Knitwear from Amanda Henderson is deeply rooted in nature, taking inspiration from organic textures and tones in order to celebrate the natural world through fashion. The pieces are all original, using natural fibres sourced by hand in New York state to create unique items, ranging from loose sweaters to a tightly woven strapless top. Henderson’s work then begins with the materials and is evolved through the process and tradition of knitwear. She aims to create pieces that are simple, timeless and durable, functional items of clothing that people can live in and that play a part in their lives. But as well as incorporating old traditional techniques from the world of knitwear, she introduces unexpected details that help to make each piece a one-off work of eco-textiles.
Discussing her work, Henderson says her favorite part is driving from the city to the mountains, spending time around the farms and gather fibers. “From there I usually begin knitting with one idea in mind,” she says. “Then, take a break from it, develop the plan or start on an entirely new piece, then go back to it.” She says she lets ideas evolve organically and often the pieces end up very different from where she initially imagines.
This slow and natural evolution within her work, says Henderson, resembles the process of one of her main sources of inspiration, artist and environmentalist Andy Goldsworthy who also aims to celebrate nature. “l find comfort in working outside, replicating natural textures, layering of color, constantly evolving protective elements as the world shifts,” she says. “I would love to get more in depth as far as documentation, and like Andy, photograph how my sweaters wear in and break down over time. l want my pieces to have a life, and when its over, and its purpose served, to be broken down again by nature. So that the earth takes it back.”
As part of this idea of how her work will develop, Henderson comments that her long term goal is to have a direct hand in every stage of the process. “From raising animals, spinning yarns, all the way to the end result,” she says. Participating at all these moments will truly enable her to connect farm to fashion and the beauty of slow textile production.