Expert skills, gorgeous results
Misha & Puff is famous for producing gorgeous, knitted garments. If our knits immediately conjure pictures of Peruvian women with knitting needles, their fingers going a mile a minute, you wouldn't be wrong.
But did you know that there are other ways to knit besides using traditional knitting needles?
And that our garments today may incorporate a bunch of techniques from start to finish?
Let's talk about different ways to knit...
- Hand-knitting. Think knitting needles and skeins of yarn.
- Manual knitting machine. It's NOT electric. Think of it like the knitting version of a loom that you would use in weaving. Some people classify manual knitting machines as hand knitting, but some don't. It depends on your definition of hand-knitting.
- Industrial knitting machines. This is an electric machine, and it can range in size, style, and capabilities.
Machine knitting requires specialized skills. It is its own art form, and it offers many benefits to boot:
As we mentioned, some of our knitted garments might use a combination of techniques.
The knitting cooperatives do a combination of knitting by hand, manual machine, and industrial machine. It’s because of this combination of techniques and flexibility that knitting in Peru is so special. For example, one part of the garment might be done with an industrial machine, but then another part might have crochet edging. Two different knitting groups might be working together on this garment (or multiple knitters within the same group).
We also have a textile partner in Arequipa that has a machine knitting factory in addition to knitting cooperatives.
The magic of knitting with our partner in Arequipa
Our knitting partner in Arequipa is the owner of a textile factory that originally started two decades ago. One of the co-founders was a woman with a big dream: to celebrate Peru’s rich textile history and bring work to an area of the country where people, primarily women, needed reliable jobs.
Today, the successful business provides work for 250+ factory workers and 500+ artisan knitters in communities in and around Arequipa.
Our Arequipa knitting partner has GOTS and Fair Trade certifications.
The company lives and breathes the concept of “people first.” In addition to the steady and quality work it provides, it has a daycare on site so that workers can see their children. It also created a non-profit association that focuses on improving the quality of life in Andean communities in the Arequipa region, particularly for women and children. It not only values its employees, but also its clients like us. We’re grateful for the partnership.
One of our favorite anecdotes: Our partner told us that the reliable work and income over the last decade-plus helped one machine knitter save money for his son’s education. Today, that son is a doctor. Those are the stories we love to hear and one of many reasons why we bring our work to Peru.