CAD for Domestic Machine Knitting - Nottingham Trent University

Knit room at Nottingham Trent University


This course will develop your approach to creating knitwear designs, focusing on the skills required to make your own patterns and punch cards using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

After first gathering visual imagery you’ll then move on to drawing, collaging and developing your designs, using the Shima Seiki Apex 3 CAD system, before translating them into digital CAD files.

You’ll then see your ideas come to life on the knitting machine.

On this course you will:

• learn how to digitise your designs using CAD
• design and make a series of punch cards
• use the latest digital knitwear technology
• visualise a variety of colourways
• experiment with pattern repeats
• be introduced to techniques through group demonstrations and benefit from one-to-one tutorials to aid your development
• learn about different pattern repeats, styles and layouts
• create virtual simulations of patterns for knitwear
• research current trends in knit design
• experiment with colour and texture on the knitting machines
• receive personal attention to ensure your skills are developing
• access our stores so that you can work with yarns that might be new to you.

You’ll also have the chance to experiment with commercial punch cards.

What will I gain?

By the end of the course you’ll have the skills to make exciting knit samples and be well on your way to developing your individual style.

You’ll have learnt how to design patterns for punch cards and applied the pattern on the knit machines successfully.

You’ll also know how to develop your ideas using CAD, and leave with visuals, samples and exciting swatches that you can develop into further projects after the course.

Level: Intermediate

Entry requirements: You should have experience with machine knitting and used a commercial punch card before.

Whilst no software experience is required, you should be confident in saving files and basic computer functions.

Where you'll learn: You will be based in the Bonington building at the City Campus, our dedicated art and design hub.

You will have access to an excellent range of facilities and equipment in the knitwear studio and yarn store.

You will be taught using the Shima Seiki Apex 3 CAD system to design your patterns and use Silver Reed knitting machines to apply your designs (you have the option to bring your own machine if you prefer).

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Tutor profile: Dr Jane Taylor has been teaching knitwear design for 17 years, initially at UWE in Bristol and more recently at NTU.

She moved up to Nottingham in 2010 to embark on an MA course at NTU, impressed by the universities’ extensive knitwear resource - and never left, going on to do a PhD.

Jane has developed her knitting skills to be able to programme and run computerised, industrial machinery; however, she relishes the opportunity to get back to working with her hands-on domestic machines.

Click through above to book your place online.

Need accommodation for the summer?

You can book a self-catered, single room with private bathroom on our city campus, right next door to our studios and classrooms. Information on booking accommodation can be provided once your booking is confirmed.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Four days of quality tuition with an experienced tutor.

Certificate of attendance upon completion.

Maximum class size: 7


Creative Short Courses at Nottingham Trent University


50 Shakespeare Street

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Hearing impaired
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • Seniors
  • UK Holiday
  • Vision impaired
  • Wheelchair users


4 days (10:00am to 4:00pm)

Silver Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Silver status for receiving 5 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

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