Vintage knitting - knitting fashion in history and news at Mondo Kaos
Knitting is insanely popular right now, one is tempted to say that it is popular like never before, but of course that is not entirely true. After sleeping thorn rose sleep up through the 1990s and until a few years ago, knitwear has suddenly become ‘the new variety’. Everyone knits, or buys knits. Knit is even so popular that it is featured in revues and comedy shows.
There are probably many reasons for the recovery in popularity, it is clear that the corona shutdown has helped, moreover, knit looks delicious on social platforms like instagram, and then there is nothing like a much-loved sweater on a cold day.
In Mondo Kaos we get the beautiful sweaters and cardigans home from Palava, even more beautiful knit from The House of Foxy and last but not least, our classic from Emmy Design; Ice Skater cardigan. That’s why we think it was fun to talk a little bit about knit Today. We will look at knit through the ages, and talk about fashion and designs.
Knit like fashion
It is assumed that knitting has been known for a very long time, but we start in the early 1900s when it was here that knitting for the very first time really became a fashion phenomenon.
In the 1910s, something happens. Blame it on the French designers such as Vionnet, Lanvin and in particular Chanel who in the 1910s started making couture in knitwear. It simply fit into the ideal of the body of the time and the freedom of movement, also the knitted clothes were both easy to wash and easy to work in.
What started as couture became the property of every man / woman in the 1920s, and they knitted like never before.
Home knitting gained momentum both to imitate the designers, but because the patterns became available, it also became easier to knit the new fashion. Even Vogue came out with knitting patterns for their readers.
Knit was still used as a fashion statement, as seen by, for example, the famous Schiaparelli 'bow cardigan, where the bow is a trompe-l'œil knitted in the so-called tapestry technique.
In the 1930s, knitting became a necessity. The stock market crash in 1929 meant that you had to make your own clothes to a greater extent, and that these clothes had to be functional first and foremost.
In the 1930s you see patterns such as waves and chevron which are completely in the spirit of the art deco era.
Knit in the 1940s
In the 1940s, knitting, and especially home knitting, fashion and necessity were in one. Knitting had become a matter of course, and one had the necessary skills, as well as patterns available like never before. With World War II going on and rations, they knitted both for the soldiers at the front and for their own use. In England, the brochure 'Make do and mend' was published, about making your own clothes, and recycling as much as possible, for example by unraveling old wool sweaters and knitting new ones.
In the 1940s, sweaters and cardigans were waisted and preferably with a little extra fullness at the shoulders in the style of the fashion of the time. Cardigans could often be closed high and with many buttons, and they were often inspired by knitting traditions from Norway and the English islands, such as twists, patterns and fair isle techniques.
Fair Isle or pattern knit
Until 1900, knitwear had been a necessary garment, as is known from Norway and Scotland, where special patterns and twists were created to make the knitwear extra warm and close to fishermen in the harsh climate.
On the islands of Orkney and Shetland, which lie north of Scotland and stretch all the way up halfway to Norway, the tradition of Fair Isle knitting originates.
Fair Isle are beautiful local patterns that are knitted by always having two colors of yarn, and that the yarn for the pattern is carried and wrapped around each other on the back, so that the knit becomes extra thick and more windproof.
This type of knit was a well-known specialty from the islands, and seen both as a local specialty and as a bit of a tourist thing that the women of the islands made extra money by making.
In 1925, The Prince of Wales appeared in a knitted Fair Isle jersey for a golf tournament, and then Fair Isle became fashionable.
Fair Isle is the name of the technique specifically for the islands, but up through the 30s, 40s and 50s one also caught sight of the many other types of jacquard or pattern knitting from other regions. For example, Norwegian patterns became very popular in the 1950s, but also Icelandic, Faroese and Scottish patterns became popular.
1950s knit and sweater girls
In the 1950s, knitwear became even more figure-hugging. One knitted "negative-ease", to knit less than the body size, thereby using the knit's natural stretching ability, so that the blouses ended tightly around the figure. It gave the desired focus on the 1950s fascination with the hourglass figure. Sweatergirls in tight-fitting knitwear and in twin sets (tight-fitting knit blouse with matching cardigan over) became the hottest. For teens, novelty knitwear became the perfect accessory for the poodle skirt, or whatever type of novelty you now had the flair for. You also saw knitwear with fine embroidery or pearls and sequins, which gave glamor to the knitwear.
After the war, people still knitted at home, and were enthusiastic about the wealth of new colors and qualities that hit the market in the 1950s. But in the late 1950s, when knitting had become so modern and the knitting machines refined that there was a clear difference between homemade and machine-made, the hand-knitted was looked down on as the cheap version. In fact, it went from here a bit downhill for hand knitting as a fashion, until a nostalgia revival in the 1970s which lasts well into the 1980s.
When knitting is popular again today, it is perhaps also the rediscovered luxury of having high-quality clothes, produced in an environmentally friendly way with flair for the details, design and material.
News from Palava
We just got the beautiful Palava blouses and cardigans home. They are all in 100% organic cotton and in the finest, softest cotton. Palava cares a lot about both sustainability and fair trade in relation to their production, but also in the field of design, their design is preoccupied with the nature around us. It is noticeable on the fine sweaters and embroidery how much the animals and nature mean, and for autumn seasons it is the warm colors and animals and plants that we associate with this time of year that characterize the design.
In many ways reminiscent Palavas cardigans with animal motifs us about the 1950s novelty craze, (read more about novelty here) and therefore the beautiful blouses and cardigans with motifs fit really well with both swing and pencil skirts. Put your hair up and wear a pair of sexy heels and you have a gorgeous sweater girl look.
On the other hand, the beautiful wavy striped blouses and the fine new Diana blouse with ruffles can remind us of knit models from the 1930s with an art deco touch and the ruffles with their discreet homemade Hollywood glamor.
The cardigan Ice Skater is a real Emmy classic, it is even so famous that many have tried to copy it, but with knit it is true that quality is A and O, and you also feel it when you first have your Emmy cardigan. You will love it year after year after year, and most of our customers who fall for Emmys cardigans will come back and buy them in new beautiful colors.
Emmys Ice Skater cardigan is inspired by 1940s knit designs. It is a cardigan with twists on the front which in the best vintage style gives both the cardigan structure and warmth. Try the beautiful Ice Skater with eg swing or Hepburn trousers for a wonderful 1940s look, round off the look with a beret or a turban.
Fair Isle and cardis from The House of Foxy
You should not be fooled by the hottest knit look, namely from the west The House of Foxy in the beautiful fair Isle.
It is both beautiful and practical. You can still wear all your wonderful shirts, and by pulling the fine fair isle vest over, you are both warm, and have great freedom of movement. So if you need to channel your inner 1930s fashionista, or vintage golfer, then just get your hands on this beauty now while we have it.
From The House of Foxy also comes the familiar Cable knit cardigan; the cardigan with twists, but it has been updated and has long sleeves. We get it home in 3 beautiful colors.
Last but not least comes a new cardigan in blouson style. Tight-fitting rib at the shoulders and waist, as well as recesses around the bust give the perfect hourglass look, with the mix of tight-fitting waist and looser knit around the bust. WE get it home in beautiful gray blue and rust.
What about you? Have you resumed knitting in the corona closure, do you perhaps belong to one of those who never stopped, or did the little crooked acrylic cloth you knitted in primary school make you give up knitting forever? Either way, the beautiful knit is off The House of Foxy, Palava og Emmy Design really something very special that you can probably afford to add to the vintage wardrobe this autumn / winter season. Come down to the store and let us guide you to the perfect combination for you.
Team Mondo Kaos