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This week’s fabric selection is anpther Adire  which is a handmade, hand-drawn batik fabric from Nigeria. This one has an abstract floral theme hence the name.

Here’s what we did with it.

1.  AFRICAN VIOLET BATIK TOTE

2. AFRICAN VIOLET SHAWL

3. AFRICAN VIOLET MINISNAP CLUTCH

 

Alcatraz WHERE: Berlin COUNTRY: Germany WHEN: November, 2014

 

Came across this entrance way in Berlin. It is the entrance of a backpackers hostel accommodation named… yes you guessed it. Alcatraz. The humour is appreciated.

The original Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay in California, United States. Often referred to as “The Rock“, it has a lighthouse, a military fortification, was a military prison, and later served as a federal prison from 1933 until 1963.  In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and is now a popluar tourist destination.

Amongst its infamous ‘inhabitants’ were the notorious gangster Al “Scarface” Capone (1899-1947) and murderer Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud (1890-1963). Though many attempts were made, it is said that no prisoner ever escaped the island.

Despite the name, the Alcatraz hostel actually looks like a pretty cool and friendly place judging from their website, their Google+ page and reviews from customers. So if you are looking for cheap accommodation in the centre of Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg) check out the Alcatraz Backpacker Hostel Berlin. It is close to the popular “Mauerpark” with its great flea-market on Sundays.

 

With the gift giving season just round the corner we are taking some of the stress out for you at this time. We can gift-wrap any of your orders for free and even send directly to the recipient to save on postage costs for you.

In addition, we you can opt in for a gift box for that extra special present. This is ideal for larger orders and the gift will arrive in a kraft box which will be decorated in a simple, clean style with individual items wrapped in colourful tissue and placed in the box. You can also add your personalised gift message to the recipient. Our packages are always colourful and fun and sure to brighten someone’s day.

This is all very easy to do. On the checkout page simply tick the Gift Box option and enter your message below. Presto!

 

Let us know if you have any questions or a particular request with regards to gift-wrapping and delivery.

 

The Shop Floor Project was founded in 2006 by Denise Allan and Samantha Allan with the aim to design, develop and source collections of the highest craftsmanship from makers and traditional manufactures, predominately based within the UK and Europe.

They envisioned the Shop Floor Project as a series of curated spaces filled with objects that fulfill their main criteria; that the object is worthy of keeping and passing down through generations.

The website is particularly interesting as it is designed as though it is an actual shop! From the front page to the individual category pages, it is though you are walking through a myriad of interesting interior spaces full of colour an texture. It is exquisitely unique especially in the modern world of white, minimal virtual and physical spaces.

In 2011 The Shop Floor Project opened a brick and mortar store after operating in virtual space for a number of years. The store is located in Ulverston, an ancient market town in Cumbria and although I am yet to visit I am sure it is just as unique and interesting as the website. This store is literally filled with treasure so do visit! If you have been, we would love to hear about your visit.

The Shop Floor Project

ADDRESS: 60 Market Street, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 7LT, United Kingdom

OPENING TIMES: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

TELEPHONE: 01229 584537

WEBSITE: www.theshopfloorproject.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TheShopFloorProject

EMAIL:  info@theshopfloorproject.com

 

 

Following on from our post about Nike Davies-Okundaye, this weeks cool tee is from OkayPlayer and from her workshop by designer Yomi Tiamiyu.

Using traditional Yoruba dye techniques involving native grown indigo, cassava paste, and a chicken feather (as a brush), these shirts communicate with their symbols. Talking Drum patterns indicate the spirit of communication. Kola Nut patterns remind us of the kola nut blessing – while the beginning is bitter, in the end it is sweet. As the fabrics are hand dyed each t-shirt is inevitably unique!

The Adire Talking Shirt is available over on OkayAfrica.

 

 

Nigerian artist Nike Davies-Okundaye currently has a retrospective exhibition of her work spanning more than 40 years at the Gallery of African Art in London.

Time: October 9th to November 22nd, 2014

Where: Gallery of African Art

9 Cork Street,

London W1S 3LL.

Tel: +44(0)207 287 7400

Enquiries: info@gafraart.com

Website: www.gafraart.com

 

Old and New WHERE: Boston, Massachusetts COUNTRY: USA WHEN: 2009

 

 

Always a fan of white, I think it is as easy to wear as black; with the added crispness and freshness in the look. So this week’s cool tee really resonates with me. I am also a huge fan of asymmetry and this is done so stylishly. Loving it!

This deconstructed classic white T-shirt with the offset centre seam is made in Italy from heavyweight cotton and can be found on Oki-Ni.

 

Are you a fan of the Urbanknit blog. If you are please consider voting for us in the UK Blog awards 2015. Simply go to our entry here: http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/Urbanknit

Thank you for taking the time!

If you haven’t already then do check out our blog. We talk about things closely and loosely related to design, African design and aesthetics, textile design, interior design, architecture, contemporary African art, urban art and much more!

 

 

Aren’t Alpacas just so cute. Apart from their cuteness they also produce Alpaca Yarn a lustrous and silky natural fiber and tends to be warmer and not prickly in comparison to wool. It is also soft and luxurious and tends to have a glossy shine compared to regular wool.

image courtesy of this greenearth.wordpress.com

The Alpaca yarn we use in our extra chunky cowls are of the Peruvian variety. Alpaca is often compared to cashmere with the latter seen as one of the most luxurious fibres especially in the production of fashion pieces. Interestingly Alpaca is now seen as a far better alternative to cashmere.

Extra Chunky Knit Alpaca Cowl/Snood in Midnight Blue

The grasslands required to sustain cashmere producing goats are vastly depleted in China as a result of a great interest in the fibre in the 90s which lead to a continuous fall in its price. In addition to that fact, Alpacas literally have a smaller environmental footprint than goats, where their soft, padded feet are gentler on the terrain and they can graze without destroying root systems. With a faster rater of wool growth, they also produce far more wool than goats do in the same amount of time.

A fact that we quite liked here at Urbanknit is that a human is involved in every step of the process to convert the fibre to usable yarn!

 

Extra Chunky Knit Alpaca Cowl/Snood in Cream

As though you need more, here are more reasons to love Alpaca! Alpaca is similar to cashmere in water absorption as both absorb almost no moisture. Alpaca is soft and less itchy against the skin Alpaca fiber is naturally hypoallergenic. Alpaca is naturally windproof. Alpaca features less shrinkage (washable). Alpaca is highly breathable Alpaca offers great warmth for the weight. Alpaca keeps you warm in wet conditions. Alpaca is flame resistant. Alpaca is very low in static electricity. Alpaca does not hold debris and stays cleaner for longer. Alpaca is stain resistant and resists acquired odours. Alpaca is all natural and biodegradable. Alpaca has natural luster.

Are you tempted to give it a try? Go on, you know you want to!