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MISSONI educates the industry’s future knitwear masters

1 March 2016

There’s no better way to learn than from true masters, and that’s exactly what one lucky group of Italian students got when they enrolled in a Master of Knitting Design co-taught by iconic knitwear brand MISSONI.

Students created wool outfits suited to a MISSONI spring/summer collection

A Master’s course at one of Italy’s most prestigious universities was held from October through to February for a group of talented students and professionals looking to fine-tune their knitting design and skills.

Taking place at the Politecnico di Milano, the Master in Knitting Design was taught in collaboration with iconic Italian fashion house MISSONI as well as AWI. A major component of the course involved students grouping together to produce a knitwear collection, suitable for MISSONI’s Spring/Summer 2017 range and made from a minimum 70 per cent Australian Merino wool – highlighting the trans-seasonal benefits and innate versatility of the natural fibre.

With Luca Missoni conducting the stylistic part of the course, he also mentored the students as they created their final Merino wool collection.

Politecnico di Milano Assistant Professor in Fashion and Knit Design at School of Design, Giovanni Maria Conti, Ph.d, was also instrumental in teaching the course, and said the intense workload had challenged the students to create interesting and innovative outfits.

“The course is about design, production and the realisation of a collection of clothes for MISSONI using at least 70 per cent Merino wool,” explains Mr Conti. “Some groups of students proposed new ways of using different yarns. For example, one group crated a multi-yarn fabric using a series of tubular stitches, resulting in a colourful knitted fabric. Another group combined the Merino wool in metallic threads to create an iridescent fabric.

“By working closely with The Woolmark Company and leading Italian mills, we can show how design, and its design method, can be of great importance to develop innovations for this specific sector of the Made in Italy industry.”

Having some prior knowledge of wool, the Master in Knitting Design allowed the students to further explore the fibre’s possibilities and think about Merino wool in a different way.

“Compared with apparel design, as far as I see, knitting design has many more possibilities to give us the wow factor,” said student Yuanyuan Zhao. “It's a fulfilling process and I have learnt something new. I'm eager for new experiences and ever-willing to experiment and continue my master in knitting design.”

At the beginning of the course, many students said they felt quite a challenge having to design a Spring/Summer collection, after admitting they traditionally associated wool with winter and cooler months. Yet after various presentations and seminars conducted by The Woolmark Company students explored the innovations and different possibilities of using Merino wool.

“We have to say that it was challenging to create a collection based on a 70 per cent of wool, but the results - the amazing garments - speak for themselves,” said one group of students. “I think many people will be amazed to learn they are made from wool and we are all very proud to have succeeded this challenge.”