Handmade accessories are unique and up with all the trends
Handmade arts and crafts have become trendy again. The shops, magazines, TV program are full of hand-knits and crochet; celebrities – and even boys! – are picking up knitting needles. Yarn and fabric shops had largely disappeared here in England, but they are re-appearing.
For some people buying hand-made is a way to resist globalization and consumerism – and a way to foster traditional skills, and make sure they aren’t lost. “Buy Handmade” has become quite a movement recently in the USA and Europe.
A lot of craft-people also like to build recycling into their work – eg. using vintage fabrics, recycling yarn, thrift crafts. So buying hand-made can also be a way to be “green”.
Accessories is a good way to go – whether you are shopping and want to keep up with the trends, or whether you are a crafty person and looking for ways to use your textile, knitting, sewing skills. Why not begin with bags or scarves? Easy to start with a simple pattern and make something small, and who can’t use another bag or scarf? And they are great gifts.
The Niddy Noddy craft blog has some posts giving details of recent projects where I have knitted bags from thrift and recycled yarns, and then felted them in the washing machine.
There are lots of free patterns and tutorials on the web on how to do this, along with tutorials and other great ideas. There is also a post about crocheting bags from old plastic shopping bags and another on knitting string bags.
So what does this have to do with shopping? Some the work shown on Niddy Noddy, and hand-made items from other artists and craft-people are being auctioned online to raise money for charity at made4aid – accessories, but also clothing, art photography prints and other kinds of items. There is a growing number of blogs and websites doing this – raising money for charity and aid work through selling hand-made art and craftwork. There are links to some of these on the made4aid website.
So – buying handmade, you could be buying into quite a few trends at once, being ethical and charitable, green and sustainable – and choosing from a range of unique and lovely items, for yourself or as gifts.
Guest blogger: Sally Alsford (made4aid)