Close cooperation between educational institutions and industry is vital: they can inspire young students to new ideas, offer them future opportunities and awaken new passions. With this in mind, the Knit Couture upcycling project was initiated between Stoll – part of the Karl Mayer Group, Obertshausen/Germany – and the Texoversum Faculty of Textiles at Reutlingen University, Reutlingen/Germany, as part of the 3rd semester for fashion design. Here, fashion design students are breathing new life into historic Stoll knitting patterns.
Stoll is an industry leader in flat knitting machine technology and has a wide range of knitted swatches, as well as in-shape and seamless knitted garment products that make the possibilities afforded by flat knitting technology tactile. Regular trend collections constantly symbolize new technological possibilities.
As part of their fashion design studies, the students at the Texoversum focus on future issues facing the fashion industry, such as sustainability and digitalization. The joint Knit Couture project also primarily focused on the topic of sustainability. A total of 13 students were asked to draw inspiration from historical knitting patterns donated by Stoll and to create new looks that brought old materials into a modern context, thereby giving them a new value. Mood boards, color and collection concepts were developed, and subsequently extended into a compilation of at least 10 different looks. The final piece included 4 outfits with 2 real-life models and 2 digital 3D simulations.
Lisa Bassot, for example, wants to appeal to a young target audience with her “Old is the new new” collection, featuring a modern design language. She is focusing on youngsters who want to get to grips with the production, personalization and possible combinations of their clothes. Bassot wants to encourage people to wear clothes for several years and to value their wardrobe.
Other collections reflect how modern upcycling can look through street-style-inspired outfits, and also used excess yarn to develop new knitting patterns on the university’s own Stoll warp knitting machine. Further collections focused on nature or referred to current social issues.