It is not only graduates who show creativity, innovation and an exciting promise of things to come at this time of year. And neither do these emerging designers come from just the large front-running universities with specialised knit departments.
Kimberley Evans is a second year student on the BA (Hons) Textile Design course at Hereford College of Arts. She is an experimental materials artist who just this year, discovered domestic knitting machines.
With a fun, yet astute eye and application of colour and material, there is a literal playfulness with Kimberley’s textiles. Movement and interaction are encouraged to explore the natural behaviour of her materials choices, and to consider application. Kimberley talked to us about her second year project, Kinetic Knit.
‘My project focuses on a 3D approach to knitted textile design. I wanted to explore and create contrasts between yarn, colour and unconventional materials. Taking inspiration from my own photographic studies of light, and the material research of textile designer Yue Wei, the collection brings an exciting and unusual energy to knitted structures. The futuristic colour palette consists of fluorescent orange and yellow which pop against the darker undertones of grey, creating a high contrast. When the light catches the fluro plastic, its edges appear to glow and light-up as the knit shifts in your hands.’
‘In a relaxed state, the fabric transforms into a tactile sculpture as layers of ripple structure meet the hard plastic edges. Using thick monofilament, I was able to control and manipulate the distortion in the opposing acrylic and lambswool yarns, creating the curves and bends seen within the samples. The resulting fabrics are hard, yet soft, solid yet fluid.’
Kimberley gained work experience at British fine hand-crafted knitwear mill John Smedley earlier this year, learning about their knitting techniques and taking part in design development.
Physical and personal interaction with textiles is key to explore and engage with material behaviour, purpose, and to inspire use. As a designer, Kimberley celebrates this in not only her design approach, but also the presentation of her findings and pieces. We are really looking forward to following Kimberley’s development as a knitted textiles creative.