Aye, It's an Alpaca!
The aim of this collection of knitted garments is to celebrate versatile, tactile and textural elements to provoke curiosity and imagination of children aged 2-6. Through the playful geometric patterns and three dimensional 'touchyfeely' textures, the collection embraces inspiration derived from Montessori Early years sensorial activities that stimulate learning through play. This is reflected in reversible fabrics and detachable, interchangeable pockets and playful button details. Independent dressing is suggested in garments through front fastening and details that invite for play.
Visual inspiration derives from contemporary and classic illustrators such as Morgana Wallis and Fredrun Shapur and artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Henry Matisse.
As sustainability and ethics are a key factor in my design practice, I have used a locally sourced alpaca yarn, born, raised, sheared and spun in the Scottish Borders. Alpaca is soft, smooth and hypoallergenic which makes it perfect for children's wear. The happy alpacas that I met through research I conducted, gave me inspiration to include them into the narrative for the collection. They are friendly and full of character and soon became a key feature within the project.
For the colour palette I considered a balance between the natural, un-dyed yarns sitting alongside the vibrant, dyed yarns – thus reducing the water and chemicals used in the process of making the collection.