Fashion designer encompasses so many categories. The depth of knowledge can take years to learn. I decided to interview different types of designers that are at different phases in their careers. The designer of the day is Andrea Tung. She has a blog called”Making things” on tumblr. She offers information and products that encompass mostly knits. Andrea’s blog is informative and fun. The following are some informative questions that I felt were relevant to DIY or beginning designers. Maybe even someone interested in fashion design.
Interview Anna Tung http://makingthings.andreatung.com/
Fashion Mechanic: What do you enjoy or find exciting about knitwear design?
Andrea Tung: I enjoy the challenge of it. You get to create something from scratch. As a designer, you are creating the textile itself that is the garment as well. You choose the color, fiber content, cut, fit, right down to the stitches. The possibilities of what a yarn can become are quite endless.
Fashion Mechanic: What differences do you experience in designing knitwear vs general,ie tech packs, spechs, and etc.
Andrea Tung: The differences are based on the technical difference about knitwear. Mainly, providing a swatch or sample is most important, specifying the weight of yarn, stitches, fiber content, etc. There is no flat paper pattern. And you have to take in account the stretch that a knit fabric has. The size range and fit is more general compared to wovens.
Fashion Mechanic: How do you think the industry is growing? (in general)
Andrea Tung: It’s a growing area, as the technology has developed, knitwear is a common product category. There is so much more that a knitwear manufacturer can produce nowadays than they could have in the past. It’s quite exciting, the advancements that come about. There is so much creativity, season after season, there are innovative new ways that designers are incorporating knitwear components in their collections.
Fashion Mechanic: What advice might you give to a person who wants to work with knitwear?
Andrea Tung: Learn to knit, by hand, then by machine. Develop a strong knitwear portfolio. A lot of companies are always looking for knitwear designers, as it has become a specialty area, the more technical knowledge you have about it, the better, you can become the go-to person on knitwear. Also, it’s not only fashion school that you might get into knitwear, it’s arts colleges offering textile design that one might also get training in knits. But either way, you can get more specialized training through short courses from fashion colleges or companies like Knit-1 in UK.
Fashion Mechanic: Would you say that people have a misconception of what designers really do, if so how?
Andrea Tung: There are actually many kinds of knitwear designers. If you work for a fashion company in the knitwear department, you are more likely developing spec packages and shopping for samples. It might not be nearly as creative as people think, depending on who you work for. If you are working independently of for an agency, you might be creating what is essentially the creative artwork for a design, a sample sold to fashion companies. Otherwise, you might also be a knitwear designer, doing everything from creating to producing garments for sale. Or maybe designing hand knitting patterns for a book or magazine, or you could be self-published. It’s quite an expansive field!
Again you can visit Andrea Tung’s website at …