Our Design Process

We make all of our luxury knitwear designs in-house within the OUBAS studio situated in Ulverston, Cumbria. We combine heritage with modern knitting technology to produce traditional ‘fully fashioned’ knitwear, meaning each piece is shaped to fit with very little to no waste.


OUBAS founder Kate Stalker hand draws new knitwear designs using pencils


Unlike with cut and sew clothing where there is fabric waste, with knitting you only use exactly the amount of yarn needed to produce the item; it is already very low waste. For OUBAS knitwear we use pure natural fibres such as wool, linen, cotton and cashmere which are all known for their soft hand feel and longevity. 

We do not work with complex patterns but instead with the simplicity of yarn drape and the way that natural fibres take colour and dye. Using natural fibres means our items can easily return to the land after we use them, or be recycled into new yarns or items. We select quality yarns that will last, making sure our finishing and overall construction of garments is robust and designed in a way where we eliminate weak seams and stretch where damage may occur through regular wear.


A green OUBAS knitwear jumper is measured to check sizing and finish

Wool swatches and colour combinations are experimented with from a swatch book


Machinery

We use Stoll CAD knitting machinery - they can produce a very fine fabric down to a heavier chunky knit. We also have traditional knitwear linking machines for a fine fabric and a mid weight fabric, so we link the fine lambswool, cashmere and merino on the fine machines and the Donegal and British Wool styles on the chunkier. These machines join together panels of knitting and attach necklines onto garments.

We also have specialist hand tools that we use to finish our pieces; latch tools to hide the ends of seams, and needle hooks to catch any dropped stitches when mending items. We have high pressure steam irons and steam benches to press the knitwear, setting the fabric and settling the structure of the knit.

The innovation in this machinery and in our direct to community e-commerce site means that we can operate on a made-to-order and small batch model, building a resilient and truly more regenerative model as we do not buy in large amounts of stock and then discount at the end of a season, but offer timeless styles that are not trend led but can be styled in different ways.


An industrial knit linker machine is used to create luxury OUBAS knitwear in the studio


OUBAS founder Kate Stalker smiles as she monitors the industrial knitting machines in the studio


You can read more about the yarns and materials we use here.