Tony keeps knit wits about him

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion -

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d415378

Tony Ben­nett with his knit­ting ma­chine and yarns.

With Desmond Eddy

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