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Fashion Knitwear student creates bespoke scarf design using historic Handframe Knitting technique

Jacaranda Brain developed her diamond scarf design using the Handframe Knitting technique whilst on placement at G. H. Hurt & Son.

Jacaranda using the a Handframe Knitting machine
Jacaranda using a Handframe Knitting machine

A student on the BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles course at Nottingham Trent University has created a bespoke scarf design whilst on a placement at Nottingham lace knitwear designer and manufacturer G. H. Hurt & Son.

Jacaranda Brain, who is now embarking on her final year of study, completed both a summer placement in 2015, and created the diamond design for the aptly named Jacaranda Handframe Scarf whilst on her sandwich year placement at the prestigious Nottingham company.

She began her placement with an interest in developing Handframe Knitting skills, which she first encountered back in 2015 whilst volunteering at Ruddington Framework Knitting Museum. G. H. Hurt were more than happy to accommodate this interest, allowing Jacaranda to work on one of their original Handframe Knitting machines. The challenging technique was first developed in Nottingham in 1589 by Rev. William Lee, and forms an important part of the company's history and evolution, and of the knitting industry more broadly.

The Jacaranda Handframe Scarf
The Jacaranda Handframe Scarf

Jacaranda explained her interest in the technique: “As an artisan skill, I like the concept of the heritage and the idea of sustainability by using a Handframe to knit. It’s really important to keep the history of knitting alive. Also, being able to recreate something on a machine that is over 100 years old is pretty special!”

She continued: “I wanted to draw inspiration from Sherwood Forest, to tie in with Nottingham and local heritage. It’s a nice skill to acquire and it’s great to be able to leave with something after I go back to University.”

Gillian Taylor, Director of G. H. Hurt & Son, commented on their strong relationship to the course: “We are delighted to be working with Nottingham Trent University and have been welcoming placement students from the Fashion Knitwear Design course for over 25 years. It provides valuable work experience during their education, and works both ways, as the students bring fresh thinking and ideas to the company and help produce new and exciting designs with us.”

Gillian, who is a fourth generation family member and great granddaughter to founder George Henry Hurt, added: “Jacaranda very quickly became an asset to the company.”

Elee at the G.H.Hurt & Son factory
Elee at the G. H. Hurt & Son factory

In addition, BA (Hons) Photography 2017 graduate Elee Smith created all the product content for the Jacaranda Handframe Scarf. She photographed the scarves for use on e-commerce product pages and social media, as well as creating materials for a press release and other digital assets.

Elee began as a Content Marketing intern at G. H. Hurt on an 8-week Santander Graduate Scholarship. She has returned following the completion of an MSc in Digital Marketing at NTU.

“Elee continues to grow and learn, and makes a really positive contribution to our digital operations,” Gillian said.

Fashion Knitwear student creates bespoke scarf design using historic Handframe Knitting technique

Published on 19 December 2017
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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