I’ve been reading further into the history of crochet and how it has developed through history. In the 1700s, it was widely spread through Europe and was especially popular during Victorian & Edwardian eras.
After WWI & WWII, it became a popular choice of home craft – particularly in the USA. From wearable items to children’s toys such as dolls & teddies.
Whilst exploring the wartime area, I found lots of vintage style illustrations & the words ‘Make do & Mend’ were often featured. This is a slogan that I am familiar with and very much represents the harshness of wartime. From previous research I’m aware of the rationing and the impact in which this had on many areas of society – including fashion.
But in my curiosity, I decided to research this slogan further and was intrigued to find that ‘Make do & mend’ was a pamphlet issued to households during WWII – encouraging housewives to be strict with style in the hard times. It gave design tips on recycling old clothes to create new fashions. It gave useful advice for fixing or hiding holes in worn out garments (patches).
On the British library website, there was a lovely section about this and how useful it was during wartime restrictions. Something that really caught my interest was that it had been remade & reissued with new advice for the updated 21st Century when the recession hit.
From my research, I’ve learnt that even in todays modern culture, we look to our past for guidance and often find ourselves referencing old, traditional methods in daily life. Whether this is to do with fashion or simply baking a cake using a long held family recipe.
Therefore it is clearly important to look at history to work towards the future & evolving as a society. Avoid making the same mistakes as predecessors or following in their footsteps.
I like this idea of old mixed with new, it could be interpreted in many ways but also there has been a comeback of vintage styles in culture. Which makes me wonder how I could use this within my own work…?
“MAKE do & mend is as relevant today as in the Second World War when the phrase was coined” (Yorkshire Post, 2009).
I am going to research further in to the modern day take on the Make do & mend attitude, see how this is reflected within society.
I’m also going to continue looking at crochet by searching for individuals that have possibly used this within their work.