Photo of Vikki Haffenden

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Knitted textile design, knitwear design, knitwear related to body size/body shape, 3D body shape, changing body shape in ageing, clothing and ageing, clothing and larger body shape/size, slow textiles, encouraging longevity of clothing, textiles as a medium for education.

Approach to teaching

My own experience and continuing practise underlies my teaching. I consider the making process to be part of the design journey, and that with a high level of technical skill a more comprehensive approach to design can be achieved.

Sharing knowledge and skills, and guiding and encouraging individuals in developing their own understanding and design practise is a continual joy to me. It is of course challenging, especially when theory and practise co-exist and both require critical consideration and the development of different skill sets.

In my work in the knitted textiles area, I am a very hands-on teacher, and expect and encourage students to explore an experiment with knitted textiles in a pro-active and deeply researched manner.

Scholarly biography

Dr Vikki Haffenden is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Fashion Textiles at the University of Brighton. Her specialist knowledge in textiles spans industrial knitted textile design and manufacturing,and digital textile design, through to the craft practise of hand knitting and yarn creation, all of which she contributes into the different levels in the knitted textile area. Vikki also teaches the complexities and principles of taking design prototypes into manufacture across the various disciplines in the School of Art.

Vikki’s doctorate research focused on knitted textiles and industrially produced knitwear viewed through the lens of real body shape. Using 3D body scanning, she investigated the 3D body shape of women outside 'standard' sizes and developed combined knitting methods that offer an improved fit for different female body shapes. These areas are still amongst her active interests. This doctoral research led to her involvement in a large-scale ESRC research project, ‘Design for Ageing Well’; part of the ‘New Dynamics of Ageing’ initiative. She discusses some details of her contribution to the project in ‘Textile-Led Design for the Active Ageing’ (Woodhead, 2014).

Vikki's doctoral research has been cited by international researchers and authors in relation to shaping 3D garments, the UK knitwear industry and seamless knitting.

Vikki is the author of publications about hand and machine knitting and her latest book, ‘Translating Between Hand and Machine Knitting’ was published in 2018. A new, updated and revised edition of her publication ‘The Knitting Book’ (Dorling Kindersley, 1st ed 2010) was published in Spetember 2019.

Vikki is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, and a Fellow of the HEA.

Supervisory Interests

My supervisory interests include knitted textiles, textiles, technical knitted textiles, 3d body shape and 'difference' in the context of clothing, textiles and fashion. So far however, it is my experience and interest in the fields of personal and community health and wellbeing related to textiles that have contributed to being second supervisor on two PhDs focused on art/science and art/community and wellbeing. I enjoy supervising postgraduate students, and welcome enquiries.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

Award Date: 30 Nov 2012


  • NX Arts in general
  • textiles
  • knitting
  • Design
  • TT Handicrafts Arts and crafts
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • L Education (General)


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