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Knitwear: A Modern Renaissance (02/07/2013)

Updated: 2013/2/7 10:25:00

While knitwear has always been an intrinsic part of getting dressed, today there is a revival of innovative knitted fashion on the catwalks, and renewed interest in the craft of knitting on the part of cutting-edge designers as well as consumers. Why is the demand for knitwear growing?

While knitwear originally emerged as a warm, comfortable, and practical item of handmade clothing (underwear, hosiery, jumpers and cardigans), designers through the years have made memorable use of knitting techniques: Chanel’s jerseys and striped sweaters, Schiaparelli’s intarsia bows, Courrèges’ miniskirts, and Comme des Courrèges’ deconstructed knits.

Well-suited for mass production, in the past few years knitwear has moved into better quality yarns, including natural and noble fibers and novel materials from paper to metal to leather.

Contemporary designers such as Mark Fast, Sandra Backlund, Kevin Kramp, and Ragne Kikas are reinventing our ideas of knitwear with their use of yarn, materials, and dimension.

At the same time, the “slow fashion movement” recognizes a longing for hand knit pieces that become heirlooms, such as the classic woolen knitwear of Scandinavia, Latin America, and Scotland.
This past December Karl Lagerfeld paid homage to traditional Scottish knitted argyles, Fair Isle patterns, and cable knits (and his long-time supplier, Barrie knitwear) in his annual Mètiersd’Art collection entitled Paris-Edimbourg.

Karen Van Godtsenhoven, curator of Antwerp’s MoMu Fashion Museum, which in 2011 staged the exhibit Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion, explained that knitwear “fits the bigger picture of the emergence of eco-fashion and DIY fashion that is currently going strong.”

As a form of expression, knitwear combines a sense of the body’s contours and movement with the tactile pleasures of wonderful yarns, manipulated in dimensional stitches, patterns, and sculptural shapes. “Talented designers can discover an unlimited playground for experiment in knitwear,” believes Godtsenhoven.

Authority in Charge: China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC)

Sponsor :China Textile Information Center (CTIC)

ISSN 1003-3025 CN11-1714/TS

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