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Credits: Melissa Coleman

Year of Invention: 2014


Twitch Knit is a textile that communicates the liveliness of living matter. Just like organic muscular tissue this knit moves under the influence of electricity. When the knit is powered with 3.3V it contracts. When the power is turned off the knit relaxes and can be stretched back into its original shape. The sample can also be activated with the heat of a hair dryer.


Indigo cotton thread and .13 mm muscle wire (NiTi SMA)


Twitch Knit is a loose cotton knit with 1 row of incorporated muscle wire. Halfway through the process the muscle wire was laid into the machine to be knit together with the cotton thread. The knit has been pulled out of shape to change the size of the individual stitches and give the sample an organic look. The sample was created on an Empisal Mini Knitting Machine with stitch size 12 and an e-wrap cast on. The muscle wire was trained into a spring shape by wrapping it around the tip of a soldering iron for a few minutes.


The sample is inspired by groups of biological muscle cells, which are all similar yet unique in their individual shape and size. Just like biological muscle cells the stitches of this knit can contract and relax.

This material has been created for the materials library at the exhibition Building with Textiles at the Textile Museum in Tilburg:  http://www.textielmuseum.nl/en/exposition/building-with-textiles-the-expo

to be confirmed

Photo of final sample: to be added on Wednesday 23-7


Photo description: First exploration with a synthetic thread. Turning on the power melted the synthetic thread around the muscle wire and created holes in the sample. This effect was interesting, but wasn’t pursued further.

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