd-Conservative Consumerism".

The Finished Product

Finally, we have a designed product ready for retail. From sweaters and ponchos to blankets, wraps, and table runners, we have several awesome products ready to find their way to your home. After learning a little about the journey, these products will give you a lasting legacy and a little way to Touch the West.


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