• Knit Products

Staging Knits: Photographing your knits

Last month, I went to an exhibition by Wolfgang Tillmans in Omotesando.

Watching his video interview made me rethink what it means to create a knit. The process, the development behind something that seems so staged and unstaged. 

His “Freischwimmer” series was created with a flashlight in the darkroom, a very different approach from the conventional camera image capture process. He exposed photosensitive paper from a light source and develop them as colour prints. The images seem to be pigment floating in the water. At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that these photographs weren’t actually taken, but were developed.

I felt that this can be said about knit. We can assume a process of a knitwear production. But do we really know what is behind it? If so, how can we communicate that?

My first few months in Maruyasu have felt like that. I thought yarn was ‘yarn’, but it is much more than that. It is about the process and the possibilities that this material can contain. Since the world is constantly changing, so does material, colour and connotations. 

Is it possible to express that through imagery? What are ways to express or share your knits? Inspired by Wolfgang Tillmans, I chose to look into ways of photographing knit.


For Around Ten Years Around Me (2022) is a collection of 159 photocopied images of a tattered waistband of a jacket Tilmans wore for ten years daily. In university, I used to photocopy my own knit samples as well to label my stitches. It is quite interesting to put a texture object in what we usually use to capture words. It is also a good way to get a clear look at stitches or linking.


Tillmans is most famous for his representational photographic bodies. Central Nervous System is the portraiture of Karl, an acquaintance of Tilmans, and it captures an intimate yet objective view of his figure. It almost feels as if we can actually feel his presence without physically being in the scene, which is quite important when we photograph textures. There is also ‘uninhibition’, a signature style of Tilmans

By suggesting signs of human presence, we can we empower the viewer’s senses. As if they already felt the fabric or object.


Faltenwurf which translates to “Drape” is a series of photographs done again by Tilmans. It’s all still life but the colour choices, the shiny and the matt surface complement each other. It has a textured story. The set-up also proposes a theme of ‘undressing’ and thereby retaining the warmth and smell of the wearer. There is a lot one can do even just with still life. Definitely, something to explore.

Wolfgang Tillmans is just one example, and I am very sure there are many unique ways to express fabrics.

It’s almost summer so outdoor shoots can be an exciting option as well. At Maruyasu we offer a wide range of knit swatches and product visualisations. Do have a look at our recent collections and knitting inspiration from our website!

See you soon!