Genevieve Sweeney hand intarsia knitwear is fast becoming a brand signature. Meaning ‘inlaid by hand’, hand intarsia is a traditional knitting technique with a rich heritage in the Scottish Borders. Defined by precise colour block lines, every piece of hand intarsia knitwear is crafted with an entirely unique handwriting.
Hand intarsias work at a knitting frame, placing yarns by hand in their exact position, to create the desired pattern. Intarsia follows a chart not dissimilar to a paint-by-numbers canvas. Each chart follows its own rules, with no restrictions on the number of stitches or colours used. The result is a beautifully clean design without any floats to the reverse. Each piece can take anywhere from two hours to multiple days to complete. Our most intricate intarsia takes 14 hours to knit.
This time-consuming technique is a dying art; very few hand intarsia knitters still exist and the skill can take three years to master. Genevieve Sweeney works with knitters in the Scottish Borders. These intarsia knitters once worked for world renowned knitwear companies, until manufacturing moved to China and the number of factories in the Borders decreased dramatically. Genevieve Sweeney seeks to preserve this rare and beautiful craft by bringing it into a current fashion climate. Genevieve Sweeney fuses artisan skill with contemporary flair for a collection that reimagines the possibilities of traditional craftsmanship.