Millie Cunningham

Textile Design BDes (Hons)

A series of knitted lights and objects that challenge our idea of knitting as both a practice and a fabric.


black and white headshot of a smiling girl with long hair

Knitting has an image problem. My generation generally see it as an outdated craft; slow, expensive, and frankly uncool to anybody below the age of 60. As a result, the versatility of knitting as a fabric is often overlooked. Knitting is so much more than itchy jumpers or an old-fashioned pastime. I aim to challenge the perception that knitting is a defunct craft and prove that it firmly has a place in contemporary design practice by bringing my designs directly into the home.

To achieve this, I aim to knit the unexpected. Visually inspired by corrugation and industrial vent pipes at a waste site in Dundee, I explored methods of turning knitted fabric -a typically flat, flimsy material- into a 3D form. Through extensive material research and development, and the combination of different knitting techniques, I have created a range of knitted samples that are designed and constructed in such a way that they are self-supporting. They need no lining or frame to stand but still retain the flexibility and softness of traditional knitting. 

To prove the adaptability of my knitted structures and highlight the versatility of knit, I have chosen to display my designs in a lighting context. I have made the lights from 100% knitted fabric, with no supporting frame. These prototypes are just one example of how knitting can be used in an unusual, contemporary interiors context.


Three of the knitted lamps designed and created by Millie Cunningham.
Two pieces of knitting that are folded in origami-style.

A range of knitted samples that focus on structure and 3D form

Knitted Origami Object

Circular origami knit being turned inside out