top of page
Yishu Yan | Yan Yishu | Textile, Fashion & Digital Knitting | Design & Research

Transitional Fashion via Digital Knitting

2017 - 2021

My PhD research “Transitional Fashion via Digital Knitting” (TFDK) aims to develop a systematic process for creating a new form of knitted fashion with improved adaptability by using digital-controlled V-bed knitting technology. Advancements in digital knitting and the integrated attributes of fashion knitwear design together present new possibilities for the realisation of TFDK. Based on the synthesis of fashion design requirements and knitted technical applications, an integrated conceptual model for TFDK is established. According to the basic design principles and potential approaches that are provided in a conceptual model, various effects of fabrics and forms for creating TFDK have been designed, produced, and investigated in this research work.

Yishu Yan | Textile, Fashion & Digital Knitting | Design & Research

Conceptual model of TFDK

The research work on TFDK is exploratory and practice-led in nature. The theoretical development and practical exploration of the topic are jointly implemented in three phases. In the first phase, the essential design issues of TFDK are identified and a conceptual model for TFDK is established correspondingly based on the requirements for transitional fashion and the components of fashion design by using digital knitting. In the second phase, two practical studies are carried out on “3D stretchable fabrics” and “adaptable forms” to create TFDK, respectively in accordance with the established conceptual model. The experiment with fabrics has developed the specific textiles for creating TFDK which constitutes the basis of this study. The experiment with forms then explores the diverse approaches to construct TFDK garments.


The experimental results are critically analysed to identify changes in the relationships that dictate the design elements and the attributes of the samples. Both technical characteristics and the aesthetics of the developed 3D stretchable fabrics and adaptable forms are systematically revealed.

In the third phase, a series of design applications for TFDK based on the obtained direction from previous theoretical and practical studies are demonstrated, and the creative effects of TFDK are further presented.

Find more about the design collection Aqualoop

The proposed research study offers a new design approach for innovative fashion that integrates surface design and construction design through a digital knitting process, which bridges the gap between modern knitting technology and fashion design. The design concept expands on the creative dimensions of knitting, enhances the added-value and sustainability of knitted fashion, and furthers transitional design. The design results highlight both the aesthetics and technical features of TFDK and refine the interactive relationships among textile, clothing, and body. This study also provides a sound reference and solid professional experience for technology-based design practices as well as practice-led design research.

LOOK LOOP: Transitional Knitting - Research Work by Yishu Yan

Based on my research, a solo exhibition was presented in The Fashion Gallery, Institute of Textiles & Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in June 2020. More than 40 works that simultaneously highlight textile transition and fashion art forms have been exhibited.


Find more about the exhibition LOOK LOOP: Transitional Knitting.

bottom of page