Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about KOCO

Your KOCO Questions Answered

How We Work and the KOCO Handknitting Process

How We Work and the KOCO Handknitting Process

Welcome to our FAQ page!  We’ve put together this list of common questions and answers to help you better understand our handknitting process, ethical practices, and collaboration with brands like yours.

This page is constantly growing and improving, thanks to the great questions we get from our partners. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, ask! We’re always happy to help and to make this page even more helpful for everyone.

Production Process

QuestionAnswer
What is the lead time for samples?Typically, it’s 5-6 weeks, allowing us to ensure high quality in every piece.
What is the lead time for production?With yarn on hand, production also takes about 5-6 weeks, maintaining our craftsmanship standards.
How is the quality control?Quality control is integral to our process, ensuring each garment meets our high standards. We run our whole business from WhatsApp so you see the whole process through photos and videos.
Where do the ladies knit from?All knitting is done at our hubs. Nobody works from home.
Can you send us videos and photos of our garments being knitted?It is our pleasure to send photos and videos of our ladies knitting your garments. These photos are taken by the ladies themselves via their smart phones. Because we all communicate via WhatsApp it is only possible to get low-res WhatsApp quality photos this way. More and more brands are wanting high resolution photos and videos. In order to do this we need to hire an outside person. His charge out rate is $195 for half a day.
What is the lead time for swatches?Plain swatches will take 1-2 weeks. Complicated swatches may take longer as we have to fiddle.
How is the tension kept consistent?We always knit a tension swatch before we start knitting.
How does KOCO handle large-scale production without compromising quality?Through meticulous planning, skilled craftsmanship, and strict quality controls, we maintain high standards.

Materials

QuestionAnswer
Do you have yarn we can choose from?We source yarn as needed to match your project requirements, focusing on quality and sustainability. We have odd cones left over you can buy from us but we cannot guarantee colours or quantities needed.
Can you send us yarn cards?We don’t keep yarn in stock but can help source specific yarns for your project. We can send you high quality photos of the colours in WhatsApp.
Can we feel the yarn?We can invoice for any swatches that you want to feel. Our swatches are 20 x 20 cm.
What yarn do you usually use?We can source and knit with any yarns but most of our customers prefer natural fibres.
Can you dye?We do not dye yarn.
Do you prefer if we provide the yarn?It does not matter to us however due to Indian customs it is easier if we source the yarn.
Do you offer organic yarn?Yes we do. (Show yarn booklet)
What types of yarn do you work with?We work with a wide range of yarns, from natural fibers to eco-friendly options, depending on project needs.

Design and Collaboration

QuestionAnswer
Do we need to send specs?Initially, an image of the knit style you’re aiming for and a rough idea of measurements is sufficient to start the conversation.
Can we see examples of your knits?We have a strict confidentiality policy and do not show garments we have knitted for other customers. We can show you some of our own designs from our show or you can see examples of work we have had permission to post on our Instagram.
What information do you need to write the pattern?All we need to write the pattern is some measurements. We work in metric. When sending measurements, please use centimetres.
Why are pattern costs so high?The pattern writing process for a hand-knit is like an instructional manual, each stitch has to be written out. All of our patterns have to be written out in the same layout for the ladies to understand. We outsource for this to very experienced pattern writers in the West.
Can we send you a pattern and if so will this mean no pattern cost?You are welcome to send us a pattern but there will still be a cost for editing it. All of our patterns need to be in the same format for the ladies to understand, they only speak small amounts of English.
Do I own copyright to the pattern?Yes you do, we don’t keep the pattern it is yours.
Can KOCO handle complex knitwear designs?Yes, our skilled artisans and pattern writers can bring even the most complex designs to life.
Can KOCO replicate a design I already have?We can work with existing designs to create hand-knitted versions that meet our quality standards.
What is KOCO’s process for creating a new design?Our process includes consultation, pattern writing, material selection, knitting, and quality checks.
How can designers collaborate with KOCO?Designers can reach out to us with their ideas, and we’ll guide them through our collaboration process.
Does KOCO offer any design consultation services?Yes, we provide design consultation to help refine your ideas and ensure they’re feasible for hand-knitting.

Sustainability and Ethics

QuestionAnswer
What hours do the ladies work?The ladies chose their working hours from the first stitch on the first day. To balance work with family life, they work 6 hours per day: 9am – 12pm, lunch, 1pm – 4pm.
How much do the ladies get paid?Our knitters are paid 20% more than the minimum wage in the industry.
How many knitters do you employ?Before covid we had 250 knitters working for us. Now post covid we have around 60 knitters, it is our goal to employ back every lady and more.
What do you do with waste?We work to ensure there is no waste generated in the hand knitting of our garments. All yarn used for teaching is reused and repurposed. We hand knit garments to a high, exacting standard. We do clear calculations on the quantity of yarn for samples and for garment production. Packaging, in which yarn arrives, is re-used.
What makes KOCO different from other knitwear manufacturers?Our focus on hand-knitting, ethical practices, and empowering women artisans sets us apart.
How does KOCO support sustainability?We use eco-friendly materials, ensure zero waste in our production, and support the wellbeing of our artisans.
How does KOCO ensure ethical practices?We pay fair wages, provide a supportive work environment, and practice sustainability in all we do.
How does KOCO contribute to the local community?We provide employment, training, and support programs for women in rural India, boosting local economies.

