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Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft

By Sandy Black

A must read for anyone interested in knitting history.

In this fascinating book, Sandy Black charts the development of knitting from domestic handcraft to one of the most sophisticated computer-controlled textile production processes used in fashion. With stunning new photography, Knitting draws on the V&A’s superlative collection of knitted fashions and artefacts to tell this story. Ranging from articles for everyday use to virtuoso examples of the knitter’s craft, including finely knit and embroidered silk stockings, intricate lacewear, and Victorian beaded bags, the book also includes knitted dresses from designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Julien Macdonald to inspire all those interested in this popular craft and industry.

The book includes particularly interesting nerdy technical descriptions of how the earliest surviving knitted artefacts from Egypt were made, and how we can tell. Later chapters include stunning fine gauge brocade garments from the seventeenth century and deeper investigations of knitting as an industry in Britain. Although there are brief mentions of hand knitting techniques developing differently around the world and published patterns inspired by indigenous designs I'd love to see a follow up with a more global focus. 

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