Fiber, Fingers, and Code: Manufacturing Software and Seamlessness in the Garment Industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes how software is imagined and used to disrupt garment industry practices. Drawing from interviews, fieldwork, and discourse analysis of marketing from two companies, Stoll and Resonance, we argue that software is integral to the creation of a new kind of designer, a “digital craftsman,” that directly interfaces with a new kind of supply chain. This interaction is defined by its “seamlessness”—what we describe as both an emergent technical design element and an imaginary of software-enabled manufacturing free from friction between sites of concept development and its material execution. Counter to this imaginary, we mobilize the “tactile grammar” of seams to foreground the role of embodied communication and labor practices in shaping software-defined industrial futures. Studying the connections between fiber, fingers, and code, this article opens up new lines of inquiry into industrial software and into the links between media production and larger spheres of commodity production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-481
Number of pages17
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • fashion
  • fiber
  • infrastructure
  • knitting
  • seamlessness
  • software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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