What was once thought to be a symbol of grandmotherhood has quickly become a statement of youth culture – knitting and crocheting is becoming increasingly popular with young people of all genders. Sublime takes a look at five innovators who are breaking sexist and ageist stereotypes and changing the game with their unique works.
This UK-based, slow-fashion brand has revolutionised crocheting with eye-catching pieces straight out of the ‘70s. Founder Lizzie Morgan’s love for crochet started as a result of thrifting at charity shops when she was younger. She felt inspired to teach herself the craft by watching tutorials on YouTube, and her love for it morphed into a business.
Today, each Gimme Kaya item is designed, handmade, packaged, and posted by Morgan herself, guaranteeing high-quality pieces with a groovy, festival aesthetic that provide customers with a colourful wardrobe year-round.
Designer and fibre artist Julia Ramsey is making a name for herself in the knitwear fashion world with her bold pieces. Creating custom, hand-knitted dresses, Ramsey uses heirloom materials like vintage ribbon and silk embroidery thread in her Knitted Bridal Collection. The dresses are constructed with intricate designs, giving the pieces a stunning and intimate feel.
Ramsey is passionate about promoting and supporting small-scale, locally-based organic farms and fibre products, and her Pelt Collection uses minimally-processed fibres. She describes each piece from this collection as a ‘second skin’ – a source of comfort, a temporary shelter, and a reminder of an animal’s gift.
‘Brunatically’ combines the word ‘practically’ with its founder’s name, Bruna Biavati. It’s a fitting name for a brand that focuses on inspiring and teaching people how to crochet their own clothes through beginner-level video tutorials on YouTube.
Biavati’s crochet skills were passed down to her from her mum and aunt, and this is one of the reasons why she focuses on teaching as many people as possible. ‘I know that a lot of people don’t have someone like I did. I will be their grandmas when they need crochet inspiration, a tap on the back for their hard work or even for advice,’ she says.
A core element of Biavati’s work is a replica of designer knitwear, including the renowned JW Andersen sweater or the gloves worn by Harry Styles in the Golden music video – she proves that even beginners can make clothes fit for a designer label.
BLACK GIRLS KNIT CLUB
Black Girls Knit Club was launched in 2019 to provide a safe space for Black women and women of colour in the craft community. The club was inspired by the hashtags #BlackGirlsDoKnit and #DiversKnitty, both calling for diversity and raising awareness of the lack of people of colour in the knitting and crochet communities. Founders Sicgmone Kludje and Vea Koranteng are committed to creating an inclusive environment where Black women and other women of colour can inspire and encourage each other to hand-knit their own clothes and accessories.
The club hosts monthly workshops and talks for members where they collaborate with other small businesses to enhance their knitting skills. They have also launched a line of upcycled West African textile yarn, handmade by the team from three yards of fabric sourced directly from Ghana.
HALZ AND KRAFTS
Based in the UK, Halz and Krafts is fresh on the scene of crochet-wear with a range of women’s clothing and accessories, from sweater vests and festival tops to bucket hats and headbands.
Halz and Krafts encourages people to buy small by making custom items with unique input from patrons. Each item of clothing is designed and hand-crafted in house, each colour carefully chosen to capture the feeling of summer no matter the weather.
About the writer:
Halima Mohammed is an intern at #SublimeHub, an educational programme training the new generation of journalists to advance social and environmental sustainability through media activism.