There is a definite positive trend for young people (aged 20-35) to learn the more classical and traditional female skills such as garment making (not just sewing), cooking, jam making, appliquÃ©, embroidery, flower-arranging, jewelry making … the list can go on an on with all the skills that sound lovely but feel as though they have missed a generation.
This is in fact the case: In an article in Mail Online this is explained by looking at how the role of women in the last few decades has changed. Women decided to become ‘business women’ in the 80’s and traditional skills like sewing became ‘uncool’ (buying clothes and spending (ie consumerism) was more cool) so many never bothered to learn. Now there is a whole generation of women who have never learnt to knit and ‘schools’ are bringing back domestic science. Companies/organizations, such as the Make Lounge, are also offering courses on ‘how to’ and it is hard to miss, but Etsy after all is built on this ethos.
There are a few things I find interesting about all of this:
- In a recession we all turn to ‘making it’ rather than ‘buying it’. So is this a trend becuase it skipped a generation or is it a trend becuase we are in a time when we need to be able to do it for ourselves?
- Are we wanting to learn becuase it is novel or genuinely to learn the skill to use it? Is it not just another thing that women have to do/be to be ‘superwomen’?
- Is this a new trend or just an extension/development of the individuality trend? We all realize that usually consumerism = mass production and unless you can afford to buy bespoke pieces you will not get something unique or original in the shops/conventional shopping spaces. To be able to make it ourselves gives us not only the satisfaction of personal achievement/accomplishment but also a completely unique and perfect for you item.
I think this is encouraging and exciting. I am young and being able to sew has never been on the top 10 things that I tell people. It has always been met with a “oh!?!” and I know they are quietly working out if I am cool or not. Perhaps becuase I went to design school and was on the same floor as the Fashion Design students that I know a lot of young people who are proud they sew for their living but I would agree that the ‘taboo’ around knowing these skills is evaporating.