This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FOCUS: Crafts Since 1952 by Anna Ryan of www.funkydivadesigns.com


The tradition of handmade and crafting has had a place in human culture since the start of civilisation, with archaeological evidence of handmade objects being used in all cultures and societies around the world.


Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, mass production has meant that many items previously made by hand have been produced in factories around the world. In the last 60 years since the Queen’s coronation, the world has gone through


numerous social and


technological changes. The world of handmade and crafting has also changed through the decades and now holds a very different place in our lives.


Michele Nicholls is a lifelong 88 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


crafter. Here she shares her personal journey through the changes in craft and handmade in Britain since 1952. Michele is a talented knitter and bear-maker from Cheltenham who, as you will see, has mastered many crafts.


The 50s In the 50s, new goods started flooding into the shops so that 'make do & mend' became less necessary. However, most people were still pretty hard up and making clothes from scratch, rather than recycling old ones became very popular - especially as there were new fabrics becoming available at prices.


reasonable


Pretty much everything in the shops was pitched at the middle aged market, all fashion was based on


couturier collections for the older market - young people just got a smaller version! The original Teddy boys & girls made their own outfits, either from scratch, or by altering off the peg garments. I remember my mum doing quite well tweaking clothes to the ideas of the local 'Teddies"!


By the end of the 50s, Mary Quant’s first retail lines were appearing in department stores and us rebellious youngsters were no longer willing to wear our mum's outfits, we wanted street fashion! Off the peg was well beyond the reach of most young people or 'teenagers' as we were becoming known! However, we did have more spending money than previous generations and most of us had learned to sew at school, so the haberdashers did very well!


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