Generally, when one thinks of hand-knit clothing, it’s with a negative connotation. We all remember our grandmother’s unrelenting and slightly compulsive need to wrap us in the warmest hand-knit sweaters, scarves, and hats, tucking in our ears each time with a bit more fervor than the last. Grandma meant well, even if her designs weren’t necessarily the most stylish thing to ever grace hand-knit garments, and let’s be honest, they weren’t.
Nowadays, there’s a whole slew of companies that are aiming to redefine the way the world thinks of knitting by creating stylish knit pieces that are well thought out and stylized, but that’s just the problem, they’re only making pieces. Morph Knitwear, a company out of Portland, Oregon is one of the few game changers that not only makes knit accessories like hats, they’re making whole outfits.
Created in 2012 by Angela Thornton, Morph Knitwear is the embodiment of the notion that fashion can coincide with artistry. Foregoing the traditional seasons that most designers and buyers adhere to, Morph instead opts to create and release new designs on its own time. Designed with utilitarianism in mind, each piece of Morph Knitwear is created using high quality fibers like linen, wool, cashmere, silk, and cotton.
Muted color palettes and a sense of effortlessness are what gives Morph its unique edge. Where many other knitwear companies design around with what’s currently trending, Morph instead opts to stick to the utilitarian theme. In fact, many of Morph’s pieces are unisex, “focusing on the shape and texture of the fabric and its unique qualities and imperfections, rather than the perceived gender of the wearer.”
In recent years, Morph has even garnered celebrity fans like Kat Von D, and has collaborated with Sisters of the Black Moon, a curated store that’s the stylistic equivalent of an adult goth’s dream wardrobe, to create the Vande Toque - a beautifully oversized knit beanie that’s the perfect amount of slouchy.
While Morph’s hand-knit accessories have garnered widespread popularity, what’s truly intriguing are Thornton’s takes on leggings, skirts, and shirts. Creating beautiful designs that are purposely distressed, Thornton takes care to drop a stitch here, and add a slit there, her ability to knit leggings and even dresses that not only add a sense of style to an otherwise seemingly drab sect of the fashion industry is uncanny. She’s not only redefining the knitwear world, she’s reinventing it. In an interview with Dirge Mag, Thornton says, “my vision for Morph Knitwear is and has been essentially the same since my experimental launch: to create clothing that I want to wear, made using ancestral techniques in a non-exploitative manner.”
So regardless of if you’re looking to amp up your winter wardrobe, or find yourself incredibly curious as to what handknit leggings and skirts are like, look no further than Morph. No scratchy sweaters here, Thornton is creating literally the exact opposite of your grandmother’s knits.