History Of Knitting

There are many essential methods of making clothes, and knitting is one of them. Knitting is a technique of making fabric with yarn on two or more needles. This craft has been used by many in creating fabrics and garments such as socks.

But who invented knitting? Was this ancient genius filled with divine inspiration or dark magic?

History of Knitting

Knitting, like many other craft hobbies, has a rich past. The earliest example of knitting was made in North Africa in about 1100 AD. Pieces of knitted clothing were also excavated in the Middle East and thought to date back to that period. From Arabia, the nomads took it to Tibet and then across Asia. From Asia, it went to Spain. As a result, Europe’s earliest known knitted items were created by Muslim knitters.

It was most likely that the men did all the knitting. The level of detail in these early fragments points to a long-practiced art. That’s because there are relatively intricately patterned stockings, which would suggest that knitting had been practiced for a long time.

As knitted garments started spreading, the art was soon appreciated by Kings and Kingdoms.  In the Middle Ages, knitted fabrics and clothes were produced by “knitters guilds.” One of their significant outputs were knitted caps, which had the fibers’ felted’ together. However, the quality of the finished products varied widely according to the knitter’s skill level.

Hand knitting may have been introduced to the UK around 1500. Knitting thrived in Britain in parallel with several social developments. William Lee of Calverton invented the first technical knitting machine in 1589. From hosiery to hats and gloves, knitting style dominated fashion and homes.

The earliest datable purl stitches are on the stockings of Eleonora of Toledo, 1562. Knitting by machine first appeared during this same period. These stockings were exported to Germany, Holland, and Spain.

During the Industrial Revolution, the invention of knitting machines made mass production possible. Since the 18th century, knitting has primarily been performed by machines. Consequently, printed knitting patterns and yarn were produced for leisure as well as for industrial use. In the 20th century, knitting was seen as women’s work and recreation. An experienced hand knitter can make such items as scarves, socks, and afghans.

Bottom Line

As a skilled and creative occupation, knitting has therapeutic potential. The wonderful thing about knitting is that it combines mindfulness with mindlessness perfectly.