Product development

The development process of a MuseARTa product is extremely complex and takes place with a lot of passion and attention to detail. The aim is to represent the art motif as faithfully as possible, which is not always easy due to the complicated production process. Roughly speaking, the path from artwork to MuseARTa product can be divided into the following steps:

  • The team goes in search of interesting artists and extraordinary works of art.
  • This is followed by extensive research for the most important background information on the rights issue. This process is very complex, requires a lot of time and the help of art law and licensing lawyers, and results in either a licensing agreement or the determination that we can reproduce an artwork without a licensing agreement, but it may also be that we are allowed to reproduce an artwork and the rights administrator or the museum in question does not want us to, in which case we keep our distance from the project.
  • Next, the artwork is converted into pixels by an experienced designer in Italy. Our socks have 200 needles all around and 260 rows as leg length. This results in 52,000 possible pixels per leg, or 104,000 pixels if different parts of a work of art were depicted on the left and right leg.
  • When converting to pixels, it is also necessary to consider how many colours a knitting machine can knit in total and additionally how many colours a knitting machine can knit in one row. This can be up to 18 colours for a sock in total and up to six colours in a row.
  • After that, a decision is made as to which production facility the design will be sent to for implementation. The decision where to knit is based on which factory can offer how many yarn colours and what types of machines are available locally. All factories use 20/1 cotton yarn and should produce with a cotton content of over 80% whenever technically possible, also all factories have machines that produce with 200 needles.
  • If yarn colours that we urgently need are not available, we have yarns specially dyed according to our wishes. So far we have already had 50 cotton yarns, 6 cotton melange yarns and 6 lurex yarns dyed according to our wishes. That doesn't sound like much, but in total it is a small truck full of yarn - just for our special colours.
  • When the first pattern has been knitted, it is photographed and sent by email to the designer. She then compares the overall picture with the artwork and begins to alter it. In the process, a decision is made for many individual stitches as to whether or not a different colour should be used somewhere. In addition, the yarn charts are used to check whether the colours of the original artwork have been well matched or not.
  • In addition, special attention is paid to keeping the proportions of the picture. Since a stitch is not square, but rectangular, this is particularly difficult.
  • The alteration requests then go back to the factory and a new pattern is knitted off. Just to load the machine with the necessary yarns, the so-called changeover time, takes about 1 hour. It's no wonder that many factories have turned down this project with thanks and considered our project unfeasible.
  • For some motifs, more than 20 different variations go back and forth until the preliminary result is in place. Then comes the stretch test.
  • Since a foot is wider at the front than the leg above the heel, a sock has to be very stretchy. However, this is opposed by the non-stretchability of cotton. Cotton is inelastic. The higher the cotton content, the less stretchy the sock will be if the threads of the motif run along the inside of the sock. Therefore, these threads have to be cut on the inside of the sock. This can be done by machine if the thread hangs freely over a certain number of stitches inside the sock, but if it only hangs freely over a small number of stitches, this is not possible. In this case, the threads must be cut by hand with a small pair of scissors to achieve the necessary stretch in the sock. This is the only way to ensure that your foot can get in and out of the sock.

Hey art lover,

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