Aerospace seating manufacturer Lift by EnCore's VP-development & strategy Elijah Dobrusin says "knitting is the future." While that's not the type of remark you hear every day in the aviation industry, he's apparently serious.
Knitting, it seems, has advantages over traditional woven methods in certain aspects of cabin fabrics manufacture. Notably, it does not produce seams that can start to chafe passengers. This makes it ideal for the facing of headrests, for example.
Lift has long-term ambitions to use knitting for complete seat covers: "We think it’s a much more efficient process," Dobrusin said.
Additionally, there's a new type of design for the seatback IFE (in-flight entertainment) screen, which is mounted in the back of the headrest without the usual plastic shroud that normally presents a solid, flat surface to the passenger. Rather, the screen sits clear of a scalloped, softly lit cavity. "We find that the light and this cavity behind it gives a greater sense of personal space to the passenger," director of design Tom Eaton explained.