Basics Fashion Design: Knitwear, Second Edition | Juliana Sissons


Basics Fashion Design: Knitwear, Second Edition
by Juliana Sissons

Basics Fashion Design Knitwear


Foreword: Sandy Black vi
Introduction ix
Approach to knit 1
Reinventing traditional knitting 2
Yarns and fibres 7
Construction of knit 15
Developments in design and
technology 23
Interview: Freddie Robins, senior tutor,
knitted textiles, the Royal College of
Art, London 24
Creative development 29
The brief 30
Research 33
Interview: Shelley Fox, Donna Karan
professor of fashion, director of MFA
Fashion Design and Society at Parsons,
New York 38
Design development 41
Colour 45
Sculptural form 46
Presentation and evaluation 50
Construction through pattern and
texture 55
The tension swatch 56
Basic techniques 60
Lace 67
Surface texture 70
Patterned knits 80
Interview: Sophie Steller, designer and
director of the Sophie Steller studio 83
Construction through shape 91
Partial knitting: three-dimensional
effects 92
Creating flared shapes 96
Increasing and decreasing 98
Interview: Katherine Mavridis, knitwear
designer, Ralph Lauren 102
Draping and shaping 105
Creating a knitting pattern 111
Details and trims 123
Collars and neckbands 124
Hems and edges 128
Pockets 133
Interview: Hannah Jenkinson, knitwear
designer, HJK, own label 134
Buttonholes and fastenings 137
Hand-finishing techniques 140
Embellishment 143
6Practitioners in context: menswear 149
Historical contexts 150
Androgynous contexts 150
Interview: Cozette McCreery 152
Designer case study: Pa Byrne 158
Designer case study: Ella Nisbett 162
Designer case study: Ben McKernan 165
Designer case study: Latasha
Hammond 169
Designer case study: Matilda Draper 171
Designer case study: Kendall Baker 174
Designer case study: Carlo Volpi 177
Block patterns for menswear 179
Pattern construction for easy fitting
dropped shoulder block with V-neck
shape 181
Knitting pattern for easy fitting dropped
shoulder block with sleeves 183
Pattern construction for sleeve
development 184
Conclusion 186
Glossary 187
Index 192
Acknowledgements and picture
credits 195

The machine-knitting industry dates back to the early sixteenth century, but it could not be more exciting and alive than it is today. Knitting provides endless creative outcomes, enabling an independent and experimental approach to design. Modern developments in technology and manufacturing, coupled with contemporary treatments and spinning technology are constantly reviving the knitwear industry. Knitwear can be found at all levels of the fashion market, from the industrial mass production of hosiery, underwear and sportswear to the use of its sculptural qualities in high fashion and accessories, such as bags, shoes and jewellery. The medium also provides an astounding range of possibilities for art, interior design and architecture.

Knitwear: An Introduction to Contemporary Design, second edition begins with a brief history of knitting and knitwear design, with an introduction to yarns, fibres, machinery and tools. The book then leads you through the essential stages of creative design development,

Introduction offering a range of exercises to hone your practical skills: how to knit a tension swatch, basic techniques on domestic machines and how to create knitting patterns. It looks at the differences between two- and three-dimensional design, exploring the textural and sculptural qualities of knit. The important considerations of the finer details, trims, embellishment and fastenings are explored before the final chapter, which examines the exciting possibilities in knitwear for men. This new addition takes a different approach to the previous chapters by showcasing exemplary international practitioners in menswear, in order to demonstrate how the knitting techniques that have been explored throughout the book can be applied in contemporary knitwear design.

Menswear design is an emerging area within the fashion industry, designers are pushing more boundaries than ever before. Students are playing with unique themes, concepts and influences, leading to valuable sources of research for innovative design outcomes, thus giving men the freedom to explore more adventurous colour combinations, flamboyant textures and exciting developments in garment scale.

Interviews with fashion/knitwear designers and knitted textile specialists serve to illustrate the different ways you can work with knitted textiles, offering inspiration and insight into the range of careers within the knitwear industry.

I hope that this book will provide you with the fundamental skills, knowledge and inspiration to design and create your own innovative knitted textiles.

Approach to knit
In order to take a fresh look at knitting, and at ideas that are normally taken for granted, we should first understand historically how these techniques came about and consider the classic, timeless designs as significant and creative starting points for further design development. Hand-knitting skills and patterns have long been passed from generation to generation, allowing a greater understanding and acknowledgement of knitting as an intellectual, artistic tradition. A growing number of new and exciting designers are graduating each year from fashion and textile courses, and by comparing their designs with the work from the early knitters, a story starts to emerge.

This chapter offers an introduction to knit and knitwear design, comparing traditional knitting techniques with their modern reinventions. It looks at the characteristics and behaviour of different yarns and fibres, from the traditional to the contemporary, such as metallic, steel and plastic. It offers an overview of knitting machines and tools and the different aspects of work that can be produced. Finally, it looks at how developments in design and technology are radically reinventing this traditional craft.

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