CALLAN is a niche creative knitwear brand based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The brand specialises in playful design lead knitwear featuring lively colours and vibrant pattern.
Garments are produced using heritage skills on traditional knitting frames.
Every CALLAN scarf and sweater is hand loomed, hand tooled and hand finished right here in Belfast.
The best of natural fibres are sourced for the products ensuring permanence and softness.
Quality, considered design brings joy to the everyday and that is the aim of CALLAN knitwear x
Mary Callan discovered a love of knitting while studying Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins, London. She is a huge fan of pattern and picture knitting, specialising in techniques such as Intarsia and jacquard.
The designer draws upon art, design, craft and everyday life experiences to create her work.
Mary accepts custom commissions for film and TV. Her favourite commission so far has been an ‘Ulster Fry’ sweater for Ma Mary in the third series of ‘Derry Girls’.
CALLAN knitwear has received the Peroni Moda Award and an Innovation and Craftsmanship Award from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.
Callan scarves and sweaters begin life as a spool of yarn from one of the top wool or cashmere mills in England, Scotland and Italy.
Once in the studio in Belfast, the yarn is threaded up on traditional Swiss and Japanese knitting looms. These beautiful manual machines are from an era when slow fashion was standard and not a buzz word. They still produce an excellent finish today.
After the cast on, the knitted garment progresses via a process called fully fashioning . This entails the manual transfer of stitches with a tool to shape each panel. The result is a thoughtfully engineered and garment produced with minimal waste.
Once off the machine seams are manually linked and loose ends are woven in. Next the garment is washed to lightly felt the yarn creating a soft luxurious handle.
Each piece is then pressed, labelled and checked thoroughly before posting.
From the beginning, CALLAN scarves and sweaters have been made from natural fibres such as wool and cashmere.
The benefits of wearing wool are manifold. Unlike synthetics, wool is an active fibre which adapts to body temperature. It helps you stay warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot. It is soft, breathable, elastic, odour resistant and fire retardant.
Furthermore, it is grown year round by Merino sheep, who consume a simple blend of sunshine, water, fresh air and grass. Every year these sheep produce new fleece, which means wool is a renewable fibre.
Lastly, wool is 100% biodegradable so does not contribute to micro plastic pollution in our oceans and our land.
Invest in quality garments made from natural fibres, that will last you a lifetime.