The Power of Fashion: The Influence of Knitting Design on the Development of Knitting Technology

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It is recognized that technology, with its possibilities, affects industrial design. Likewise, it is believed that design has a reversible impact on technology. This study looks for clear examples of design’s influence on the development of knitting technology. The parallel development of design and technology is traced back to the emergence of the knitting frame in 1589. The brocade influences from the seventeenth century, which influenced the development of knitting techniques, are apparent, as well as the effect of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century market demands for lace, which strongly encouraged the development of devices for knitted lace production. The short-lived fashion trend of vertically striped socks has left far-reaching consequences in the construction of wider knitting frames and the new method of knitwear production. In the first half of the nineteenth century, changes in fashion almost destroyed the knitting industry. From the beginning of the twentieth century, the debut of knitted pullovers for sport encouraged the development of innovative flat knitting machines. It was through these machines that the biggest potential for the production of different designs came through and the fashion industry encourages it—until the 1980s. Up until this time, the world of fashion has been surprisingly showing very little interest.

Keywords: fashion influence; knitting; knitting technology; knitwear design

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Textile brings together research in textile studies in an innovative and distinctive academic forum for all those who share a multifaceted view of textiles within an expanded field. Peer-reviewed and in full-color throughout, it represents a dynamic and wide-ranging set of critical practices. It provides a platform for points of departure between art and craft; gender and identity; cloth, body and architecture; labor and technology; techno-design and practice— all situated within the broader contexts of material and visual culture.
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