Hand Knitting

Hand Knitting Manufacture

The Earliest forms of Knitting have been found dating back to the 3rd- 5th Centuries. This was a pair of socks created by intricate patterns of knots, and can often be mistaken for modern day knitting or Crocheting. The Earliest known examples of Knitting as we know it in its modern day form were found in Egypt and date back to between the 11thand 14th Centuries. It is thought this was one of the first examples of knitting using yarn and two sticks as preliminary ‘needles.’

Up until the mid 16th Century all the knitting produced was made purely of the Stockinette stitch. It was around this time that the Purl stitch was invented and the pieces began to look more like we would associate as Knit fabrics. Cotton and Silk were the most popular materials to use for knitting at this time as they were the easiest to come by. The use of Wool didn’t really become popular until knitting arrived in Europe as Wool was more readily available here. With the introduction of the knitting machine in 1589 and the Industrial revolution, Hand knitting became almost obsolete. It was primarily a hobby for most people as only one-off garments could be produced.

Hand knitting increased in popularity again around the time of the Second World War. The make do and Mend campaign urged women to unravel old knitted garments and use the yarn to knit socks and other items for the troops out fighting in the War. Today, Hand knitting is still mainly used as a hobby as machine knitting is much faster, there are less mistakes and finer gauge knits can be produced.

Properties of Hand Knitting

  • Versatile
  • Stretchy
  • Dense
  • Thick
  • Warm to Wear
  • Curls up at the edges
  • Patterns can be created
  • Many different properties can be achieved by using different types and thicknesses of yarn
  • Available in different colours
  • Can be knitted into the shape of the garments to minimise cutting
  • Individual and unique
  • Time consuming

End Uses of Hand Knitting

  • Jumpers
  • Hosiery
  • Underwear
  • Baby clothes
  • Scarves
  • Blankets
  • Gloves
  • Hats


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Kelly Mitchell

Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary


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