No. 2: Needlework
On the masculinities of needlework, the Fries Museum's embroidery exhibition, and mending a well-loved pair of jeans.
Welcome to Issue No. 2 of Fashion Foreword!
This month, we were inspired by recent projects that expand the meanings and practice of needlework. Needlework is more than the art of sewing and embroidery, for wielding the needle is bound to issues of gender, sustainability, and activism. In this month’s issue, Nora Veerman explores the masculinities of needlework in a thought-provoking long read. Her article draws upon the findings in a recently published book, Queering the Subversive Stitch: Men and the Culture of Needlework, to question why men who stitch continue to raise eyebrows.
An exhibition at the Fries Museum in the Netherlands shows that there is more to embroidery than its decorative value. Jip Mulder’s review of Haute Bordure illustrates how the exhibition evokes the splendour of needlework, but also its time-consuming and labour-intense aspects.
With the pandemic provoking a renewed interest in needlework and slow living in general, Judith Beyer shares a personal reflection on mending a well-loved pair of jeans. During her first experience with visible mending (where you highlight the area of the clothing that was damaged in a creative and eye-catching way, instead of trying to mask it), Judith found herself reminiscing about her grandmother, who taught her how to make and repair clothes.
Feeling inspired to begin your next needlework project? Eanna Morrison Barrs has compiled a list of resources to get you started, including a tutorial for finger knitting and a workshop on free embroidery. Let us know what you make at our next live discussion on Clubhouse – we’ll definitely be giving visible mending another go!
Judith, Eanna, Jip, and Nora
The Fashion Foreword Team
Afterword: Common Threads – Sharing Needlework Stories
Do you embroider, mend, knit, or crochet? We would love to hear your stories. We’ll be discussing the practice of mending, embroidery, and the personal meanings of needlework during an informal chat on Clubhouse. Join us for the second edition of our live discussion series Afterword: Common Threads – Sharing Needlework Stories on Friday 16 July at 21:00 CET.
From Manbroidery to Sew Bros: the Masculinities of Needlework
Throughout time, men as well as women have wielded the needle. So why do men who stitch continue to raise eyebrows?
By Nora Veerman
Embroidery Exhibition Unpicks the Ornate Stitch
With Haute Bordure, the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden (NL) celebrates the richness of four centuries of needlework and craft in the Netherlands.
By Jip Mulder
On Mending and the Meaning of Repairing
How I rediscovered the beauty of mending my own clothes (and how it brought me closer to my grandmother).
By Judith Beyer
Footnotes on Needlework
Want to dive further into this month’s theme? We’ve compiled a list of resources to inspire your next needlework project, from visible mending to a documentary on Craftivism.
By Eanna Morrison Barrs
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