When designer Andrea Brena took a year off from school to experience life “outside the bubble,” I don’t imagine he anticipated re-discovering the traditional technique of “arm knitting.” Nor do I conjecture that he knew he’d expand the very nature of this crocheting method to create fully-realized furnishings, like the recent Knitted Army Armchair exhibited at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin.
Knitted Army Re-Purposes Cast Off Cloth Into Beautiful Furnishings and Accessories
Given the collection’s name, one might be forgiven for expecting a slew of grays, greens, and khakis. To the contrary, Brena’s chair is a kaleidoscopic rainbow of whites, blues, fuchsias, and sea-foamy aquas. For the name is a bit of a pun in reference to arm knitting.
As Brena says, this ancient yet innovative technique employs the aforementioned appendage as a make-shift loom, resulting in a customized form that’s unique to the weaver: “it’s about the end product being an object defined by the person who created it...the resultant mesh is dependent on how thick or thin your arms are.”
Brena sources his knits from the leavings of textile manufacturers, making Knitted Army a smart and sustainable collection that employs local, post-consumer materials.
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About the designer: Italian-born, Berlin-based Andrea Brena loves fabric. So much so, in fact, that he frequently employs textiles as the crucial structural and aesthetic components of collections like Knitted Army and individual pieces such as the Straw Textile Chair.