Social Fabrics: Wearable + Media + Interconnectivity

Pre-industrial textiles often include patterns that represent stories of cultural heritage using various lettering, geometries, and pictograms based on notions of everyday life. Aesthetic styles and techniques varied across cultures as patterns were often inscribed on a two-color grid chart that could be appropriated, modified, exchanged, and passed down to succeeding generations. The free web application knitPro was developed to mimic this tradition through digital distribution, and by easily allowing worldwide craft hobbyists to translate digital images into needlecraft grid patterns. KnitPro takes an uploaded digital image, lowers the resolution and charts a grid over the pattern to read and stitch from. The purpose of knitPro is to use digital media toward advancing the vitality of contemporary craft, but also to promote handcrafting as a compelling micro-economy produced outside of the labor exploitation of the global garment industry. My examples are mostly knitted garments stitched with logos of corporate sweatshop offenders. These garments are part of a larger artistic practice and web based project ( developed to create dialog about authorship, production, and labor injustice in global apparel.

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Updated 22 July 2009