Knitting comes of age: the development of a scientific approach to the study of knitwork




Textile analysis, Knit, Cap, Early Modern, Terminology, Database


Knitting has received scant attention in the scientific study of textiles despite its continued popularity as a handicraft. As a result, relatively little is published about the evidence for early knitting. It is frequently the victim of mistaken identity: items made by needle binding are often described as knitted; and many more items which are knitted remain unidentified as such. A draft protocol inspired by the Centre International d’Étude des Textiles Anciens’ system for the analysis of woven textiles has been developed as part of a project to investigate Knitting in Early Modern Europe (KEME). A lack of unambiguous terminology was also identified as a challenge to the scholarly scrutiny of knitting’s origins. The evolution of a protocol and terminology and their application to a collection of knitted caps from the sixteenth century (now published online) is reported here.


Received: 2018-7-31
Revised: 2018-12-19
Accepted: 2019-1-15
Online: 2019-2-25
Publication: 2019-4-30


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How to Cite

Malcom-Davies, J. (2019). Knitting comes of age: the development of a scientific approach to the study of knitwork. Conservar Património, 31, 133–143.