Kaffe Fassett has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to the world of Knitting, Needlepoint and Patchwork, promoting these crafts through his own work and encouraging others to find their own creativity. He has produced over 30 publications from ‘how to books’ to colour in design, and also tours internationally giving workshops, lectures and museum exhibitions. I am a huge fan of his, and hope you will love his work as much as I do.
Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco in 1937. Kaffe started as a fine artist, winning a scholarship to study at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts School when he was nineteen. He left after three months to paint in London, and he still continues to exhibit his paintings. After settling in England in 1964, his passion for colour led him to knitting and designing knitwear for Missoni and Bill Gibb amongst others, and his hand-knitted garments are now in museum collections all over the world. He later took up needlepoint and patchwork, creating both his own works and designs for others to make.
Kaffe ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill with fashion designer Bill Gibb. Inspired by the colours in the landscape, Kaffe was thrilled to find the same colours in yarns. He bought 20 colours of Shetland wool and some knitting needles, and on the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine.
In 1969, Kaffe was asked to design a garment for a large colour page feature in British Vogue, photographed by David Bailey. From this, in the 1970s he collaborated with Missoni, designing their textile knitwear patterns in Italy, which were sold worldwide. Kaffe’s unique garments have been commissioned and collected by Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall, John Schlesinger, Ali McGraw, Irene Worth, Shirley Maclaine, Helen Frankenthaler, Alan Bergman and H.R.H. Princess Michael of Kent, to name but a few.
By the early eighties, Kaffe had met Stephen Sheard from Rowan Yarns in Yorkshire, creating designs and knit-kits with their British yarn. One of their first collaborations was the Super Triangles Jacket featured on the cover of Woman & Home magazine, selling over 7000 kits in two weeks.
Since then, Kaffe has worked closely with Rowan Yarns in Yorkshire, whose insight into fashion and colour complements Kaffe’s skills, so together they have produced ambitious designer patterns to inspire hand knitters all over the world. His favourite Kilim Jacket was modelled by Kate Moss in the 1992 Rowan Knit Magazine. He has contributed to the bi-annual Rowan magazine for over 30 years, which is marketed world-wide.
In 1990 in Stockholm, a ballet featuring flowing Fassett coats and shawls was staged at the Art and Industry Museum for the opening of his exhibition there. The queues were so long that the opening had to be restaged three times and 107,000 people attended.
Kaffe gives slide talks and workshops on Colour in design, which take him all over the world each year, allowing him to see how people use his fabrics and pick up inspiration. He teaches individuals all over the world to learn to work with colour in an instinctive way. Kaffe’s unique sense of colour, drive to create, and his desire to encourage others, has led to his reputation as a guru in the world of colour and textiles.
To see more of Kaffe Fassett’s work, visit his website.
Bütün fotoğraflar sanatçının izniyle kullanılmıştır.