Who says knitting isn’t current?
The French blog, Delit Mail (which means Political Stitch but sounds like our own “Daily Mail”) recreates the events of the world in the medium of knit.
In the image above, David Cameron is depicted deploying his veto at the recent EU summit, while below we see the new leader of North Korea surveying his troops:
You can see a slideshow of images at this BBC News page or visit the blog itself (there are English translations of each post).
The Guardian reports on an interesting idea. I can see men everywhere preferring this…
while many people are now confident enough to buy books and DVDs online, few shop for clothes on the internet – just 7% of all clothing sales are made online in the US, for example, compared with 61% of all books. It’s not hard to work out why: what if that dress doesn’t fit? No wonder 40% of all clothes bought online are sent back, according to a study by ibi, a research institute attached to the University of Regensburg in Bavaria.
A new German firm aims to solve this problem by allowing shoppers to upload a highly detailed set of measurements to online retailers to decide which garments are likely to fit best.
Read how it works at Wardrobe durch technik: German firm creates online changing rooms | Business | The Guardian.
The New York Times tackles a topic that seems universal: what’s one size in one shop is another size somewhere else.
In one store, you’re a Size 4, in another a Size 8, and in another a Size 10 — all without gaining an ounce.
It’s a familiar problem for many women, as standard sizing has never been very standard, ever since custom clothing gave way to ready-to-wear.
So, baffled women carry armfuls of the same garment in different sizes into the dressing room. They order several sizes of the same shirt online, just to get the right fit.
Now, a handful of companies are tackling the problem of sizes that are unreliable. Some are pushing more informative labels. Some are designing multiple versions of a garment to fit different body shapes. And one is offering full-body scans at shopping malls, telling a shopper what sizes she should try among the various brands.
Read the rest at Am I a Size 4? 8? 10? Tackling a Crazy Quilt of Sizing – NYTimes.com.
In 2009, an astonishing 168 swimming world records were smashed after the introduction of Speedo‘s full-body LZR racing suit. The sport’s governing body decided to investigate, then banned the outfits, stopping manufacturers from using materials that aided “speed, buoyancy or endurance”. As a result, swimming apparel-makers went under the radar for a while.
But it’s all change for London 2012. In a new push for competitive swimming gear, “streamlined” has become the buzzword. [...]
What the athletes might not know, however, is that their swimwear was created with the help of a cohort of British academics. Speedo’s bid to create a suit with the lowest possible level of fabric drag – the measure of how easily a material enables water to move over it – saw it sign up academics at the Sorby environmental fluid dynamics laboratory at Leeds University.
Read the whole story at The new Olympic swimsuit | Education | The Guardian.
Core77 ( a site well worth subscribing to) has a feature on rapid prototyping for fashion design:
Boston- and New-York-based Continuum Fashion is a company comprised of computational designers Mary Huang and Jenna Fizel, hard at work “creating the future of fashion and stuff.” Their N12 bikini is an early example of RP clothing, using Shapeways and an SLS machine to burn nylon into the desired configuration.
Read the full story at Continuum Fashions Rapid Prototyped Bikini – Core77.
Efforts to create self-cleaning cotton fabrics are bearing fruit in China.
Engineers have created a chemical coating that causes cotton materials to clean themselves of stains and remove odours when exposed to sunlight.
The researchers say the treatment is cheap, non-toxic and ecologically friendly.
Retail experts say the innovation could prove a hit with retailers thanks to a growing demand for “functional clothing”.
The research was carried out by engineers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Hubei University for Nationalities, and is published in the latest issue of the Applied Materials and Interfaces journal.
The study focuses on titanium dioxide – a chemical known to be an “excellent catalyst in the degradation of organic pollutants”.
The substance is already used in self-cleaning windows, odour-free socks and stay-clean kitchen and bathroom tiles.
Initial efforts to extend its use to cotton fabrics proved limiting because the substance’s self-cleaning properties could only be “excited” under ultraviolet lights, making it impractical for everyday use.
via BBC News – Self-cleaning cotton nanoparticle coating invented.
A Lancashire community has created an unusual centrepiece to a Christmas Tree Festival – a knitted tree.The 18ft 5.4m tree at Poulton-le-Flyde Methodist Church was one of 46 shown at the festival.It was knitted by church members, residents of a retirement home and a library knitting group.Church member Beryl Moran said that once Christmas was over, the tree would “be taken apart and stitched together to make blankets”.
via BBC News – Lancashire community knit Christmas tree.
An article in the Guardian gives information about an interesting project in UK schools.
Boys now make up around 50% of primary pupils involved in Craft Club, the campaign run by the Craft Council and UK Handknitting Association, which supports schools to run knitting clubs led by community volunteers. Since it was set up in April last year, there are now over 350 groups around the UK, mainly in primary schools, and many more knitting groups run independently by teachers.
Stephanie Laing, trainee teacher at Dog Kennel primary, can’t quite believe how popular her knitting club has become among the boys. A knitting enthusiast herself, Laing set up the lunchtime club three years ago and the first four members were year 6 boys. “I was surprised by the ones who signed up – not only the boys, but it was the cool kids,” she says. “I thought they weren’t going to last, but it has become the cool thing to do.”
Laing was a learning mentor when she started the club, working one-on-one with pupils who had emotional or behavioural problems. “I wanted them to be able to advance their skills, but it was also a way of opening up what I did for the whole school,” she says. “For them, coming into a quiet room with bean bags and sometimes music playing: it’s quite comforting and non-threatening.”
Boys in the knitting circle agree that the club is one of the few relaxing parts of the school day. “It’s peaceful, no shouting. It’s different to other things in school,” says 10-year-old Sam Otufale. “I usually play football – it’s mad.”
Read the full article at Boys knitting? An unlikely yarn | Education | The Guardian.
To see Jen’s slides from this morning just click this link (great talk, wasn’t it? I found myself wanting to do some of the things she talked about)
The catwalk season is in full swing. New York and London have strutted their stuff and the spotlight is now on Milan.
Hundreds of buyers and journalists have descended on the Italian fashion capital where they will be scrambling for a look at what the world’s top designers have created.
The buyers will pick the items they want for their boutiques and the press will pick their trend selections. They will also book out garments to take on shoots to coincide with the new collections hitting the shops.
But a certain sector of the fashion industry is always missing from these high-profile shows and that is the big retailers who cater for the vast majority of people who buy clothes. They are not invited but their in-house designers will be poring over the first pictures like detectives examining a crime scene.
Fashion commentator Caryn Franklin says as soon as a show takes place, the retailers are “collecting the digital photos ready to create trend boards for their own designers”.
Read the full article at BBC News – Fashion week: From the catwalk to the street.