Deirdre's Reviews > The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine

The Subversive Stitch by Rozsika Parker
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Aug 17, 09

bookshelves: fromlibrary, non-fiction, crafts
Read in August, 2009

Rambles a bit but this is an interesting (if currently dated) look at Embroidery and how in many ways it has come to define a certain level of femininity. How it went from being a career to being an acceptable way for women to pass their time and how it has been diminished by both men and women.

I know from personal experience how little people appreciate handcrafts and how if I quote a fair price for embroidery work that people are surprised. This is an interesting look at how embroidery became the domain of both those who had to be seen to be doing something and the cause of suffering in some factories.

It's also interesting how many women subverted this and used it for their own uses, particuarly in the 20th Century. I would love to see the Dinner Party exhibition and I was very interested by the table cloth in Sweden sewn by survivors of Nazi concentration camps.

The use and sometimes interesting changes to embroidery are interesting, the fashion, the pride and the perception all make it a very useful document. I'd like to see an update.
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