Reknit revolution: knitwear design for the domestic circular economy

Twigger Holroyd, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-3403-3516, 2018. Reknit revolution: knitwear design for the domestic circular economy. Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice, 6 (1), pp. 89-111. ISSN 2051-1787

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An ongoing initiative seeks to encourage hand knitters to expand their practices to encompass reknitting: the reworking of existing knitted items using knit-based skills, techniques and knowledge. Reknitting offers potential benefits in terms of promoting repair and re-use by individual users within the domestic sphere, thereby contributing to the "domestic circular economy". Although reknitting was a common element of hand knitting practice in the past, the knowledge of how to open, alter, unravel and reknit has largely been lost. This gap in practice presents a fertile challenge for contemporary knitted textile design.

A first phase of activity saw the initial development and testing of reknitting techniques suitable for the garments in our wardrobes today. This project demonstrated that it is possible to engage knitters with reknitting, but that support is needed to overcome barriers to participation and shift perceptions of what is both possible and desirable. Three interconnected elements of support are discussed: inspiration, information and confirmation.

A second phase of activity, centered around an exhibition in a public gallery, aimed to communicate the techniques to a wider knitting community. Exhibits included physical garments, a large-scale infographic and a film; adaptable instructions were developed and published on a companion website. Through analysis of these exhibits and instructions, categories within each of the three elements of support were identified to create a more detailed taxonomy of support for domestic reknitting practice.

Reflection on the progress of this initiative indicates the direction for future activity: raising broader awareness of reknitting, primarily via online channels, and structuring opportunities for participation to build a mutually supportive community of practice. It is anticipated that the taxonomy of support could be applied to other initiatives seeking to promote domestic circular economy activity.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice
Creators: Twigger Holroyd, A.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date: 2018
Volume: 6
Number: 1
ISSN: 2051-1787
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 May 2018 10:23
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:19

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