In 2002, contemporary textile artist Rachel John invented Extreme Textiles – the process of rapidly mixing multiple strands of yarn together with large wooden tools. As a designer, maker and inventor, Rachel’s been using these extraordinary techniques to push the boundaries of craft ever since.
After five years of research and development, she discovered that with re-designed tools, very thick yarn and extra wide pieces, she could mix multiple yarn strands together. Blending anything between three to a thousand strands, this technique allowed her to easily and rapidly create stunning craft objects: from hand-knit king-size throws in just two days, to inch-thick carpet rugs in six hours or less.
Since then, Rachel has developed and expanded her Extreme Textiles technique. Pushing beyond home furnishings into apparel and gifts, she has revolutionised not just knitting but also crochet, weaving, x-stitch, and tapestry.
1000 Strand Knitting by Rachel John - taking knitting to unheard of levels
Rachel has appeared on Ideal World’sCreate andCraft TV, while her ideas have appeared in landmark publications such asThe Culture of Knittingby Jo Turney andThe Greatest Knits of All Timeby Lela Nargi.
As part of her concerns and aims, Rachel wants her company to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and it’s a continuous journey making each part more considerate to the environment.
One great way to do this is to repurpose high quality materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
Over the years Rachel has built some great relationships with the UK wool and textile industry, sourcing high quality yarns and materials. She then takes them back to her workshop to repurpose. With the yarn she hand makes it into various collections to make wonderful textiles pieces for you and your home. With the amazing material she sources she recuts it, reshapes it, reworks it into readymade items for you to buy and instantly use and enjoy.
Over the years, we’ve had some really fun commissions.
We were delighted to be asked to create big bold and beautiful knitted lettering to dress Stella McCartney’s shop windows as part of one of her seasonal campaigns.
Totally over the moon to also be asked to create big, bold and beautiful lettering for Oasis clothing brand to go in store behind their counters in their flagship store in London.
And really honoured to be a featured artist and create textile installations at the entrance of several craft fairs, as show pieces for the crowds to enjoy as they enter buildings.
Monumental Display at the Knitting & Stitching Show
Outside 20 metre display showing many ways to craft in textiles. The design was a free thinking brief and the title was instrumental in creating a huge piece with much detail in each panel. It was very well used as an educational tool for upcoming textiles graduates.
Design 6 knitted windows for Stella McCartney
Ah this was a great thing to do. We designed lettering in the Extreme Textiles style of BIG knitting. The letters were first to read as Stella and then to be reconfigured into Sale. The brief was tight and the letters went off round the world.
Knitted Shop Sign for Oasis in Covent Garden
This was FUN. Commission to Extreme Knit a shop sign for the wall behind the tills at this avant garde shop.
Palm Court Display - Knitting & Stitching Show
Extreme knitting was the method behind the madness of making a knitted cover for a sail boat. With our 1000 Strand knitted mattress providing a 10 metre high foreground in hounour of a dock side setting.