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Kaffe Fassett - A Life in Colour - Exhibition at London's Fashion and Textile Museum

By Edited Jul 2, 2014 0 2

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Portrait September 2009
Credit: © Kaffe Fassett Studio

Kaffe Fassett - the Crafty Craftsman

If you think knitting is something only your granny does then think again. Fassett is rarely to be seen without his knitting. His brightly coloured pieces make a real statement full of vigour, reflecting life as he sees it.

After growing up in Big Sur, California, where his family's friends and neighbours included people like Henry Miller, Joan Baez, Jack Kerouac and Steve McQueen, it is not surprising that Fassett should have been inspired to follow his crafting career. In 1964, he made London his home, and his vibrant work came just in time for the swinging '60s. So, for more than fifty years Fassett has been creating amazing quilts, fabulous patchwork fabrics and inspired knitting for clients such as Bill Gibb, and Missoni. He is just as busy as ever, painting ceramics and crafting magnificent patchwork quilts.

Fassett has also written more than sixty books including his autobiography Kaffe Fassett – Kaffe Fassett – Dreaming in Colour, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang to coincide with this exhibition.

Fassett's life has been full of colour, adventure, and unexpected happenings. When Frances Spiegel recently interviewed him she asked him if he anticipated unexpected happenings in the future?

He replied: Always, always... I'm ready for for adventures wherever, and it usually comes, for sure!


Kaffe Fassett - Dreaming in Colour

Dreaming in Colour - An Autobiography by Artist Kaffe Fassett
Credit: Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2012

Highlights of the Exhibition

Designed by renowned interior and textile designer Sue Timney, this is the first exhibition of Fassett's work to be held in London since his incredibly successful show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1988.

Kaffe Fassett - A Life in Colour showcases more than 100 items including fabrics, soft furnishings, furniture, throws, shawls, knitwear, quilts and patchworks. The display includes many items created just for this exhibition as well as numerous pieces never seen in public before. 

Highlights of the exhibition range from colourful items of clothing such as the Blue Hat covered with buttons to 9-foot-wide gloriously colourful knitted shawls, quilts, patchworks and knitwear such as the Steve Lovi Cardigan (January 2012). 

Visitors will also enjoy the 'feeling' wall. What do Fassett's textiles feel like? How are they constructed? It's all here for you to discover for yourself. 

No doubt, this artist's dedicated fans will find this exhibition outstanding for the quality of its exhibits and memorable for its colourful impact.



Blue Hat 2 July 2008

Kaffe Fassett Blue Hat 2 July 2008
Credit: © Kaffe Fassett Studio

Steve Lovi Cardigan Copy January 2012

Steve Lovi Cardigan Copy January 2012
Credit: © Kaffe Fassett Studio

Knitting, Embroidery, Patchwork and Quilting - A Resurgence

Literally thousands of books have been written, not only by Kaffe Fassett, giving step-by-step instructions for almost every handicraft you can imagine.  If you don't want to spend out on these often expensive publications plenty of helpful articles can be found on the internet or in public libraries.

As the vast repository of information grows the number of crafters and craft groups is also increasing and articles like Knitting Groups, Craft Project Ideas: Disney Embroidery DesignsMake A Travelers Quilt To Remember Your Vacation  and Basic Patchwork are inspiring crafters around the world.

Visit the Exhibition

Kaffe Fasset – A Life in Colour will be on show from 22nd March to 29th June 2013.  The museum, located at 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm. Tickets and further information can be obtained from the Fashion & Textile Museum.

Location of the Fashion & Textile Museum

83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF

Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF

More by Kaffe Fassett



Mar 12, 2013 7:47am
Kaffe Fassett was a great inspiration to me as an industrial design student back in 1974. It is unique for a man to be so into fabrics, knitting, weaving and sewing and he puts many women to shame.
May 3, 2013 3:25am
Recently, I was incredibly lucky to spend about an hour with Kaffe. He's still very much into knitting and fabrics. He actually gave me a knitting lesson showing me how to use circular knitting needles. I've since completed two cardigans for my granddaughter - neither of which fit, plus a jacket for my grandson which he might grow into in about three years! Seriously though, I've also made two cardigans for myself. One is slightly big but the other fits perfectly and since I don't plan to grow any more hopefully they will both last a long time.
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