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Catherine Challender

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design


Senior Lecturer in Fashion Knitwear and Knitted Textile Design.

Cathy specialises in fashion knitwear design and knitted textiles, teaching across the BA Fashion Knitwear and Textile Design Programmes. She supervises post-graduate students on the MA in Applied Design Futures Programmes and offers supervision to doctoral students

Current project

Cathy is currently building a digital knitwear archive at Nottingham Trent University.

Career overview

Cathy offers supervision for design projects, particularly those interested in exploring knitting innovation and lost techniques, as well as more broadly based research into the area of fashion knitwear and hosiery.

Research areas

Cathy’s research interest lies in knitwear and hosiery with particular reference to the part lost or obscure techniques can play in future innovation.

Through close connections with the local museums and several unique and important local knitting firms both past and present, Cathy has built an extensive personal archive of historical research material in the form of:

  • Artefacts such as garments and fabrics.
  • Documents: mainly instruction books, for both machine and hand knitting, and of student notebooks from the mid 19th Century onwards.
  • Digitally captured images documenting manufacturing processes, museum collections and important private collections.

Several important themes have emerged from collating this material:

  • the use of colour in warp knitting
  • Innovative shaping techniques for hosiery and knitwear.
  • the importance of the Armed forces and Royalty to local manufacturers.

As a trustee of the Ruddington Framework Knitting Museum, Cathy encourages collaborative activities between the museum and Nottingham Trent University. Students have learned sock knitting on 19th Century “Griswold” sock machines and framework knitting on the Lee Hand-frames at the museum.

  • Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear
  • Collections and Archives

External activity

2001 – date, Trustee, Board of Trustees, Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum Ltd. Nottinghamshire.

Sponsors and collaborators

An Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award commenced October 2007. The student appointed is investigating the aesthetic, technical and social importance of knitting lace on the Lee hand frame, in collaboration with the Ruddington Framework Knitting Museum.