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Knitted swimwear – not as daft as you’d think!

18 August 2014 by Sam

old fashioned swimming costume

Wool serge bathing costume, 1910, frm the Tinne collection at the Walker Art Gallery

It’s that time of year again when many of us have been digging our cossies out from the back of the wardrobe ready for trips to the beach and holidays abroad. I bet that not many people will have a swimming costume quite as unusual as this one though. I have always been fascinated by it, ever since I first saw it in the Walker Art Gallery’s 2006 exhibition A Passion for Fashion: a Liverpool lady’s wardrobe.

This particular bathing costume, which dates from 1910, is made of wool serge. It was a great curiosity when it went on display at the Walker and many of us were doubtful about how practical it would be to wear in the water. We’re all so used to modern fabrics that the idea of a woolen cossie seemed completely impractical and uncomfortable. Read more…