Natty knits

Winter warmer hats don’t have to be grey and boring, as Charlotte Pearson finds out.

Brighton has acted as the inspiration for many things, but one you may not have heard of is knitted hats.
“We wanted to create patterns using bold colours and patterns that reflected the character, personality and expression of our city,” reveals Jo Hawkins, one half of Kubixl.

Jo and Anna

Jo and Anna

Along with friend Anna Dugard, who lives in Brighton, the pair’s love of hats in bold colours and patterns led to them launching their own business.
“It is our mission to brighten up dark winter outfits with our bright and beautiful bobble hats,” smiles Jo, who now resides in Worthing.
“Once we started designing our patterns, it was so fun it was quite hard to stop.
“We sat down together with all our many patterns in front of us and choose which ones stood out the best.
“We then experimented with how they looked in different colours, and thought the brighter the better.”
The patterns are drawn out on square paper, with each square representing a knitted stitch.
Once they are happy with the patterns it is transferred on to a computer where they are able to play with different colour-ways.
Block tumble_25cm_300_CMYK“It was quite a long process finalising our designs,” recalls Jo. “We made lots of prototypes to make sure the patterns looked right once knitted.
“We also wanted to make sure all seven different hat designs worked together as a collection.”
The hats, made from premium cotton blend yarn, are unisex and designs include vertical limit, crazy paving and 70s light shower.
“Our hats are machine knitted by a third generation knitwear manufacturer in Leicester, a region historically associated with knitwear production,” explains Jo.
“We chose to have them made in Britain because we wanted to support British manufacturers.
“It was very important for us to be able to visit where our hats were being made.”
Hexagons_25cm_300_CMYKEach hat is then hand finished by Jo and Anna, who have been friends since they met studying art and textiles A Levels at BHASVIC (Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College).
“We both wanted to put our practical skills to use,” says Jo. “We also wanted to check every hat was finished to the standard we wanted.
“We gather the top section by hand, sew on our leather Kubixl labels and top them with our handmade pompoms.”
As for the name the pair wanted something unique.
“We wanted something that would stand out and reflect the style of our designs,” she explains, “so we made one up.
Vertical_25cm_300_CMYK“After many weeks of playing around with different ideas, we both chose three letters each, which we re-arranged and developed into Kubixl.”
With its unusual name and colourful look the designers hope wearers will make sure they wear their hats with ‘pomfidence’, something that is easy to do.

For more information, visit the Kubixl website www.kubixl.com

Stockists: Boulder Brighton, Victoria Trading Estate, Portslade; Popsicle Lewes; The Needlemakers, Lewes

Also stocked online at:
Etsy – Main product range plus one off samples created while developing new designs;
Not On The High Street;
Young Republic;

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admin February 18, 2016 Fashion and Beauty