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Shaw, A., 2012.


Output Type:Presentation
Venue:York St. John University
Dates:28th-29th june 2012

This research looks at the contemporary relevance of knitting in the traditional fishing communities in Britain; along the route of the herring fishery from Shetland > Fife > North Yorkshire & Norfolk.
It examines how narratives, craftsmanship and emotional connections towards clothes in small communities can shift attitudes linked to the urbanised consumption of fashion.
In a globalised manufacturing and consuming environment the production and significance of garments within localised communities can inform current and future approaches towards the clothes we design, make and wear.

This concept is sometimes described as ‘Glocalism”.

This is linked to complex notions of sustainability and consumption. If we buy and wear less, but more meaningful clothes and link this to efficient and novel utilisation of manufacturing technology, a change in the mass production of fashion can be made.
The semiotic patternation present in these garments contains early signifiers of branding and wearer identity. This can reveal new possibilities for mass customisation, participatory design and pro-sumerism.

Links between these isolated communities through fishing evidences how networks and connections can contribute to the spread of ideas relating the wearing and making of clothes. This can be mapped and parallels made with contemporary tendencies.

Traditional knitwear is vernacular and the temptation is to focus on heritage and nostalgia.
The Moray Firth Gansey Project and the research conducted into anthropological aspects of fishing communities by Dr. Stephen Friend at York St. John University form the basis of a national repository, which attracts a global audience of specialised interest.
Contributions have been made to events linked to these organisations. They focus on future design possibilities, links with new technology and an acknowledgement of the importance of an emotional approach towards design, a stance, which is celebratory, forward-looking and not nostalgic.