Knitting and fashion
We will probably never find out the exact date when knitting was invented. We can only guess what has inspired the ancient man to take two thin rods in his hands (it might have been the prototype of a modern hook?) and make the first loop in the history of knitting.
Unfortunately, the ancient knitted samples have not survived up to nowadays. We only inherited the images, which testify that knitting is one of the most ancient kinds of art and that it has appeared approximately in III-IV centuries AD.
Initially, knitted clothes were highly appreciated and were inaccessible to mere mortals. Today it is hard to believe that, for example, in the early Middle Ages only kings could afford wearing knitted stockings.
The blossom of knitting as craft falls at XVI-th century when it has widely distributed in Europe and has even turned to a profitable business. And when in 1589 the knitting machine tool has been invented and the mass manufacturing of jersey and products from it began, the knitted clothes became accessible to everyone. Fortunately, till now neither of machines was able to repeat a cloth, which is skillfully knitted by the hands of a master, and consequently the handmade products, are not only appreciated much above, than the factory-made, but are also deservedly raised in a rank of works of art.
In the 60s of the XX century knitting came to haute couture. Due to efforts of Ottavio and Rozita Missoni, who had created the first in history collection of knitted clothes «Haute Couture», knitting came onto podium for the first time. This event was marked by tremendous success and since then many famous fashion houses prefer jersey, as an incredibly practical, universal and noble material.
Today knitting as a kind of needlework continues to develop: new materials actively take root (are actively introduced), patterns are developed, all the possible accessories are made of jersey – even footwear for quite some time now. The knitted clothes have always been and still remain in fashion, striking our imagination by freedom of forms, colours and style. But it's not all yet. It's amazing how for the last couple of years knitting has turned to fashionable hobby from traditional needlework, and now everyone should be able to knit, independently of age and social status.
Even attractive Movie stars have discovered this beautiful and useful pastime for themselves. The heroine of “Kill-Bill” – Uma Turman – can be an example: a mother of two children knits woollen socks to her younger son in parallel with the actor's career. And she does it not for the sake of money, but because knitting calms down and improves concentration. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones seems to have the same opinion. The eyewitnesses approve that she used each free minute in breaks between shootings of film «The Legend about Zorro» to knit cosy ponchos for family and friends. Why not an example to follow, my dear needlewomen!
At last, some words about modern tendencies in fashion. Sweater and cardigans from rough yarn, which are negligent and easily suit the city style, are fashionable in present season. Volumetric, practically XL size, they are combined with flowing skirts and tight jeans.
Capes and poncho, which raised dust in a grandmother's chest, can now by the right take their place in your case, and in combination with fashionable brooches and pins they are simply obliged to appear in wardrobes of the most impudent women of fashion. One obligatory condition: the knitted thing should be handmade, in fact only this way it can be "exclusive".
Alexandra Haritonchik, 2005
Illustrations: Pako Rabani fashion parade, boots from Kristian Dior .