The Astral dress short is apart of Tipu’s collection of Finnish handicrafts that are made from high quality natural materials. The materials used for knitting are wool, linen, silk, tencel or cotton. All the designs and patterns are unique and the designs are handmade by Tipu in Fiskars, Finland. Designs are created in series and the Astral dress short is a part of a collection of Fair Isle knits.
The maker Maija Toukolehto uses the Fair Isle knitting technique to create the patterns. The Fair Isle pattern is a design created by weaving many colored yarns into a motif. It owes its name to ‘Fair Isle’, a tiny island to the north of Scotland. Makers of Fair Isle knits create their own interpretations of a myriad of traditional patterns to create their own unique fingerprint. On the island, this is how one could determine whose work each knit design initially was.
In traditional Fair Isle knitting, only two colours of yarn are used per row and a pattern row is never repeated. Nowadays the rules are not so set in stone and designers have taken more liberty in creating their own style. It is not certain how this knitting technique originated and where the inspiration came from. However, the most likely explanation is that patterned knitting made its way onto the island from the Baltic nations. Fair Isle knitting incorporates motifs and patterns that are found around the world, for instance Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Norway and as far as the Middle East. The island was located on a trade route, so many ships stopped here along the way. These days, Fair Isle refers to any stranded colour knitting and doesn’t necessary include traditional motifs from the island.
Find out more about the maker and the rest of the collection here.