Friday, January 20, 2006

You Say You Want a Revolution: Hip Upgrade

In her comments on yesterday's entry, Michele called for the revolution, the cross-stitch revolution.

It's beginning in Japan, maybe. Embroidery Gets a Hip Upgrade. Okay, I've been sitting on that story for a while. I think I neglected it because I get really pissed when young people think they've invented the wheel. And can someone please tell the journalists that stitchers are not all really, really old? Someday I might collect all the references to the aged stitcher. They're everywhere, even in articles that have nothing to do with needlework.

Here's the revolution part, in case you're not inclined to navigate away:

Embroidery has become so popular that stores are stocking up on needlecraft-related goods. Mano Creare's Kohoku Tokyu store, a handicraft shop in Yokohama, has increased its stock of embroidery products by 50 percent. The store now offers a variety of kits containing designs, implements and materials needed for cross-stitch and other forms of needlecraft.

It sounds like things are going well in Japan. Of course 50% of nothing is still nothing.

And then you read this: "Designs include a simple straight line stitched along an apron string." Where do I begin? I've already had a little rant about aprons. But really, you have to design that? Sheesh, here I was picturing the craftista revolution.

This April, Nippon Vogue started publishing Stitch Idees, a magazine dedicated to stitching. The first edition, for spring and summer, was a huge hit, selling 80,000 copies. The fall and winter edition, released in October, is also selling well.

The interesting point about the magazine is that instead of focusing on how to stitch, it proposes a whole lifestyle. Rather than showing elaborate creations by stitching experts, it introduces works by illustrators and children's book writers.

A whole stitching lifestyle. Now, what would that look like? And why can't I get this magazine here?


Dianne said...

Hey Anna,
My email is at the bottom of my blog. Let me know what you guys plan to do. Can't think of many places around the Strawberry Sampler to sit a spell. Longwood is about 20 minutes or so from SS.

Old Yankee Stitcher said...

Try selling cross stitch things on ebay and you will find how popular it is in Japan. I ship to US addresses only but was constantly sent request to ship to Japan. These people were eager to bid on any and all cross stitch items. But compared to the difficulty of Japanese embroidery cross stitch is something that can be acheived by the masses. Interesting comments, thanks. CJ

Michele said...

That's what I'm talkin' about! You have to start somewhere. Who knows, maybe Japan will be the global trendsetter for the cross stitch revolution. Now, we just have to figure out how to get them out of the children's illustrations and into the good stuff...

Melissa said...

Anna--I so totally agree with you. What I've discovered from reading blogs of English speaking people in Japan is that it seems to be a pretty crafty nation, they have tons of craft books and SnB groups.
It's a shame that cross stitch gets such a bad rap. Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching has done a lot for embroidery but cross stitch just can't seem to shake it's bunnies and flowers label.
Right now in the US it seems that knitting and scrapbooking are taking over and if you pursue some other form of crafting then you are just unenlightened.