Monday, 16 May 2011

Is Needlework a dying art?

While at the Hawkesbury show I spoke to one of the stewards for some time about the entries. She commented that there were half the amount of craft exhibits as there used to be. The steward was a lovely senior lady who had been a part of the show for many years.

I mentioned I was a school teacher two days a week and we chatted about craft being taught in schools (or the lack of).

Today at work, one of my colleagues entered into the same conversation with me.

I know it's important for children to be able to read and write, and to do their sums. But the pressure these days to perform has pushed out nearly all other parts of a well rounded education.

I am fortunate that my daughter's teacher decided to do some stitching with her. But it's the first time in her 7 years of schooling that she's been exposed to this kind of craft. She's also lucky that both her grandmother and her mother are keen stitchers, so she's been surrounded by it for as long as she can remember. I've given her a few projects, from straight stitches, card lacing and counted cross stitch. She hasn't completed them all, but she has at least been exposed to the craft.

What about all those people out there who don't have family or friends to encourage them to have a go?

Is needlework dwindling into a dying art? Or will there be a resurgence of interest down the track? Perhaps, as in the nineties, cross stitching will become a fad again.

What do you think?
I'm interested in your opinion.


  1. It is dying but hopefully it will come back again stronger than ever. Unfortunately I think there are a number of reasons.

    1. Schools no longer just teach the work by rote, we have to make sure that students achieve higher and higher and that they use 'higher order thinking' when they are working.

    2. crafts aren't part of the curriculum. Simple as that art is now drawing and even that is dying!

    3. It isn't as easy to get the materials. Where 30 years ago grandma talks about walking down to the local shops and there was this knitting store and that fabric store and this place for craft. Now my choices are spotlight and sewco. It became so easy just to buy decorations/clothes and so much cheaper that some of that art was lost.

    Now thankfully I think it is picking up. The craft show I went to at the beginning of the year was teaming with young people while a year before it has been mostly older ladies. People are starting to get pride in making stuff for themselves again.

  2. I really hope you're right Mangogirl. It's very true that it's so easy to get machine decorated items. And now there are embroidery machines too.
    Perhaps the stress of daily life will drive people to seek calm arts like stitching as a kind of meditaion. I know it is for me many times.