"Mastectomy Caregiver" is the creation of adapted knitwear for women who have experienced a mastectomy during their breast cancer treatment.
Mastectomy is the removal operation of the breast(s) that can take place in the case of breast cancer. It is sometimes followed by the reconstruction of the breasts with tissues of other parts of the body. It is a heavy operation that leads to painful scars located at the breasts, the belly and the arm junction.
The sweater acts as a protective shell during the woman’s recovery phase, using the industrial knitting technique to create volume around the bust and the arm areas. It takes into account the patient’s needs after the operation: it is easy to put on with one arm, it allows enough space for a transfusion to go through the sleeve, it is friendly to sensitive skin and it leads the gaze of others towards the face instead of the bust.
A software model was specifically programmed to knit the sweaters. It combines tight and loose stitches in order to create volume. The sweater’s pieces are also knit directly in shape, hence avoiding any yarn waste.
The sweaters are completely produced in The Netherlands by the company Knitwear Lab in Almere. The material is a high quality lamb’s wool yarn from Italy which has been specifically selected for its softness and friendliness to sensitive skin.
Pauline Agustoni is a Swiss textile designer working between Berlin, Germany and Eindhoven, The Netherlands. After her graduation from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2019, she developed her own practice focussing on conceptual and textile design. With varied and engaged projects, her work focuses on the emotional narratives and histories that are present behind objects and materials. Interested in female speech in particular, she aims at giving a stage for those voices within her work. Her physical presence on the field and her hands-on approach places encounters with people at the center of her projects.
Research video: vimeo.com