Henrike Schmitz studied textile and surface design at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin and the Swedish Textile School in Borås, among others. As a staff member in the research area of Sustainable Textiles and Digital Education at the Technical University of Chemnitz, the Osnabrück-born designer and trained men's tailor was drawn to Sonnenberg, where she works at Jakobstraße 42.
"In my work and research, I concern myself mainly with the interlacing of man and machine through the study of materials [...]" on which she is working as part of her master's thesis. In this context, she reanimated an old GDR circular knitting machine with the support of the Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (stfi). This was followed by the transition to a current circular knitting model from Terrot, which involves a greater number of patterns and colour variations. "It is interesting to see how the 'character' of a machine inscribes itself or interlocks with the fabrics and patterns it produces and, with the help of human action, develops an individual language."
Her work is all about fineness, color effects, structures or transparencies of knitted fabrics, but also about the most sustainable production possible by minimizing or avoiding waste.
These small serial products are used in fashion design as well as in interior design and soon also as sound-absorbing textile design for the theatre foyer of the KOMPLEX in Chemnitz.
Anyone wishing to see the machine called RH216-I: RR-Leibweitenrundstrickmaschine in action should take a look at this video.