The making of the Moon Trooper Knit
Think of this edition of Behind the Seams as ‘bring your knitwear lover to work day’. A chance for you to see how your favourite pieces are made and meet the wonderful humans who bring our designs to life. Today we’re visiting our knitwear factory in Shanghai, a boutique business full of passionate people who really know their yarns and top of the line tech that makes the process oh-so much smoother. Fire exits are at the rear of the building, lunch is at noon and if you see anything you like, go buy it ok.
The big idea:
Every hej hej piece begins in the brains of Alice and Kiki (that’s us), where colours are crafted, textures are envisioned and designs are formed. Being the inclusive body lovers that we are, all of our knitwear is one size fits all so we have to create pieces that will compliment all sorts of shapes - yours especially.
Moon Trooper is the perfect example of this, as a wrap-knit cardigan with side ties allowing it to pull in or lax out to suit the bod in question.
Then we choose between our collection of luxury yarns, from cotton and cashmere through to wool and Mohair - the fibres of your lovely Moon Trooper. Yes, it’s Responsible Wool Standard Certified, Global Recycled Standard, Certified Sustainable Mohair and all that good stuff. You know us.
Last, but most certainly not least, we lab dip the yarns to create our delicious custom colour palette like your favourite Periwinkle or Seafoam. The fabric and designs are then handed over to the talented folks at our Knitwear Factory to be whipped into shape.
First thing’s first - our designs get the once over from our eagle-eyed technician who adds their two cents on our yarn selection, measurements and features. Our designs are then dragged into the digital age and transformed into patterns that the knitting robots can digest.
We then lovingly douse the yarn in wax, making it strong and smooth like Kiki after a gym binge, before winding it up ready for the knitting machine aka your grandma, but way faster and less racist.
Using the digital pattern, the garment is knitted in sections on a flatbed machine - arms, front and back - you get the gist, before being stitched together on a linking machine. Stitch by stitch by glorious stitch. For some members of our yarn family, we give them a little extra love in the form of hand stitching for extra reinforcement.
Then we give the new girl a good wash, iron and add her labels before her final inspection to make sure everything is in tippity top shape. That’s similar to tip top shape, but like, a whole new level. We actually check her over at each stage, but telling you that would quickly become quite repetitive so we thought we’d just slip it in down here for your reading pleasure.
After your Moon Trooper has been lovingly crafted by dedicated humans and their discerning robot friends, she is folded (we’ll teach you sometime), wrapped and shipped off to the City of Sails, New Zealand. Actually, Auckland’s tagline is ‘the place desired by many’ these days but we’re not acknowledging that.
And wallah! Moon Trooper.
Photo credit: Graeme Kennedy