Whether we’re in the middle of an ice cold winter or we’re halfway through what started as a warm summer’s day that is now a much cooler night, there is one style item we will always need. It comes in different weights and styles and even colours; the fabric is unisex and the options are actually quite endless.
Today we will briefly be discussing…
Knitwear in terms of a fabric is a textile that results from the technique of knitting. Its properties are different from woven fabric, prominently in flexibility and the ability to be constructed into smaller pieces, making it ideal for socks and hats.
In fashion history, Coco Chanel was one of the first designers in fashion to make use of jersey in 1916. Her Chanel suits were revolutionary for woman’s fashion. Shortly afterwards, Jean Patou’s cubist-inspired, colour-blocked knits became the sportswear of choice.
During the 1940s sex symbols like Lana Turner and Jane Russell became iconic for wearing body-skimming knit sweaters. The swinging 1960s were famously swarmed in Missoni and their use of colourful zigzag knitwear. It was also the era where Sonia Rykiel was dubbed the “Queen of Knitwear” for her lively striped sweaters, clingy dresses, and Kennedy-inspired preppy sweaters.
Since then designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg have made their mark in knitwear.
There are two major varieties of knit fabric: weft-knit and warp-knit fabrics.
- Warp-knitted fabrics such as tricot are resistant to unraveling, and are commonly used in lingerie.
- Weft-knit fabrics are easier to make and more common. When cut, they will unravel unless repaired.
Raschel lace—the most common type of machine made lace—is a warp knit fabric.
Reliant on the yarn and knitting pattern, knitwear can stretch as much as 500%. Knitwear is assumed to have been established for pieces that require elasticity or stretch in response to the wearer’s gestures, such as socks and hosiery. A benefit of knitwear is that it is often more form-fitting than woven garments, since their elasticity allows them to contour to the body’s outline more closely.
The top and most recognizable knits that we use today include:
All these knits have been around since the establishment of knitwear. While they are seen here in very basic forms, there are many great innovative designers who are changing the use of knitwear.
According to Vogue, here is a list of 8 new knitwear designers to take note of.
- Ryan Roche
2. Kim Haller
3. & Daughter (Buffy Reid)
4. Leutton Postle
5. Queene and Belle (Angela Bell)
6. ESK (Lorraine Acornley and Stuart Maxwell)
7. Degen (Lindsay Degen)
8. Coohem (Ken OE)
I think knitwear will always be a wardrobe essential, regardless of the season or even the occasion there will always be a need. Fashion is constantly evolving and it is great to see that this age old form of creating clothing is evolving with it.
Share your thoughts and comments below.
Thanks VB xx
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