‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’

Siun Carden

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    The densely textured surfaces of Aran knitting seem to invite interpretation. They have been ‘read’ as identity documents, family trees, references to natural and spiritual phenomena, or even maps. This paper traces the search for meaning in Aran knitting, examining how these stitch patterns have been ‘read’ in the contexts of tourism, fine art and fashion. As Jo Turney (2013:55) argues, the idea of knitted textiles as communicative media in non-literate societies ‘consigns the garments to a preindustrial era of more rural and simple times’, situating them in an imagined state of ‘stasis’. Thus the ways in which Aran stitches are ‘read’ sometimes obscure the processes through which they are ‘written’, whether in terms of individual authorship and creativity, or in terms of their manufacture. Regardless of the historical veracity of claims that particular Aran stitch patterns index features of the social, natural or spiritual worlds, analysing the ways they have been ‘read’ in the context of comparable textile traditions, other crafts which have taken on ‘heritage’ souvenir status, and Irish national identity, reveals how Aran knitting has performed broader communicative functions (see Sonja Andrew 2008), which continue to be subverted and elaborated by fine artists, and translated into couture and mass market fashion products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2015
    EventIn the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture - University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015

    Conference

    ConferenceIn the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityGlasgow
    Period25/08/201528/08/2015

    Fingerprint

    Knitting
    Communicative Function
    Souvenirs
    Fine Arts
    National Identity
    Tourism
    Simple Time
    Spiritual World
    Social Worlds
    Stasis
    Fine Artists
    Authorship
    Clothing
    Natural World
    Creativity
    Heritage

    Keywords

    • Tourism
    • Migration
    • Textiles
    • Irish Studies

    Cite this

    Carden, S. (2015). ‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’. Paper presented at In the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
    Carden, Siun. / ‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’. Paper presented at In the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
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    abstract = "The densely textured surfaces of Aran knitting seem to invite interpretation. They have been ‘read’ as identity documents, family trees, references to natural and spiritual phenomena, or even maps. This paper traces the search for meaning in Aran knitting, examining how these stitch patterns have been ‘read’ in the contexts of tourism, fine art and fashion. As Jo Turney (2013:55) argues, the idea of knitted textiles as communicative media in non-literate societies ‘consigns the garments to a preindustrial era of more rural and simple times’, situating them in an imagined state of ‘stasis’. Thus the ways in which Aran stitches are ‘read’ sometimes obscure the processes through which they are ‘written’, whether in terms of individual authorship and creativity, or in terms of their manufacture. Regardless of the historical veracity of claims that particular Aran stitch patterns index features of the social, natural or spiritual worlds, analysing the ways they have been ‘read’ in the context of comparable textile traditions, other crafts which have taken on ‘heritage’ souvenir status, and Irish national identity, reveals how Aran knitting has performed broader communicative functions (see Sonja Andrew 2008), which continue to be subverted and elaborated by fine artists, and translated into couture and mass market fashion products.",
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    Carden, S 2015, '‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’', Paper presented at In the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 25/08/2015 - 28/08/2015.

    ‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’. / Carden, Siun.

    2015. Paper presented at In the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    TY - CONF

    T1 - ‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’

    AU - Carden, Siun

    PY - 2015/8/26

    Y1 - 2015/8/26

    N2 - The densely textured surfaces of Aran knitting seem to invite interpretation. They have been ‘read’ as identity documents, family trees, references to natural and spiritual phenomena, or even maps. This paper traces the search for meaning in Aran knitting, examining how these stitch patterns have been ‘read’ in the contexts of tourism, fine art and fashion. As Jo Turney (2013:55) argues, the idea of knitted textiles as communicative media in non-literate societies ‘consigns the garments to a preindustrial era of more rural and simple times’, situating them in an imagined state of ‘stasis’. Thus the ways in which Aran stitches are ‘read’ sometimes obscure the processes through which they are ‘written’, whether in terms of individual authorship and creativity, or in terms of their manufacture. Regardless of the historical veracity of claims that particular Aran stitch patterns index features of the social, natural or spiritual worlds, analysing the ways they have been ‘read’ in the context of comparable textile traditions, other crafts which have taken on ‘heritage’ souvenir status, and Irish national identity, reveals how Aran knitting has performed broader communicative functions (see Sonja Andrew 2008), which continue to be subverted and elaborated by fine artists, and translated into couture and mass market fashion products.

    AB - The densely textured surfaces of Aran knitting seem to invite interpretation. They have been ‘read’ as identity documents, family trees, references to natural and spiritual phenomena, or even maps. This paper traces the search for meaning in Aran knitting, examining how these stitch patterns have been ‘read’ in the contexts of tourism, fine art and fashion. As Jo Turney (2013:55) argues, the idea of knitted textiles as communicative media in non-literate societies ‘consigns the garments to a preindustrial era of more rural and simple times’, situating them in an imagined state of ‘stasis’. Thus the ways in which Aran stitches are ‘read’ sometimes obscure the processes through which they are ‘written’, whether in terms of individual authorship and creativity, or in terms of their manufacture. Regardless of the historical veracity of claims that particular Aran stitch patterns index features of the social, natural or spiritual worlds, analysing the ways they have been ‘read’ in the context of comparable textile traditions, other crafts which have taken on ‘heritage’ souvenir status, and Irish national identity, reveals how Aran knitting has performed broader communicative functions (see Sonja Andrew 2008), which continue to be subverted and elaborated by fine artists, and translated into couture and mass market fashion products.

    KW - Tourism

    KW - Migration

    KW - Textiles

    KW - Irish Studies

    M3 - Paper

    ER -

    Carden S. ‘Reading Aran knitting: stitches, text andinterpretation’. 2015. Paper presented at In the Loop 4. Knitting: From Craft to Couture, Glasgow, United Kingdom.