If you follow kaightshop on Instragram, you know that I recently had the good fortune to visit Peru. Many of our designers produce their collections there because the region is rich with artisan traditions. The country is also known for it's stellar labor laws and textile mills. Additionally, many of the best, organic raw materials are sourced there, including organic cotton, wool and alpaca. I decided to go and see first-hand where many of the products stocked at KAIGHT are made. (You can read more on that here.)
While there, I met with designer and Peruvian Ursula Botti, founder of knitwear label Spin. Born in Peru and raised in Italy, Botti was always surrounded by artisans, whether it was seamstresses, spinners or shoe makers, and she quickly grasped the notion of heritage and the impact resourceful local production can have on an environment. She later combined her interest in fashion with her love of knitwear. "I was drawn to the alchemy of knitwear and wanted to focus on fiber," she says.
Botti creates pieces that play with textures, technique and sophisticated craftsmanship. For KAIGHT, she has developed a collection of knit bauble hats that are made from 100% Alpaca yarn from a yarn mill in Peru trading fairly. The hats are hand-knitted by a group of female knitters in Lima with whom Botti has been working since 2002 to transform noble fibers into timeless garments with modern life relevance. They are available in three colors in-store and online here.
For those unfamiliar with alpaca, alpaca are indigenous to South America and can be found all over Peru. They are a beloved species and are bred specifically for their fiber, which is similar to wool and comes in more than 52 natural colors. Unlike wool, however, alpaca is silky and warmer and does not contain lanolin, making it hypoallergenic. It is also warmer, stronger and lighter than cashmere, and does not pill or shrink due to the length of the fiber. It is one of the few truly sustainable textiles. I personally love it because of its diverse, natural color range and because it is generally less itchy than wool and much, much warmer.
I love the playful sophistication of the hats and hope you do to. Shop them in-store and online here.