Knitting Plastic

March 21, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

Hand knit knit knit, go for a run, hand knit knit knit, have a nervous break down laugh on the couch, and go back to knit! That resumes my week-end!
I am glad that it was sunny, I got to enjoy some of the sun as I ran across Greenpoint’s cool avenues and streets.
It is now Monday morning, 8:30 AM, me and my roomate Elin (she also is in knitwear, final year), are already in the knit lab. We could feel the pressure as people walked in. We merely have a few weeks left and crazyness is upon us. Each and every student has to deal with different sorts of issues. Unfortunately, machines are over-booked for the weeks to come, and we all have to use our time wisely!

Here is a bit about my inspiration and what I am doing:

versus Nature.
It all started on a sailing vacation. I kept seeing pop color supermarket plastic bags on the beaches. I thought it was very interesting to analyze the paradox “plastic versus nature”,  and how, inevitably, plastic bags become part of our every day landscape scene. I did some trials over the Christmas break, and decided that, indeed, I would want to continue researching and experimenting with plastic.

I started my research looking at landfills in Cambodia and Brazil. What I found to be interesting is that, seen from far, plastic landfills can be very colorful and charming.
I started to collect all sorts of plastic bags, and denim as well. Cotton denim, which is a natural fiber, is in fact, a very polluting one. Entire river ecosystems are being destroyed in china because of waste denim discharge from the factories.

And so, I have tried to manipulate plastic with knitwear.
I glued plastic bags with liquid latex on top of machine knitted fabric.
I knitted “plastic jacquards”.  Jacquard is a machine knit fabric that has a print knitted in. At school, we can only use a maximum of 4 colors, so I have re-worked photos of plastic garbage, and narrowed down the colors to 4 on photoshop, and running the image as a jacquard.
I experimented knitting the actual plastic bags, and introducing denim and a mixture of natural fibers. The results were pretty awesome and I decided to make an entire coat from it!
And…I did dozens of other experiments, but no all were successful, so I am only talking about the cool ones :-*



Here is a picture of some of my swatches, the left one is plastic turning into denim and other natural fibers, the middle one is a pop jacquard made from picture of plastic bags, and the one on the right is a Dubied machine lacey fabric I created last year.


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Category: Knitwear, Olga

Comments (2)

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  1. Hi Olga

    The post title “Knitting Plastic” caught my attention.

    I was intrigued about how you could do it.

    I didn’t realize there is a technique/technical aspect of knitting.

    Thanks for showing the swatches. I do like the Dubied machine lacey fabric.

  2. Olga says:

    Hi Bess,

    thanks for your comment. Yes, you can knit plastic! You just need to cut the plastic in loops, and attach them together. It becomes your “yarn”. I will post more picture of the technique.

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