Course leader for MA Fashion, Beatrice Newman, led Techknitcal, a workshop for students to develop their knowledge of the varying technical processes involved in the production of knitted fabrics.
Over a period of three weeks, students took advantage of the opportunity to try out older techniques using manually-operated knitting machines so as to rethink knitting and knitwear, from the fabric itself, to its use and design within garments and products.
Newman has been keen to show students the benefits of revisiting what are now considered basic knit patterns. “Many of these machines available today are second-hand”, says Newman, “but with modern technology and awareness of hand-craft increasing, there has been an eye-catching display of the possibility of knitwear”.
Through the practice and application of these processes, students were able to understand the basics of knitting, as well as structures created through lace and other stitch techniques, learning how to experiment and create uniquely designed fabric. The outcome of the workshop was hugely successful, especially since most participating students were unfamiliar with knitting techniques.
Serving to promote a deeper understanding into the practice and place of knitting within contemporary fashion, and demonstrating what Newman describes as knitting’s “advantages in a conceptual environment”, the workshop also provided an insight into how the basics of knitting might lead to sophisticated discoveries in other technical industries such as tech, science, medical and those concerned with wearable futures.