e.a.seawear was founded by costume designer Eva Swoboda and communication designer Anna Berger and produces crocheted and knitted seawear suitable for swimming. The label grew out of a project that started with two very simple questions: is it possible to renew the cotton-heavy crochet bikini from the sixties, and how can we possibly find somebody who is able crochet these days?
The crochet bikinis are handmade by a collection of seniors from East Berlin and a Turkish crafts group. All knitted models are produced in Erzgebirge (an area in Saxony) and finished in Berlin with handmade details. A fast drying yarn guarantees that the bikinis are suitable for swimming, which was developed in cooperation with the institute of Textile Technology in Denkendorf.
THE CROCHET BIKINI
It all started with the rediscovery of a crochet bikini made by Anna’s mother, who followed the printed instructions for a crochet bikini from an issue of the German woman’s magazine, “Brigitte”. She made it in the typical color of the time, orange, and it is still in good shape up to to this day. Since the bikini is crafted out of cotton, it is saturated by water while swimming and dries fairly slowly.
From this, an idea was born: we want to develop a crochet bikini ourselves! There were questions to answer: how can one make this itchy wool-monster comfortable and suitable for swimming, and what could we do to give it a contemporary look? And because we did not know how to crochet ourselves, we had to ask: who has the ability to do that craft these days?
We placed an ad in the local paper searching for senior ladies who have fun crocheting, and formed a group of 20 enthusiastic crocheting ladies. Many of them were true experts in this field. Most of the time they would crochet or knit socks or oven mitt for their weary relatives.
We began having weekly meetings, in which we developed a cut, crochet pattern and manufacturing instructions together with the senior ladies. Finding a suitable yarn was difficult. After searching in various shops and fairs all over Germany, we cooperated with the Institute of Textile Technology in Denkendorf, who helped us to develop the yarn.
The seniors produced 30 bikinis which we then sold in a pop-up store in the summer of 2008. The response was very positive, and all of sudden we had a new question to answer: how do we keep on?
e.a.seawear is supported by a Institute of Textile Technology, close to Stuttgart. The yarn for our bikinis gets plied, twined, and afterwards steamed at the Institute.
B. Kampf in Tannenberg, Germany is producing trimmings for us. Mrs. Kampf has developed knitted and woven elastic, and is constantly working on ductility and colour to our specific requirements, giving our bikinis the perfect elastic fit.http://www.kampf-posamenten.de