The story behind the sweater

The story behind the sweater

By Jessica Schuhle-Lewis

The story behind the sweater

The stories behind our clothes can be incredibly powerful: one only has to look at #WhoMadeMyClothes, the online campaign from Fashion Revolution, and the digital storytelling platform Stories Behind Things to understand the draw this has for individuals globally. In light of this, I’d love to tell you more about the story behind the Love design, from inspiration to creation. 

Inspiration

I’ve always loved doing slogan designs, but was looking for something a little more graphics-based when I was searching for inspiration for the Love design. Something that would elevate the slogan, and make it stand out. I came up with the design after seeing an image of a Russian propaganda poster on Pinterest, with an announcement like font placement. For a while, I debated as to what the slogan would be. I initially wanted to push the boundaries a little and considered “Revolte” as the slogan, but in the end “Love” prevailed, as it created a nice juxtaposition between the graphic nature of the design, and the warmth of the message. 

Design Intricacies

I spend a lot of time thinking about and deliberating over every single detail of the design, and go over the exact placements of the slogan countless times. For the knitted design it took the factory a few attempts to perfect my hand drawn design. With the first sample (see first image below) I felt the balance between the slogan and the diagonal stripes either side were off, and so asked the factory to thicken the slogan font to restore balance, and add impact to the slogan. By the third sample (see third image below), the slogan placement was perfect. 

The sweater posed some challenges for the factory. The most challenging aspect of the design for the factory was arguably the hand knitting of the diagonal stripes above and below the slogan. Because of the nature of the knitting process requires designs to be created on a grid format, the stripes have to be knitted as little steps, but the appearance of the stripes needs to be smooth. This means that producing a diagonal line that looks smooth as opposed to jagged is quite the feat, and takes real skill and attention to perfect. It also needs to have a tautness to the knit to stop small holes appearing at then join of the lines. Luckily, the factory we work with have years of experience at perfecting their craft, and are always up to meet the challenge!

Here's some images of the evolution of the design.

 

 

Production

Like all of our knitted pieces, the Love sweaters and cushion covers are produced in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal by a small, family-run and ethical factory using a cashmere and fine wool blend. Around 4-5 knitters and finishers will be involved in the making each piece, from the weaving of the design through to the finishing touches.

Our tees are produced using GOTS Certified organic cotton in a Fair Wear Foundation Certified factory. The designs are then printed onto the tees by a UK company who take sustainability and their environmentally impact very seriously.

Since its launch in 2018, the Love has been featured in countless magazines, been seen on a number of high profile, stylish women, and been loved by our amazing customers. It is a staple of the brand and forms part of our core collection of pieces, which we continue to make year after year. Look out for a reissue of the classic black, dark grey, and light grey versions later in the year. 

I really hope that you enjoyed finding out more about the design process behind this classic piece. 

Jess x