Julia Ramsey’s Dramatic Knits Meditate on Our Relationship With Clothing

by , 01/19/12   filed under: Featured, Green Designers, Women's Eco-Fashion

Julia Ramsey, eco-friendly knitwear, sustainable knitwear, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Textile Arts Center, Anthropologie, slow fashion, organic wool

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To say that Ramsey, who once apprenticed with the legendary Kaffe Fassett in London, has a deep appreciation for natural fibers is an understatement. To create “Pelt,” Ramsey gathered large skeins of organic wool roving left in their raw, undyed state. Using knitting needles as thick as broomsticks, she skillfully transformed them into a “flurry of knots and bobbles,” churning out sweaters, wraps, shawls, and a skirt that showcase the fiber’s natural beauty.

To create “Pelt,” Ramsey gathered large skeins of organic wool roving left in their raw, undyed state.

Each piece, according to Ramsey, serves as a second skin, a “source of comfort, a temporary shelter, a reminder of an animal’s gift.” Because the knits are presented without artifice or embellishment, their material origins are plain to see. Neither do they obey the contours of the human body or give up their independence, she explains.

Time-consuming though her process is, Ramsey doesn’t cut corners. “I’m working to fuse my love for craftsmanship, installation art, ethical sourcing and fashion into one big project,” she tells Ecouterre.

Her previous works are equally thought-provoking. For Engaged, an installation that explores a woman’s feelings of ambiguity towards marriage, Ramsey juxtaposed two diametrically opposed gowns. One, knit from golden thread and tulle, hung suspended from the ceiling, while the other, a crocheted number, lay “bound” in a web of ribbon of rope.

Ramsey’s appreciation for hand-wrought techniques, along with her desire for beauty without cruelty, is clearly reflected in her work. We, for one, cannot wait to see what she’ll create next.

+ Julia Ramsey

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