Following the success of TV shows like The Great British Sewing Bee, Bake Off and Throwdown, handicrafts are making a big comeback. They have been seen in Milan and at design shows since 2014 (see Ethical and Sustainable Production in Trend and Highlights, Milan 2014 blogpost) – for example, in work by Copenhagen-based designer Ellinor Ericsson, shown below…
Ericsson designed a series of furniture featuring giant cross-stitch patterns as a response to the question “Why does Nordic furniture design lack ornaments?”. The cross-stitches are made in wool and woven into a braided birch frame. She explains, “The balance between purity of style and decoration, where the inspiration was the reverse; the construction materials are Nordic and the shape is rococo. The ornament is inspired by rococo but the cross stitch stylish Scandinavian. And the craftsmanship brings them both together.”
Rising sales of sewing machines and cross-stitch kits are now driven by a new generation of home craft lovers – Emma Hall, a customer service adviser for Britain’s largest online sewing shop sewandsew.com said that younger sewers increasingly share their designs and ideas with friends on social media.The 26-year-old told the Sunday Times: ‘Websites such as Pinterest have endless crafting inspiration.
Phil Davidson runs cross-stitch events and is the founder of urban-cross-stitch.com, a website selling youthful deigns and alternative kits.
He said: ‘If cross-stitch isn’t revitalised for young people it’s a craft that is going to be lost. ‘When most people think about cross-stitch they think about grannies and kittens and puppies whereas the stuff I do is inspired by graffiti and retro computer games.’
In this vein, the Cross Stitch Lamp by Holly Palmer reinvigorates the craft - Inspired by antique, embroidered fire screens, the Cross Stitch Lamp allows a soft, warm glow to diffuse through the aida, highlighting whatever design the user chooses to cross stitch on before assembly.
The lamp comes disassembled with full instructions - a Phillips screwdriver is included for assembly, as well as a needle, thread and the light bulb pattern (pictured). With the embroidery hoop being blank, the user is thereby encouraged to cross stitch their own pattern into the aida – be it a lightbulb, something personal or something traditional like ‘home sweet home’ (also pictured). In doing so, the user connects with the piece, makes it theirs and adds intrinsic value to the product.
Extra hoops are available for updating or interchanging the design (for example, at Christmas, Easter etc). Don’t worry if you haven’t cross-stitched before – clear instructions with diagrams are included. Then, when the design is ready, assembly is quick and simple and involves a single screw.