Brooke Roberts Design: Brain Scans Transformed into Knitwear Patterns

Based in London, innovative fashion designer, Brooke Roberts, has created a collection  of women's knitwear comprised of images of brain segments captured during medical scans combined with the drawings of Dutch artist, MC Escher. Created from merino wool and "sports-tech composite yarns," the collection, which was made using a digital knitting machine, includes three short dresses, skirts and sweaters in color ranges of gray, purple and mustard yellow.


Brain Scan Dress- Side View: Source: Dezeen.comBrain Scan Dress- Side View: Source:


How did Brooke Roberts get her  start?

Working in an Italian knit factory after her graduation from Central St. Martins, Brooke had three years of hands-on experience working for various knitwear designers. In those days, her interests and work were focused on the cutting and construction of garments. When she started her own fashion label the emphasis  evolved into the capabilities of digital knitting machines and the bridging of the gap between her two up-to-now highly diverse occupations. The infinite blend of knitting, technology and science proved irresiistable.

How are these designs developed?

For Australian-born Roberts , her creative spirit is driven by the need to experiment and "learn something new every day." The world of medical imagery via x-rays and scanning machines is her inspiration. Always before her, considering her dual occupation as cardiac radiographer and fashion designer, pushing that proverbial envelope has created this amazing brain scan knitwear collection, whcih combines science, technology and fashion with innovative imagery and fabrics.


Brain Scan Knitwear Dress-front View: Source: Dezeen.comBrain Scan Knitwear Dress-front View: Source:


These "hybrid artworks" as they are sometimes referred to, all begin with a medical picture that is then melded with textured textiles and other images. In Brooke's own words: "Mostly I combine the scans with other concepts and that's what takes them in a new direction...For example, a magnetic resonance imaging  (MRI) brain scan segment can be isolated and tessellated to look like an image that is matematical and rhythmic."

How are these hybrid artwork designs knitted?

According to Brooke Roberts, "I have done this with computerized tomography (CT) brain and sinus scan images and highlight aspects I find interesting in order to use them for knit designs...Most brains look very similar. However, the imaging modalities show different structures to varying degrees and the software we use allows us to change the image parameters in post-processing so we can play with the aesthetics of images..." 


Brain Scan Dress Three Views: FashionandMash.comBrain Scan Dress Three Views:


Her real creativity comes into play with her development of fabrics that correspond to each season. She uses a combination of natural and man-made yarns because their weights differ, She then  tests each one on a digital knitting machine. The next step is to sketch the silhouettes of the garments and select the artwork to be used before creating knitted prototypes. These morph into templates and specification sheets which are then programmed into the knitting machine.

The future of brain scan knitwear

Brooke Roberts has become a fashion pioneer by transforming brain scans in viable and bold knitwear patterns. She hopes to expand her efforts into interiors, such as brian scan room dividers. After that, who can say? Her garment collection is significant because it represents a fusion of science, technology and fashion. Truly, from here the only way to go is up.

Closing thoughts on the changing face of fashion:

... Fashion is in  the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we  live, what is happening.~ Coco Chanel

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