Tony keeps knit wits about him
THE vivacious Tony Bennett has been involved with the craft of machine knitting for more than 25 years.
Bennett's first introduction was when his mother Eunice purchased a Brother knitting machine and experienced problems translating the instruction manual.
Within a few lessons he was addicted to the potential this simple machine was capable of.
Having no formal training in fashion design, Bennett felt there was amazing scope to create classic knits, jumpers, cardigans and after humble beginnings, Dormani Yarns was born.
Meaning ‘the future’ in Italian, Dormani Yarns has a comprehensive range of yarns including pure wool, mohair mixes, cottons and blends, felting wool and a diverse range of acrylics.
The Highgate business is also the Australian agent for Yeoman Yarns out of the UK and supplies yarns to clients throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Over the last 10 years, Bennett’s passion for knit has given him the option to travel and share design concepts and textile creations with likeminded individuals.
“My biggest thrill to date was an invite to present my design and textile ideas at the Metropolitan School of Design in the UK,” Bennett said.
“It involved a week of lectures followed by a second week of hands on.
“The challenge for the latter was to design and then knit a garment within the week.”
Bennett said he saw machine knitting as a way of creating ‘fabric’ which had simply been knitted, and with this concept there was no limit to the potential of knit as a unique textile.
This drive has resulted in more than 300 awards during Bennett’s career, including the WA Wool Garment and Wool Designer of the Year in 2012.
“It is always a great honour to receive awards such as these but probably more importantly to lift the profile of knit as a much underappreciated fashion fibre,” he said.
Bennett plans to run a series of beginner classes and short-term classes covering knit design in the future.
Tony Bennett with his knitting machine and yarns.