Fascinating to think about! As I said in my comment in the post, I’m aware of the feminist implications inherent in pre-industrial revolution hand work, but I still think there is value in having better quality, having less, wearing until you can’t wear any more, and re-making. There is also joy in hand work — I don’t think every woman (and man) dreaded all aspects of their hand work. It’s a complicated, interesting conversation — and I’m glad to have it!
I spent last weekend making tools (knitting needles, book arts paper folder) from bone, which I will write a post about soon, but the incredible experience of transformation from a bone dug from the ground to a tool I can use (through my hands!) could not be substituted by a machine made, store bought item. I also feel this way about the meals I cook, bread I bake, food I grow, clothing I make …
What do you think?
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid we had “school” clothes, “play” clothes and “Sunday” clothes. How my mother managed all that laundry and got everything else done I’ll never know. (Cue the washing machine.)
The size of the average wardrobe has expanded and contracted through the millenia, reflecting the political, economic, religious, and social ideals of the time. In this time of First World wealth and prosperity, I sometimes forget just how good I’ve got it.
Not too long ago, I was researching 17th century clothing. I wanted to forgo the upper classes because 1) the materials are expensive, 2) there are a lot of pieces that require a lot of work, and 3) I’m just too lazy to commit to 1300 hours of hand embroidering with metallic thread just to make a bodice sparkle (and some aristocrat drool).
Hand-made clothing (and I’m talking 100%…
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