Knitting

Found throughout the Museum

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With knitted objects dating from the 12th century to the present day, our collection represents centuries of inventiveness. From underwear to outerwear, workwear to evening dress, made by hand or machine, professional or amateur, explore the rich diversity of items created using this technique.

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Representing knitting traditions from around the world, the collection includes objects for everyday wear, such as 16th-century knitted caps or 19th-century baby clothes as well as exquisite examples of craftsmanship such as an 18th-century knitted carpet and a petticoat. Functional knitted items sit alongside pieces prized for their inventiveness, such as the bold hand-knitted 1980s designs by Patricia Roberts, SIBLING’s playful take on traditional knitwear and stunning eveningwear by Julien Macdonald and Craig Lawrence.

Collection Highlights

pair of gloves
Peter, pair of gloves, designed by Freddie Robins, 1997 – 9, UK
evening dress
Evening dress, designed by Craig Lawrence, 2010, London, England
shawl
Shawl, by Amy Johnston, 1935, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland islands
evening coat and hat
Evening coat, designed by Biba, 1970, London, England
cardigan
Romany, cardigan, by Patricia Roberts, 1982, England
golf jumper
Golf jumper, 1920s, Shetland Islands
knitting sheath
Knitting sheath, 1679, England
knitting needle case and knitting needles
The Sunflower Knitting Needle Case, knitting needle case and knitting needles, manufactured by Bassat Powell, 1870 – 90, London, England
waistcoat
Rag rug waistcoat, by John Allen, 1990, London England
tracksuit
Tracksuit, designed by SIBLING, 2012, London, England
needle gauge
Bell gauge, needle gauge, manufactured by G. Chambers & Co., 1847 – 99, England

Features

Background image: Background image: Fashion in Motion: SIBLING, 2014. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London