Kate is a textile designer creating luxurious handcrafted accessories and homewares, inspired by the raw textures and colour palette of the local coastline where she lives in Margate, Kent. She is committed to quality, value, sustainability and zero waste and each unique piece is individually knitted and finished by hand, using carefully selected natural yarns on hand-powered vintage knitting machinery.
Ten years ago she relocated from London to the Kent coast, where the incredible natural light, raw coastal textures and ever-changing sky and seascape provide a rich source of inspiration for her creative practice. This visually rich environment has been the catalyst to experiment, explore and create a wide range of knitting textiles inspired by nature.
Margate, , Margate, Kent, United Kingdom,
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I am a textile designer creating luxurious handcrafted accessories and homewares, inspired by the raw textures and colour palette of the local coastline where I live in Margate.
I grew up in a tiny village in the countryside in Bedfordshire surrounded by farmland and fields. My mum was an early influence on my love of textiles. She was hugely creative and spun her own yarn, experimented with vegetable dyes, knitted and sewed clothes for the family and also painted.
I decided early on that I wanted to be a textile designer and following a degree in Knitwear at Nottingham Trent, I set up my own business soon after graduating and gained invaluable experience and knowledge over the next twenty years designing and creating women’s luxury knitwear and accessories in my Clerkenwell studio in London. I sold my designs through select boutiques and also provided a successful commission service making bespoke and one-off pieces for my clients.
Then ten years ago I made the decision to relocate from London to the Kent coast. In London I had been surrounded by a built-up urban environment of concrete and glass, working mainly with smooth cashmeres and silks in monochrome tones with flashes of bright accents. Following the move to the Kent coast, I found that my aesthetic evolved and developed in response to my new environment and I now work with sustainable tactile textured wools and other natural fibres in an earthy colour palette.
Lots of things! The incredible natural light, raw coastal textures and ever-changing sky and seascape provide a rich source of inspiration for my creative practise.
Finding new ranges of sustainable yarns to experiment with is always exciting and sparks new designs and ideas.
Visiting galleries, museums and especially the V&A.
Travelling to favourite inspirational cities such as Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.
I love the hands-on process of making each individual piece myself and often find this sparks a flow of new ideas. Seeing my accessories worn and enjoyed by my customers, or my cushions and throws selected and purchased to create a cosy space in their homes is incredibly rewarding, and it’s always great when pieces are bought as a gift for a loved-one.
It is always exciting to launch a new range of designs after months of development in the studio and see how people react and respond to them.
Anni Albers, Louise Bourgeois, Sheila Hicks, Sonia Delaunay, Ruth Asawa
‘On Weaving’ by Anni Albers, which is a constant source of inspiration.
Also ‘The Art of Repair’ by Molly Martin and ‘Loved Clothes Last’ by Orsola de Castro are both invaluable to help us all strive to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, thinking more about the purchases we make and taking better care of the things we already possess and love in our wardrobe and in our home.
You never know what is round the corner, but unexpected challenges and events can open up wonderful new directions and opportunities in our lives.