NINGNBO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Input your body measurements and choose the patterns that you like on a smartphone application and you will get a specially knitted sweater that is tailored just for you.
This scenario is just around the corner since Cixing, a Chinese company based in the city of Ningbo, eastern China's Zhejiang Province, developed a new type of knitting machine after nine years of research and development.
Similar to a three-dimensional (3D) printer, the machine can "print" tailored knitwear based on the 3D models that are generated by the body measurements of customers in a computer program. Without the traditional procedures of cutting and stitching in the clothing industry, the machine can make a piece of tailored knitwear in about 45 minutes.
"We have spent tens of millions U.S. dollars to develop the smart knitting machine oer the past nine years," said Li Lijun, vice president of the company. "I believe that tailored clothing for all customers will be the trend for the future in the clothing industry.
"Although some peers in the industry did not believe that we could succeed in making the knitting machine at the beginning, saying that we were wasting money and time, we completed it after years of hard work," he added.
Founded in 1988, the company is a leading provider in the field of intelligent knitting equipment, which has more than 120 invention patents and over 50 software copyrights.
The company is developing a smartphone application where customers can not only order tailored knitwear based on their body measurements but also ask professional designers for advice on patterns, styles and colors.
The city of Ningbo is home to about 120,000 private manufacturing enterprises, including 91 listed companies, and also known for its production of stationary, molds and home appliances in China.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of Ningbo City reached 1.07 trillion yuan (154.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, ranking 15th among Chinese cities.
The city granted 73,000 patents in 2018 and has 60 research institutes of industrial technology including the Ningbo Institute of Industrial Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CNITECH).