In the pre-industrial world of the early 1800s, skill in sewing, knitting, embroidery and other textile arts enabled women to produce a wide variety of useful household articles. Even once factory-made goods were commonly available, textile crafts remained popular pass-times. In an era when thrift was a virtue, women repurposed scraps of yarn and fabric as quilts or mats. In their choices of material, color and pattern, women also expressed themselves as individuals. Mastering these crafts required dexterity, attention to detail, and concentration on repetitive tasks. Women brought these valuable skills with them as they moved into industrial work in the 1940s.
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Hooked rugs have been a popular craft since the 1800s. In 1892, New Glasgow entrepreneur John Garrett began designing and selling printed rug patterns, hooks, and yarn by mail-order catalogue and in department stores across Canada. The business flourished. In 1926, Garrett sold 132,000 “Bluenose” brand patterns with orders coming from as far as Australia and New Zealand.
3 page PDF
File size: 392kB
This shaggy rug is made by knitting a piece of material into each stitch. The length of the shag depends upon the length of the piece of material, and the colour design of the rug depends upon the knitter. Old flannel shirts make great material strips!
1 page PDF
File size: 91kB
This crochet project uses pieces of yarn too short for anything else to produce a warm and colourful afghan.
2 page PDF
File size: 146kB
Rarely seen today, Yo-Yo Quilts are made by sewing circles from scraps of fabric and piecing the circles together.
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File size: 115kB