|HIKARU NOGUCHI moved to England from Japan in 1989 to study constructed textiles, specialising in knit, having previously taken a degree in graphic design at Musashino Art University in her native Tokyo. Finding a measure of artistic freedom and stimulation in England which she had not found in Japan, she stayed on after completing her studies at Middlesex University to take up knitted textile design work, developing new and innovative textiles for furnishings, scarves, bags and garments.
Her work has developed to mix texture, colour and hand knit qualities. With influences from traditional knit patterns and techniques, such as Fairisle, Aran, embroidery and stripe. Sources of inspiration are diverse, from flea markets all over the world to paintings of De Chirico. She seeks a look that is both sophisticated and quirky, achieved through unusual juxtapositions of colour and texture. Throughout, her fundamental theme is one of joie de vivre.
Hikaru works with several U.K manufacturers and knitters to produce her work, and she loves visiting them and looking at their knitting and weaving machinery. Occasionally, she finds some scraps of fabric on the floors of their workshops which serves as inspiration for a future collection
“95% of my materials come from Scotland and Italy, where you find the finest spinners in the world.”
“As I trained as knitted fabric designer, I usually start to think about textures and structures before I think about colours of the fabric. I have two knitting machines in my studio on which I constantly experiment by knitting small samples of fabric, and a lot of old knitting pattern books (my favourites are from the 1930s and 1960s). I also have a big collection of books on traditional folk costumes, which give me inspiration and remind me of the timeless beauty of knitting.”