Image: Convertibles A and B. Photo credit Rose and Julien.
Almaborealis is a children’s knitting and knitwear company, set up by designer Maija Nygren to promote making as much as wearing. By offering kits called Convertibles (soon to launch) and running workshops, Almaborealis “invites children to create, think, play, learn and grow with their clothing.” We talked to Maija about her reasons for setting up Almaborealis and her plans for 2020.
Why did you start Almaborealis?
Almaborealis was started as an experimental knitwear lab in the aim to create a future proof kidswear garment. I wanted to bring meaningful kidswear to the market, clothing that was designed with the welfare of the future generations in mind. During my knitwear studies at Heriot-Watt University, I began to look into the work of early childhood theorists like Maria Montessori and Froebel, and the concept of Almaborealis began to form. I thought - couldn't children learn skills for their future through interacting with their own clothing?
Image: Convertibles dress construction. (c) Almaborealis.
What do children learn from making clothes?
The learning potential is vast when making clothes - this can often be overlooked due to our busy lives, we don't have the time to stop and investigate how much engineering goes into creating clothing. Particularly in this era of fast fashion, we often give little value to these items in which a great deal of skill and energy has gone to bring to life.
Through our soon-to-be-launched-concept Convertibles, a child is able to participate in the creation of their own clothing and see how from simple, two-dimensional flat panels it is possible to create an object that covers the body, and three dimensional thinking skills become to play. Fine motor skills, mindfulness and concentration skills as well as problem solving and creative thinking are all practiced during the process - which can help prepare the child for future learning such as writing.
Image: Convertibles sewing in action. Photo credit Rose and Julien.
What are your plans in 2020?
We are preparing to launch The Convertibles knitwear range, online, which we are very excited about. We will release an initial, base range collection to the market in the Autumn, followed by a series of hands-on workshops, if there is an opportunity to do so due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
For more information visit www.almaborealis.com