A new approach will develop knitwear design
Through a series of design experiments, Karin Landahl, at the Swedish School of Textiles at the University of Borås, has been conducting research into how new ways of thinking about form can be used in knitwear design. The starting point of her research is the idea that knitting and crocheting involve a different design process compared to cutting and stitching together garments from ready-made fabric since, in knitting, the garment is designed at the same time as the material is formed.
"Knitting is not just design using a different textile technology; it is design from a different perspective. When a knitted garment is produced, there is no material or fabric to base it on since the garment and the material are produced simultaneously in the same process. Hence, the present-day division between material and form as two separate design parameters can be challenged when it comes to the design process for knitwear.
Karin Landahl is working on basic practical experimental research in fashion design at the Swedish School of Textiles. Her research is conducted through a series of design experiments which lead to the formulation of a theory. That theory is then illustrated through the Knutar project.
"The way we think about and name garments can be restricting. We say, for example, "sweater" or "pants" and we then see a shape in front of our eyes. Or we say "bell-shaped" or "A line" and we see a silhouette image of a garment.
Karin Landahl demonstrates a new approach and new working methods for the early design process for knitwear. There may perhaps be a way of working with form and material simultaneously that could open up further development. She uses the term "invariant", which highlights the characteristic and unalterable properties of a shape. The theory that has emerged from Karin Landahl's experiments can be used in teaching and in development of knitwear technology, for example.
The Garment Knots (knitted knots) project illustrates the use and creative potential of the theory. Here, it is the mathematical knot that guides and describes the shape. Knot theory is a branch of mathematics in which mathematical knots are studied and described in three-dimensional space. By basing her work on the rules defining a knot, she has developed these garments on industrial knitting machines, made in a single piece.
Here are four prototypes in 360 degrees.