Saturday, July 6th, 2013

THE process of “upcycling” – using bits of wool from old products to make new ones – is highlighted in the latest free exhibition at The York Mill’s Boiler Room Gallery this July.

I Used To Be A Jumper
features a range of knitted cushion covers and winter scarves from Raffaella Basini Creations.

Artistic mother-and-daughter team Raffaella and Tamar Basini collected hundreds of items that were worn or past their prime, painstakingly unravelled and re-wound them into balls of yarn, then knitted cushion covers and scarves from the wool.

“It’s a wonderful thing to utilise and bring back to life an item that someone has made with love for another human being,” Raffaella said.  “It is with sheer delight we do this labour of love.”

As a result their “upcycling” efforts, the vibrant, colourful furniture pillows look like parts of re-used jumpers and blankets that have been wonderfully coordinated.

“We thought about the contribution we would like to make towards a sustainable future,” Tamar said.

“In one way or another, we have always recycled – when we had finished with an item in one form we would take it apart to use for something else.”

Starting her artistic journey in childhood, Raffaella Basini used to trace out dress patterns for her nonna, a talented Italian tailoress.

This developed a deep love for design which saw Raffaella go on to study art at TAFE and university, achieving several qualifications in fine art.

Involved in the fashion industry for the past 14 years, her pieces have been exhibited at many events including the Perth Royal Show, various fashion parades and as sole artist at an international Interflora convention.

Tamar has worked with Raffaella for the past 17 years, learning all the techniques handed down to Raffaella by her nonna.

Every item of clothing is hand-made in their Hillarys workshop using hand-powered knitting machines, as well as hand-knitting, hand-crocheting and various other techniques.

Last year they launched the label Knido, focusing on natural fibres in their creations.

“Being Italian, we chose the word for nest, which is nido, because we build our pieces from natural fibres and we then added the silent K, as in knitting, to represent our construction,” Raffaella said.  

“To be exhibiting again in the Boiler Room Gallery is fantastic and continues to cement the importance of The York Mill in supporting the overall success of our business.”

Knido signature scarves and wraps will also be on show at the exhibition and a range of large tote bags will be available soon.

“The gallery is delighted to be involved again with this exciting and relatively new company,” The York Mill Managing Director John Langton said.

“Last year’s exhibition and sales of their art pieces throughout 2012 meant that inviting Raffaella Basini back again for another exhibition season made perfect sense.”

I Used To Be A Jumper runs until July 28 in the Boiler Room Gallery. Admission is free.

The York Mill is at 10 Henrietta Street, York, and the gallery is open 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. For more details, call 9641 2900 or go to

One of the scarves featured in the I Used To Be A Jumper exhibition at The York Mill Boiler Room Gallery. [Picture: Asher Smith]

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The York Mill

The York Mill, situated in the beautiful Avon Valley only one hour from Perth, offers a great day excursion for the whole family. The old flour mill site shows its own remarkable history and offers fine crafts, York souvenirs, three galleries, a licensed cafe, weekend providore markets and play area for the kids.
John Langton
P: (08) 9641 2900


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