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Friday, 24 October 2014

Ulverston knitwear designer has eye for detail

KNITWEAR is set for a resurgence, or at least if one Ulverston designer has anything to do with it.

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CREATIVE: Former Ulverston Victoria High School pupil Kate Wilson has returned to Ulverston to launch her dream business MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50043178B002

Kate Wilson set up Oubas Knitwear in autumn following a spell working for knitwear firm Toast, in South Wales.

A former textile design student at Winchester School of Art, Miss Wilson’s initial designs are a range of bespoke scarves but she hopes to create her first garments in spring using her refurbished Italian knitting machine which was made in Milan and was previously at work in the Borders.

“I value products made in Britain,” said Miss Wilson.

“My family have been in Ulverston for generations and I’ve always been interested in textiles and the industry around here.”

Working in the family home in Oubas Hill Miss Wilson has transformed the former utility room into an ideal studio space. Keeping overheads down, it is a small space just big enough to house her machines and a desk from where she works.

She has described her early months in business as “an exciting time” and said if things go well, she’d like to expand and rent a studio space locally, as well as giving experiences and insight to students who are interested in studying textiles/ art and design further.

An initial interest in fashion has been overtaken by Miss Wilson’s passion for textiles, crafting the material before the garment itself.

She said: “I really enjoy it when you hear people talking about my products. I find it really interesting that you can create fabrics yourself – rather than just cutting things out. The attention to detail is something I really like.

“My initial collection includes four styles of scarves in varying colours which reflect the natural earthy colours of the surrounding landscapes and changing textures.”

Miss Wilson said her products will be stocked in Two by Two in Ulverston and she has received a positive reception after attending a number of small markets with her products.

As she develops the business Miss Wilson said she hopes to be able to provide support for youngsters wishing to enter the textile industry.

“Seeing people who really like the stuff and some of the comments I’ve had about the quality has been really rewarding,” she said.

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