Sunday, 15 February 2009

Get lost

I came across an article on The Times website recently, titled Forget the Silliness: It’s Time to Get Serious in 2009.

In a nutshell, a “futurist” makes predictions about the way our lives and society as a whole are going to change. The line that really caught my attention goes: “Expect a renaissance in arts and crafts, home-based hobbies, do-it-yourself and self-assembly kits.” This implies that no one is doing these things at the moment.

These skills have also already been consigned to a “bygone era” – as one reviewer puts it – in Una McGovern’s book Lost Crafts: Rediscovering Traditional Skills. Patchwork and quilting, rag rugs, tatting, smocking and sewing samplers are all included in the list. It’s a really nice book. It’s beautifully illustrated and interesting, and I’ll probably put it on my wish list. But why the need to call them lost crafts?

There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who embroider and knit and sew and crochet and make lace every day. Is our community of textile crafters an unintentionally secret society? Are we guilty of sharing our passion exclusively with other stitchers? Or are non-crafters simply an ignorant bunch on the whole?

4 comments:

lovestitches said...

That futurist is terrible if they are predicting what happened oh, about 3-4 yrs ago! I didn't know we were a secret society. I feel special now. Maybe we need a secret handshake.

UK lass in US said...

I don't know. I think I can see why people would be oblivious. I don't even know where I would get fabric if I still lived in my home town, as the fabric shop closed down when I was a kid.

If I hadn't discovered blogs a couple of years ago, I might well believe that I was only one of a handful young(ish...) crafters, as the local fabric shops are usually filled with older women.

The previous couple of generations of my family only did minimal sewing / knitting, so I've been teaching myself using the internet. I think that's the best thing: these days it doesn't matter if you don't have a grandma to teach you these things, so they won't become lost crafts.

karen said...

I'd go with the second conclusion!!

Jenny said...

I agree its getting more and more difficult to find craft items on the high street. John Lewis is reasonable but I can't think of any little wool or fabric shops in town, well actually one funky wool shop thank goodness. I suppose people don't really see whats available or possible so crafting has a low profile. Such a shame.