what is unravelling

“The magic of cloth, I
came to believe, is that
it receives us: receives
our smells, our sweat,
our shape even.” (1)

This blog serves to record stories about the storytelling within knitted garments and objects. By unravelling the jumper we can understand how love is used in the tactile form of knit to not only pass on a useful garment, but stories and memories and real and sincere forms of love. 

The purpose is to highlight the power of knit in retaining memory and nostalgia in a single object, overpowering the need in contemporary fashion to replace garments as quickly as the trends are thought up. Everyone has at least one thing in their wardrobe they will never throw away, and unravelling wants to collate, share and understand those stories.

The above image is of myself and my best friend, having bought matching American Apparel jumpers for £3.50 each in their closing down sale. I continue to wear this jumper and think of her when we are no longer living in such close proximity. For me, it is not just hand-knitted garments that contain special memories or an emotion.

The important distinction to make is that this blog is not only interested in hand-knitted garments, but also mass-manufactured knitted garments that receive the same amount of importance in our wardrobes. In many ways, the simple fact that it was knitted means that it is able to retain memories, due to the fact knitted garments and objects are far less likely to be washed. It is rare for a jumper to be washed, and when it is, it is with great trepidation and a careful hand wash. Unless it was mistakenly placed in the washing machine and it shrunk! 

It is fascinating how we use knitting to communication emotions such as love, loss, and familial bonds within objects. unravelling serves as a way to collect important primary research for an MA dissertation, so your stories about your jumpers, gloves, hats and cardigans is crucial to aiding the research.

Any and all stories about; shrinking, unravelling, passing down / to, and of the not washing variety, are welcome. Please visit the Submit page to find more information on sending your unravelling story.

1. STALLYBRASS, P., 2012. Worn worlds: clothes, mourning and the life of things. In: J. HEMMINGS, ed. The textile reader. London: Berg Publishing. pp. 68-77. p. 69.


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