Fully Fashioned and Cut and Sew Knitwear at Jil Sander

Jil Sander, AW11, Milan.

When it comes to knitwear there are basically two ways that the shape of the garment can be made. These two processes are commonly referred to as ‘fully fashioned’ and ‘cut and sew’.

You can either combine the different garment pieces by treating the knit almost like a fabric, where by you have a large square of knit that you lay the pattern pieces on and then cut out your pattern pieces and sew them together. This process is called ‘cut and sew’.

Or you can do what is called ‘fully fashioned’ knitwear where the individual pieces are more engineered so that each garment piece is made with no extra fabric and the pieces are basically knitted together at the seams.In this case each piece is shaped using techniques specific to knitwear by using special stitches, making lines of loops shrink and grow depending on where more length is needed. When you knit by hand this is essentially the process that you are doing although in commercial production it would be done by knitting machines. 

This is an oversimplification of the two processes of course, but in general fully fashioned knitwear is a more expensive process which has flatter seams. Also you don’t have to only use only one process per garment. At times you may want to fully fashion whole sections of the garment and then cut and sew the pieces together where a knitted seam would not work.

On the Jil Sander collection you will see example of how you can tell from the seams which of the two processes have been used, so that you will be able to look at the work of other designers and dissect what they have done.

Jil Sander, AW11, Milan.

Catwalk images from Vogue.co.uk»

Knitwear images from The Cutting Class»

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