When Swedish knitwear designer Biggan Ryd-Dups moved to Australia 28 years ago, her fingers were literally itching to begin designing with the country’s legendary merino wool.
In Europe, Biggan had gained a reputation for her stylish designs and her vibrant use of colour. However, she found that combining her Swedish design ethic with Australia’s soft merino wool was not as easy as she had anticipated.
Unable to find a range of Australian-produced yarn with the broad colour palette she yearned for, Biggan decided to produce her own. In 2002, she and her husband, Kennerley, set out on a month-long road trip through New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to find a mill with which she could collaborate to produce her dream yarn.
Another two years of hard work followed to get the twist, weight, softness and colours of the yarn perfect. Biggan was kept busy testing the yarn’s knittability and durability by knitting umpteen sweaters, and then washing them over and over in the washing machine. The Dups’s energetic ski bum daughter was also roped in to give the sweaters a hard workout in the snowfields. Now a vet, she is still field testing these same sweaters!
In April 2005, Biggan Design showed the yarn for the first time to the public at the Autumn Craft Fair in Brisbane. Two years later, the website was launched, and in 2008, the yarn was launched in the UK.
Today Biggan Design can boast a loyal customer base both in Australia and overseas. Inevitably, it is the yarn’s softness and the amazing range of colours that customers comment on.
Biggan Design is a family-owned business based in Brisbane, Australia.