The History of Knitting

The history of knitting is very interesting. Knitting is a technique of making fabric with yarn on two or more needles. The word “knitting” comes from the word “knot”. Knitting is made of wool, silk, and other fibers. The first pieces of clothing made in a technique similar to knitting were socks. These socks were made with Nålebinding, which is a technique that uses single needle and thread. There are beliefs that knitting began in Middle East, then it came to Europe through Mediterranean trade routes and then to the Americas.

The oldest knitted items have been found in Egypt and are dated between the 11th and 14th centuries AD. Spanish Christian royal families employed Muslim knitters and their work is the earliest known knitted work in Europe. They were very skillful and made many different items like cushion covers and gloves. Archeological findings from the many cities of Europe show that knitting spread throughout Europe in the 14th century. During 16th century, knitting spread through Britain. On the Scottish Isles, during the 17th and 18th centuries, knitting became many people’s preoccupation. There were cases of whole families who knitted as a form of a job and it became an important source of income. Also, sweaters were one of the major items that were knitted because they proved useful to the local fishermen of these islands. In time, many elaborate designs were developed.

Before the Industrial revolution, there were mechanical ideas for faster knitting but they didn’t spread too far. When the revolution started, machines appeared that did wool spinning, cloth manufacturing and even did knitting lace. During the 1920s, White Russians that lost the Civil War fled to China and showed the craft of knitting to Chinese caravan men, who used camel hair as a material for knitting. The history of knitting is still going…


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