“Put your hand up if you’re wearing something knitted!” 

Figures 1 and 2. Elinor at a Homemade knitting machine workshop for children. Image: Elnaz Yazdani 

Are you wearing something knitted today? Given the broad array of knitted fabrics on the market and the recent lockdown trend for comfort dressing, we’d say it’s very likely – but did you know your clothes were knitted? We have been involved with either teaching about or creating knitting on knitting machines for over 15 years and we often forget that once upon a time we didn’t know that so much of our clothing was knitted.

“Put your hand up if you’re wearing something knitted!” 

Wrapped up in a fairy tale: Jessie M. King and the production of wearable designs

Although Scottish artist, designer and teacher Jessie M. King (1875-1949) is probably most celebrated for her delicate and often whimsical illustrative work, this short article will focus on her clothing designs and dissemination of knowledge via her how-to-publication How Cinderella went to the Ball (1924).  

Wrapped up in a fairy tale: Jessie M. King and the production of wearable designs

Spotlight: Xenobia Bailey’s Aesthetic of Funk

Xenobia Bailey’s career is as eclectic and colourful as the spiral crochet patterns that form a key part of her aesthetic. Having studied ethnomusicology at the University of Washington and Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute, she went on to work as a costume designer for Black Arts West and learnt to crochet at the Greenpoint Cultural society in Brooklyn. Her crochet hats infiltrated pop culture in the 1980s, appearing everywhere from United Colors of Beneton advertisements, and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, to Elle magazine. 

Spotlight: Xenobia Bailey’s Aesthetic of Funk