A short history of knitting

Woollen jumpers, dresses, blankets and stuffed toys are still as popular now as they are everywhere. There is always the need for a good piece of woollen weave wear, when the weather has a nip in the air. Traditional knitting is a joy to get at Christmas, espscailly if it’s a specialty like a personalised item or Knitting Kits like those from https://www.woolcouturecompany.com/collections/knitting-kits. Where does knitting come from?

Image credit

As far as we can see the evidence points to knitting being one of the first skills that human beings learnt to do along with hunting, foraging and making fire. We have very little evidence of the clothes that they wore, these have long since decayed and been absorbed by the earth. However we have found examples of bone needles. These have been whittled down from animal remains and sharpened to points. It is believed that humans first wore pelts and furs of the animals they hunted but this was slowly dropped over time. The released that the pelts of sheep were much easier to get hold of and the sheep was more docile and easier to coral than the deer or mammoths. What we do know for definite is the first ever evidence comes for ancient Egypt and Eastern Syria via some surviving fabrics. This goes back to 500 BC but there is evidence of early use.

Image credit

Further evidence of knitting comes with further archaeological findings of knitting needles. It soon became clear to the scholars of the age that there was increased evidence of dyes being created to colour the wool that was being woven. Needles became full and longer. They also change in size to indicate that sewers were able to create intricate patterns and designs in what they could make.

The real explosion in knitting in Britain began in the sixteenth century. The invention of the purl stitch, i.e. knit one, purl one, led to increased use by all would be sewers. It’s a relatively  simple way to sew and makes it easier for people to take it up. Wool was a mainstay import of the British economy at the time and suddenly the demand for it in the UK was set to rival supply of the stuff being imported to Holland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.