Ordering and Shipping

QuestionAnswer
What are your minimums?At KOCO, we have no minimum order requirements, accommodating projects of all sizes.
Example of pricing?Once we see an image or style we can give a quote. Once we have knitted the sample we can give an exact costing.
Do you iron and pack?We do not iron but we can pack the garments for you.
Can you print labels?We have no machinery and cannot print labels. If you send us them we can attach them to the finished garments.
Do you wash the garments?We do not wash garments.
Do we organise shipping or do you?We work with a logistics agent and organise all the shipping.
Can we send buttons and labels?Buttons and labels can be sent to us. In India, Customs is very strict. One tiny error can result in long delays. Please do not send anything to India without us checking the paperwork first.
Do you source brand labels and care labels?As we are in rural villages, we do not have access to labels.
How do I tell the customers to wash their handknits?We would recommend hand wash only.
How does it work with payment?Invoices are issued 3 times during the process. At the swatch phase, the sample garment phase, and the production phase. Each invoice has separate line items for yarn, labour, freight, and pattern writing. All invoices must be paid in full before any shipment leaves India. We do not run accounts. Invoices are issued in Australian dollars.
Are KOCO’s products more expensive than machine-made items?Our products reflect the quality and ethical manufacturing practices we stand for, offering great value.
Do you offer any guarantees on your products?We guarantee the quality of our products and work closely with clients to meet their expectations.
How can I get an estimate for my project?Contact us with details of your project, and we’ll provide a comprehensive estimate.
What’s the maximum order size KOCO can handle?We can scale production to meet your needs, from small orders to large-scale projects.
Do you work with international clients?Yes, we proudly serve clients from all over the world, ensuring timely delivery and satisfaction.
Can I choose the artisans who work on my project?While specific artisan selection isn’t typical, we ensure the best-suited team works on your project.
What if I’m not satisfied with the final product?We strive for client satisfaction and will work with you to make any necessary adjustments.

About KOCO

QuestionAnswer
How did KOCO start?KOCO began from a desire to employ women in rural Tamil Nadu, India, using their hand-knitting skills. A colleague introduced me to ten women in rural southern India. Their spirit, stories and colourful saris wrapped around my heart. I closed my label because I realised the only way to employ as many of these women as possible was to hand knit for many brands.
Do you do crochet?We specialize in hand knitting, ensuring excellence in this single craft.
Where is KOCO based?We are based in rural villages in Tamil Nadu.
Can I see samples of your work?Yes, we can provide examples of our work to showcase our quality and craftsmanship.
How long has KOCO been in business?We have been transforming knitwear designs into reality since [Insert Year], growing our community and expertise.
Does KOCO participate in any fashion shows or exhibitions?Yes, we showcase our work and collaborations in various fashion shows and industry events.
How can I stay updated on KOCO’s new projects and collaborations?Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates and stories.
What is KOCO’s vision for the future of knitwear?We aim to lead the way in sustainable, ethical knitwear production, pushing creative boundaries while supporting our artisan community.

Meet the KOCO team

Poorani

Production Lead

“I work hard to make sure our work is made well and delivered on time. It’s important to me that each piece is special.”

Jaahvani

Quality Control

“My job is to check every piece of clothing we make, making sure everything is just right. I take pride in our work.”

Rajesh

Logistics Support

“I make sure all our hand-knitted products get to where they need to go without any problems. It’s like solving a big puzzle.”

Sarah

Pattern Writer

“Pattern writing is the blueprint of imagination. Our goal is to translate innovative designs to become beautiful, wearable garments, stitch by stitch.”

Wendy

Knitting Trainer

“Teaching the KOCO team new knitting skills is what we do. It is so rewarding seeing them develop their skills and create beautiful garments.”

It Takes a Village and Community Spirit

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of uniting traditional craftsmanship with ethical manufacturing practices. Every garment we create is a story of our commitment to quality, sustainability, and the empowerment of women artisans.

Partnering with us means joining a movement that values exceptional knitwear and champions fashion’s positive impact on the world.

I invite you to experience the difference with KOCO, where your designs are brought to life with care, precision, and a deep respect for our planet and its people.”

Danielle Chiel, KOCO Founder and CEO

Danielle Chiel

Ready to Transform Your Knitwear Collection?

At KOCO Knitting, we’re more than just a knitting company. We’re your partners in bringing exquisite, sustainable knitwear designs to life. From bespoke production at any scale to expert yarn sourcing, our team is dedicated to ensuring your vision becomes a reality,
with quality and craftsmanship at the forefront.
Now you can explore a world where your designs are expertly managed and meticulously crafted to meet the highest standards of fashion and sustainability. Let’s create something extraordinary together.