logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Museums Site

BellaOnline's Museums Editor

g

Preserving Historic Crafts


Knitting has enjoyed a resurgence of interest in a new generation as a “stress reliever.” If you enjoy this “retro” craft, imagine keeping your household stocked with socks, blankets, and sweaters!

For Pioneer women, sewing was not a hobby – it was an essential skill to keep a household running.

As people headed West to carve out a new civilization, there were few stores on the Frontier. Women had to make all of the textiles they would need for their families, such as clothing, blankets, curtains, and rugs. The well-rounded housewife would possess the necessary skills to knit, weave, spin, and sew.

In the early days, stores might supply fabrics from “back east,” and a few notions (or sewing supplies), but there was no such thing as “buying off the rack” quite yet. Those with more disposable income bought fabric and took it to a dressmaker or tailor for a custom fit, but the average family had to rely on the woman of the house for their wardrobes.

Sewing skills were passed through generations from mother to daughter, who began making “exemplars” or embroidery samplers as soon as she was old enough to hold a needle. A little girl would also practice her sewing skills by making dolls and doll clothing. By the time she was old enough to marry, she would be proficient in all of the crafts her mother taught her.

As manufacturing expanded, and settlement spread further west, products that were previously handmade could now be purchased in stores. By the early 20th century, women started buying ready-to-wear fashions instead of making clothes themselves. Department stores began stocking the same outfit in multiple sizes to accommodate the shopper’s desires.

Today these historic crafting skills are preserved by museums all over the country in the form of educational exhibitions and demonstrations. Next time you visit a museum, take special note of the dresses, rugs, curtains, and other textiles on display.

Think about the time it took to make everything by hand! Look for museum workshops and classes, as well as summer camp experiences for children to help keep these skills alive.

Knitting and quilting are hot hobbies right now. But do you know anyone who can spin wool into yarn? What about someone who is proficient in tatting? In a museum setting, you will probably find someone practicing these crafts, just as the Pioneers did 200 years ago.
Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Twitter Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Facebook Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to MySpace Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Del.icio.us Digg Preserving+Historic+Crafts Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Yahoo My Web Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Google Bookmarks Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Stumbleupon Add Preserving+Historic+Crafts to Reddit




Open Hearth Cooking
The Textile Museum
Bridal Gown Preservation 101
RSS
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map




For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Museums Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Kim Kenney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kim Kenney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kim Kenney for details.

g


g features
Building Exhibition Panels

The Benefits of Changing Exhibitions

Using Letters in Exhibitions

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor