Knitting is an ancient art that has evolved and transformed from a craft to make household items to a post Industrial Revolution industry focused on fashion and eventually – the designer sweater. It all can be traced back thousands of year, but the actual place and date are a bit of a mystery. Some say 400’s in Egypt some say 700’s elsewhere, but the hard evidence is from the 13th century where artifacts were found in tombs of royal monastery in Europe and especially Spain. More and more knitted fabrics for everyday use began to appear in archeological finds dating items to the 14th century. Then came stockings for women in the 16th century made from wool and even silk for royalty like Queen Elizabeth I. The 17th and 18th centuries were flooded with knitting in the Scottish Isles where the Fair Isle technique of creating patterns with multiple colors began and they went wild with sweaters, socks, hats and more.
Then came the Industrial Revolution when wool spinning and cloth manufacture increasingly shifted to factories and large-scale machinery. Women worked diligently to produce all kinds of knitted items and the idea of knitwear as sportswear was born. British royalty and the Paris designers brought knits to fashion status with The Prince of Wales began wearing Fair Isle sweaters to golf in and Elsa Schiaparelli, Patou and Chanel mass producing sweaters. By 1933, Pringle of Scotland was making fashionable sweaters of cashmere, and they introduced the twin set shortly thereafter. Designer sweaters have changed and evolved over the past 75 years – going through trends varying from simplicity to elaborate decoration, bold colors, mega patterns and everywhere in between.
Today some of our favorite sweater designers include Vince, Eileen Fischer, and of course Krimson Klover.
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