Jeni Allison is a knitwear brand based in Edinburgh, prioritising digital design and simulation technologies to make the product development process as accurate, sustainable and visual as possible. The brand is a celebration of Scottish knit innovation with first products launching in September 2021. Jeni also works freelance designing and developing knitwear for manufacturers, arts organisations and brands, as well as being a design educator. She works part time as a knit technician at Glasgow School of Art and is s currently working on an education programme with Craft Scotland exploring teaching STEM through contemporary textiles.
Jeni’s Resident Entrepreneur project is focused around building a web-based application to facilitate affordable, bespoke knit customisation.
Jeni said: “I plan to develop a dual purpose web app with a canvas component. The web app will have a hidden, back end side, for me to develop jacquard patterns and a front facing app for customers to design their own knitted patterns. Each pixel on the web app will represent a knitted stitch. Knitting machines have stated ‘rules’ which need to be followed to produce knitted garments and accessories for example: – Knitting with a maximum of 6 yarns in a piece. – Knitting with a maximum of 6 yarns in a row – Floats a maximum length of 6-7 stitches in fair isle knitting. By defining guardrails which both adhere to the rules of my knitting machines (colours per row, length of floats etc) and adhere to my brand’s aesthetic I will be able to offer customers the opportunity to ‘design’ their own knits with predefined interchangeable and moveable elements.”
“In essence I will move from designing products to designing parameters within which consumers can play an active role. I will work collaboratively with a software developer and product designer to develop the web app. There are two main areas requiring research and development; the web app and the launch collection which will utilise it.”
Jeni was a global finalist in the Woolmark Performance Challenge 2018 in association with Adidas.