While knitting sweaters from yarn might now sound like a thing of the past, it is still quite common in the developing parts of the world. Sweaters and hats knit from yarn do eventually get worn out and are simply discarded since it could take a lot of time to unknit the yarn from the clothes. A student designed contraption aims to ease the process and hence reclaim old yarn for use in knitting new clothes.
Created by Imogen Hedges, a student designer at London’s Kingston Unversity, the Unknitting Machine is based on the use of an old bicycle frame equipped with pedals, chains and a bicycle wheel. To unravel the sweater, the thread is connected to the bicycle wheel through a column of steam from a kettle. As the un-knitter pedals slowly, the thread from the sweater is wound around a series of brackets mounted around the wheel.
Once the item is completely un-knitted, a hand crank is used to pull smaller quantities of yarn from the wheel onto a plastic spindle to be reused or sold in compact bundles. Check out the video below to see the eco friendly machine in action.