Thursday, May 08, 2008


Embroidered detail

I had a good time taking photos of various bits and pieces of embroidery around the house. I love the detail in hand embroidery. I believe the top piece came from India but it was a gift and I may be mis-remembering. I also took a few photos of old linens I picked up in antique stores here and there. They appeal to my imagination as I picture another woman painstakingly stitching as part of her trousseau or as a hobby or because it was a requirement of being a woman from a certain time period.

Cross Stitch Detail--sm800
I think often about how there has been a resurgence of women doing crafts. Knitting, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch and sewing all have become popular again. Perhaps we have more free time and enjoy seeing the works of our hands. Although since most women work outside of the home these days, it is hard to imagine that they have all that much free time. Perhaps it is the need to see something tangible that we have done. Something we can hang on the wall or wear or give as a gift. So much of our production at work these days is "virtual"--e-mails, phone calls, faxes--real productivity but nothing we can pick up, hold, manipulate. But when I make a scarf and wear it or give it away, I have tangible, physical proof that I made it.
Since society doesn't expect women to spend their free time embroidering linens, darning socks, and so forth, we can get in touch with our gender's past without feeling enslaved by it. True feminism is sometimes not being threatened by doing something that is stereotypically feminine.


Kathe said...

The top one is really neat. Another great post, S.

Punam said...

That (the above one)... is really wonderful embroidery! And so neat... I do embroidery too, but cross stitch bores me too much. Have done mirror work on a saree with sequins.