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Eleanor O'Neill


Department: Northumbria School of Design

My Interests

I am passionate about working with new fibres, developing sustainable supply chains and investing in craftsmanship. It is the industries that overlap these areas that are of primary interest to me. 

Alongside my role at the university, I run luxury women’s knitwear label STUDY 34. Running STUDY 34 allows me to see and be involved in the supply chain from start to finish; from sourcing the fibres to marketing the finished product and overseeing every process along the way. 

I believe encouraging this level of awareness in design students is key. 

It gives them a better understanding of the impact of their design decisions on the environment and others in the supply chain, therefore consistently challenging them to be more conscientious designers.

Areas of Expertise

My specialism is constructed knitwear design on domestic, hand flat and Shima Seiki machines.

Industrial Experience

STUDY 34, The Crafts Council, Stefanel, Li & Fung, Hugo Boss.

Eleanor O'Neill

I am currently undertaking a part-time MRes in Design alongside my teaching at Northumbria. My research interests lie within the field of Fashion and Craft and more specifically, Knitting. My research seeks to understand how material knowledge is valued in contemporary culture and how master narratives surrounding hands-on creative disciplines are communicated to the public in both explicit and implicit ways. 

Knitting has extremely broad applications, far beyond the Fashion and Apparel sectors within which it is generally understood. Through the use of a single end of yarn and the repetition of a simple action, four-way stretch fabric is created. With applications spanning the medical, construction, and automotive industries, as well as apparel, those working within the industry are well aware of its potential to tackle the environmental challenges we face today.

However, the dominant public discourse around knitting today places it firmly in the private sphere, often understood as no more than a domestic pastime. Through my research, I seek to understand how these narratives are built and communicated with the ultimate aim of repositioning the discipline as a widely accepted way of making across diverse disciplines.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Knitting: A Restrictive Narrative?, O'Neill, E. 23 Oct 2023, In: Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture
  • Knitting as ‘Other’: Costume and identity on college campuses, O'Neill, E. 6 Oct 2023, Back to School: A Fashion Symposium
  • Knitting: The Destructive Yarn-Bomb, O'Neill, E. 11 Nov 2022, In: Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture

  • Design Studies MRes October 04 2022
  • Fashion Design BA (Hons) June 01 2013

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