Zhuldyz Tazhimvetova sought to explore the boundaries between artisanal handcrafted knit design and mass produced knitted products through her personal work. She found that unsustainable manufacturing methods have been contributing to climate and ecological destruction and looked to her own country to find evidence of that damage. She focused on the Aral Sea, which sits at the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It was one of the four largest lakes in the world and has since diminished to ten times its original size due to overuse. What was once an abundant body of water is now mostly desert, salt and rusting ships. The topography of the Aral Sea inspired the designs for Tazhimvetova’s knitted pieces. She wanted to create two pieces that embraced both elements of working with an industrial knitting machine such as the SHIMA SEIKI with knitted pieces created by hand. The two processes approached production differently, allowing Tazhimvetova to look at her own identity through her designs. She used milk yarns as well as donated yarns to produce both pieces.
Zhuldyz Tazhimvetova was born in Kazakhstan and graduated from the London College of Fashion with a Bachelor’s degree in Textiles specializing in Knitwear. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Textiles at Parsons School of Design in New York.