If you engage in any kind of craft you have undoubtedly heard comments from non-crafters like “that’s for old ladies,” or “my grandma does that.” You’ll roll your eyes at this attitude and go on with your day. What neither of you may know is how far from the truth this is. There was an article in Craft a while ago that brushed on the subject, and it made me recall a period of American history.
Think of how this country started. Some of the most free-thinking, progressive people in history came here with ideas that changed the world. Pre-American Revolution our country was going through the time of mercantilism, the ideology of economic regulation held by the British Empire. American colonists were being increasingly regulated and taxed by the mother country, all the while with no voice in Parliament (think No Taxation Without Representation). Fortunately for us, these brave people weren’t going to stand for that. Colonists made some extreme actions to stand up against the British and they exerted their buying power through boycotts and tarring-and-feathering.
The movement really changed the way luxury was viewed in America. Beloved porcelain teapots, Eastern teas, fine fabrics, and glass became unattractive symbols of the game Britain was playing with the colonists. In the spirit of independence people began making their own things. Homespun clothing was a defiant badge against British power, and even the wealthiest gave up their material luxuries in support of a free America! Across the country women held spinning bees, taking personal responsibility and action for determining their liberty. The fashion was simplicity. Even though the homespun goods were far from the quality of the items offered by merchants, the colonists were willing to put materialism aside for the radical dream of freedom.
So to imply that crafting is any kind of conservative, traditional, outdated activity is to defy the very thing that is America!