Italian artist, ecologist and sculptor Ivano Vitali brings together two favourite themes: knitting and recycling. And he does it all with old newspaper. Make him an honourary TreeHugger.
It's an intricate and detailed process and the result is a series of delicate dresses that are unique and one-of-a-kind.
According to an article on Italian site Artnest, Ivano Vitali weaves clothing, mittens, and scarves from recycled newspapers, tearing the paper into strips, and sorting it by colours so that he doesn't have to use dyes. Then he twists the paper into strips, and makes it into a ball of paper "wool". Using special knitting needles, he knits and crotchets the paper into bikinis, dresses, shawls and gloves.
Vitali works in Florence, Italy. He started out as a sculptor, but in 1995 decided to stop using traditional materials. As he says "I think that people's creativity should be expressed without harming man or environment, since nature is a wonderful gift, received when we are born, and we are committed to handing it over to future generations. I elected waste paper as the only medium for the realisation of my works."
The colours and patterns are determined by the kind of paper--glossy or coloured, thick or heavy--and the photos and words on it. He uses neither dyes nor glue in the construction of the thread. It is made by "overlapping and twisting" the paper strips. The method of knitting or purling that he uses also is important. He acknowledges that it may not be the most comfortable thing to wear.
Vitali calls his work "impact zero global art" because "the works come from recycled materials and do not require the consumption of non-renewable resources for their realization, with the further possibility of being undone once more, re-made, or sent back into the recycling chain."
He says: "My primary aim remains the communication of the ecological message to all the peoples of the earth, because I believe that well being and happiness are dependent upon a respect for the environment, and I am therefore convinced that every person, without exception must stand for the defense of planet earth against any form of pollution."