S.N.S Herning, Denmark / by Alastair Wiper

S.N.S. Herning is a knitting company based in Herning, Denmark. Founded in 1931 by Søren Nielsen Skyt, the company is famous for producing an iconic "fisherman" sweater using a bobble technique developed by Søren, intended to help with insulation. The company has had it's ups and downs, and the collection has grown and shrunk, and until just a few years ago it had shrunk so much that it was almost non-existent, surviving only by selling a few of the classic fisherman's sweaters. That is when the grandson of the original Søren Skyt, also called Søren Skyt, decided to quit his job teaching philosophy at the university of Aarhus and make a go of reviving the company. And quite a go of it he has made. The company has moved to new premises, bought new (old) machines, increased the size of the collection and started to sell to high-end fashion stores around the world. It's pretty much impossible to walk down the street in Copenhagen without seeing someone wearing an S.N.S. knit. Søren the younger has brought the textile industry back to Herning, a city that once relied on textile weaving as it's main principle activity, and it's good to see the rare occurrence of a product like this being manufactured in Denmark.

I took a series of "family portraits" of the machines in the form of diptychs and triptychs - the idea is that when you buy a garment you can see which machines have produced the piece you are wearing. The machines are primarily German with a few Japanese ones thrown in, and date from the 50's to the 80's. Many of them work with an analogue technique where the patterns are punched into special cards that are then fed into the machines - and these cards aren't manufactured any more, so Søren is trying to get his hands on any he can find. Once a card has been used, the holes are taped over so that the card can be re-used.

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