Here at Mixter Maxter Knitwear until now we have created our collections solely using Scottish Lambswool. This year we have been given the opportunity to collaborate with Hawick Knitwear through Scotland Re:Designed. This has enabled us to benefit from the Hawick Cashmere heritage and experience to progress our designs in a new direction.
Cashmere is one of the finest and most luxurious natural fibres in the world, well known for it’s softness, warmth & radiant qualities. The fibres are taken from Mongolian Cashmere goats. In this region, the extreme temperatures enable the goats to grow incredibly soft under-fleece.
Combine this raw material, with the skill of Hawick Cashmere, a company which has honed its skills from 1874. Hawick have been designing and creating the highest quality of Cashmere products, using skilled craftsmen and craftswomen with decades of experience. The Knitwear is made extra soft by washing with the purest Scottish Water from a burn running nearby leaving the end product with a naturally soft, warm finish which if well looked after will care for you throughout a lifetime of winters.
Inspiration for many of our collections is taken from our surroundings here on Orkney and our research for our Cashmere collection was no different. However this time we focused on textures. In particular those found on our coastal areas, sea charts, travel and within the ever changeable sea. From this initial research we explored these textures in a variety of media through drawings & paintings.
Working with this delicate material posses it’s own challenges due to the fine nature of the yarn. However it is also this quality which helps give the finished product such a soft handle. Delving into Hawick’s archive we gathered pieces whose textures we were keen to discuss with Nick (the technical expert at Hawick) and soon we were able to understand many of the possibilities and limitations of this luxurious material. Developing on-site with Nick we were able to use some traditional knit stitches and designs with our own innovative style. Returning to the studio all that was left was to finish picking our colour palettes, finalise design placement and wait patiently for our samples to arrive. We look forward to sharing them with you in our next blog post.