Historical Perspective on Crochet….?

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately via pre-1950′s books on philosophy. Anyway, I came across a book from one the WWI periods that had a statement explaining that to comply with limitations on materials because of the war, they had changed certain things about the paper and materials they used to make the book, etc.. Essentially they were apologizing for cutting back and then trying to show how it was better because it’d be more efficient and save materials. I had heard of food and metal cutbacks and even something about hosiery. But materials used in book making? That was something I hadn’t heard about. It gave me a new perspective on how we see books published today and hit upon something I remember Grandma saying about fabrics too.

When it comes to crochet and lack of good patterns at times over the last 100 years, perhaps the world wars affected patterns and materials in ways we aren’t really aware of today? I know that old examples of fabric my grandma had were exquisite. Then came fabrics later that were not as good of quality. It’s not an exclusive reality necessarily, but elements are there. Perhaps business decisions made decades ago continue to lay a framework for our experiences today. There’s also the consideration that women began working in the industrial age more as their men went off to war. That surely affected the patterns that were published and the materials that were available to work with or even the materials people could afford.

I don’t know. I by far do not have enough information to really have a full theory on this, but these elements have given me another possible point of view I hadn’t thought of previously.

The Great Depression also had an impact of course. My hubby reminded me that there were caps placed on how much something new was allowed to cost etc., but no caps for how much something used could cost. So it caused a change in how much was able to be produced too. Also, as women poured into the work force with WWII, they stayed there. Even after the war was over, many weren’t about to give up the new independence they felt. And then others felt it was the only way to make ends meet and give their kids a better life. Gen-Xers are well known to be the latch-key generation, with moms at work. Women have traditionally been the home experts on all the “crafts,” but while moms went to work, they purchased clothing more than they made it.

I don’t know. I think there’s an interesting story of evolution here.


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Filed under crochet, handmade, Random Thoughts

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