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?