September 15, 2023

A Brief History of Fiber Art

The lace doily purse (pictured), was designed by Lisa Daehlin, and knitted by me for a customer at my now-closed yarn store,  All About Yarn in Azusa, back in 2008.

Knitting and crocheting have a rich and fascinating history, dating back thousands of years. Here are some interesting facts I like to share with my blog readers.

Origins of Knitting: 
Knitting is believed to have originated in the Middle East around the 5th century AD. The earliest known knitted artifacts were discovered in Egypt, including intricately patterned socks and hats.

Ancient Crocheting: 
Crocheting, on the other hand, has a more recent origin. It is thought to have emerged in Europe during the 16th century. The word "crochet" itself comes from the French term "croche" meaning "hook."

Early Use and Purpose: 
In the early days, knitting and crocheting were primarily functional crafts. They were used to create clothing, blankets, and household items like curtains and tablecloths. These crafts served as essential skills for survival and practicality.

Guilds and Trade Secrets: 
Knitting and crocheting techniques were often passed down through generations within families or shared among guilds. These guilds held valuable trade secrets and guarded their techniques closely.

Industrial Revolution Impact: 
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries brought significant changes to knitting and crocheting. The invention of knitting machines and the mass production of yarn made these crafts more accessible to the general population.

World War I and II: 
Knitting played a crucial role during both World Wars. Women on the home front would knit socks, scarves, and other warm garments for soldiers. This act of support and comfort became a symbol of patriotism.

Revival of Handcrafts: 
In recent years, knitting and crocheting have experienced a resurgence in popularity. The rise of the DIY movement, along with the therapeutic benefits of these crafts, has attracted people of all ages and backgrounds.

Modern Innovations: 
Today, knitting and crocheting have evolved beyond traditional techniques. Contemporary artists and designers push the boundaries of these crafts, exploring new materials, patterns, and styles. Additionally, technology has enabled online communities, forums, and platforms for crafters to connect and share their work.

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