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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
OFF FARM 17 London-based fashion design and bespoke manufacturing company Knyttan is revolutionising the way apparel is made, one stitch at a time. Knyttan offers consumers the chance to customise the design of a 100 per cent Merino classic crew-neck jumper or scarf via a web app, and have the item produced to order at the company’s factory and shop in London. Using a standard industrial knitting machine, the key to the customisation lies in the software. Using Italian-spun yarn from the finest Australian Merino wool, Knyttan aims to bring production back to central London by removing the layers between customers, designers and manufacturing – giving everyone more choice for quality clothing. By using templates for each garment, the customer ultimately gets individual stitch control whilst ensuring the expertise of Knyttan’s fashion team is hard-coded into every garment, ensuring the highest level of quality and fit is achieved. Customers become the designer, and can choose from a perfect-fitting jumper, classic scarf or a must-have blanket scarf. Every item has your name in the label and an individual number that dates from Knyttan’s first ever garment, making your choice unique. “Knyttan is a young company changing how the fashion industry works,” explains Knyttan creative director Ben Alun-Jones. “We’ve modified the way manufacturing happens and now what we’re trying to do is change the way how people design their clothes as well. “We started Knyttan to remove the layers between designers and customers – and by doing so, give everyone a better choice.” Working alongside AWI’s London office, Knyttan recently held a competition for UK fashion design students during London Fashion Week to design a pattern to then be knitted onto a jumper. Using the Spring/ Summer 2016 edition of AWI’s The Wool Lab as a source of inspiration, students took the seasonal themes as a guide and came up with an original design. Three lucky winners were chosen to not only see their design turned into reality, but the jumpers then went on sale in Knyttan’s London store. "With knyttanOS, we can take a designer’s sketch and turn that directly into the code to control our factory in minutes. This means you can go from a sketch to wearing a jumper with your design in a couple of hours,” Mr Alun Jones said. Mr Alun-Jones was also a guest speaker at AWI’s ‘Naturally Inspiring’ seminar for students in London earlier this year, helping educate the next generation about the exciting and innovative opportunities within the wool industry. MORE INFORMATION www.knyttan.com • London-based company Knyttan enables customers to easily design their own 100 per cent Merino jumper or scarf – and have the product made by the company within just a matter of hours! • With support from AWI, Knyttan recently gave UK fashion students a chance to create their own design for a Knyttan jumper, with the winners’ designs made and sold at Knyttan’s shop during London Fashion Week. Three UK fashion students have won an AWI-supported jumper design competition. Pictured left to right are: AWI’s business development coordinator in the UK, Marta Amat; Knyttan co-founder and creative director, Ben Alun-Jones; fashion student at Kingston University, Nathalie McCubbin (winner of the People’s Choice award), fashion student at the University of Brighton, Martina Simeonova (winner of the Knyttan Prize); fashion student at the Arts University Bournemouth, Holly Halkes (winner of the Industry Prize); and Knyttan co-founder, Kirsty Emery. The three winning jumpers, made from 100 per cent Merino wool, are displayed on the wall behind. KNYTTAN PUTS CUSTOMERS IN CHARGE