La storia della maglieria

The history of knitwear

The History of Knitwear: A Journey Through the Yarns of Time

Knitting is an ancient art that has roots far back in time. This weaving technique has been used for centuries to create clothing, reflecting cultural, technological and economic changes over millennia.
However, in recent decades, knitting has become much more than just a form of craft. Today, knitwear is a global industry that constantly evolves, thanks to the combination of tradition and innovation. In this article, we will explore the history of knitwear, from the earliest weaving techniques to the present day.

The First Fabrics and the First Knitting Techniques: A Journey into the Past

Knitwear, as described in the article by, is an art that has its origins in the Neolithic, when man manually woven natural fibers. In ancient Egypt wool was it was the most used fiber for the production of clothing. Later, the Romans developed more advanced weaving techniques, also using fibers such as linen and silk. 

The Medieval Era and the Renaissance: The Art of Knitting

During the Middle Ages, knitwear became increasingly refined, and the art of knitting became a highly respected skill. In fact, it was precisely in the Middle Ages that the Lanaioli, the wool artisans. During this period, European monasteries were famous for producing intricate and decorated knitwear.

lanaioli: arte della lana

In the Renaissance, knitwear became more accessible to the upper social classes, and more sophisticated styles developed.

For the first time in 1530 in an English text we can find the verb to knit.

The Industrial Revolution: The Step towards Mass Production

Knitwear underwent a significant transformation during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. The mechanization of the manufacturing process allowed for the production of knitwear on a larger scale. Power loom machines became increasingly common, and knitted garments were now accessible to a wider range of people.


The Knitwear Boom in the 20th Century: Fashion and Functionality

In the 20th century, knitwear became a key element in fashion. In the period between the two world wars, the turtleneck sweaters and i cardigan became popular, while in the 1950s and 1960s, the ribbed knitwear and geometric patterns dominated the fashion scene. Meanwhile, open-weave knits and lightweight fabrics became symbols of summer fashion.

Contemporary Innovations: Technology and Sustainability

With the advent of modern textile technologies, the knitwear has experienced further revolutions. The introduction of synthetic fibres and advanced manufacturing techniques have expanded design possibilities and made knitwear more accessible. At the same time, there has been growing attention to sustainability, with the search for new materials and ecological production processes. First of all the recycling of fabrics, as happens with regenerated cashmere.


maglia donna cashmere rigenerato


Knitwear Today: Creative Expression and Brand Identity

Today, knitwear represents much more than a functional clothing option; it is a means of creative expression and brand identity. Fashion designers and textile artisans experiment with innovative fabrics, bold patterns and advanced techniques, taking knitwear to new levels of sophistication and originality.

In conclusion, the history of knitwear is a fascinating narrative that spans human creativity, technology and social transformations over the centuries. From an ancient domestic art to a modern fashion icon, knitwear continues to evolve, maintaining its position as one of the most versatile and timeless forms of textile expression.