I have a question… when I was younger I thought that too… but now there are so many amazing fiber artists of all ages! Was it always this diverse and I just didn’t realize it because I wasn’t in the community or have the fiber arts become more of a craft for all ages recently? For an age reference, I was born in the late 80s.
I think the diversity of people in the craft most likely the same as it’s always been. In years past, in the US anyway, around the World Wars, was a time where almost everyone ( men and women) knew how to crochet/knit/make yarn because they were taught as a child and to support war rations.
I think in western culture, there were several decades in which they were considered a skill or hobby predominantly done by older generations. The past few years, due to the pandemic, there are many “retro” hobbies that are now seen as trendy rather than outdated, such as fiber arts (rollerblading, etc etc).
It also seems to be a very gendered craft throughout the years, as a “women in the drawing room toiling over their needlework” sort of cultural thing. Personally, I absolutely love meeting men who do fiber arts. One of the coolest men I’ve ever known knits and does a stellar job with it.
As an old soul (but) born in the 80s, I really wanted to learn crochet out of a sort of fascination with vintage decor and homemade/thrifted hippie clothes. That, and it was one way to keep me busy for hours as a child to give my geriatric caretaker some quiet time.
Literally my fiancé told me last night while I was crocheting, “you are so cool. The stuff you do is so cool.” And I laughed and said “cool? This is literally what grannies do. I think in terms of general society, this is the exact opposite of what cool is.” He said “well general society is stupid and it wasn’t cool when just grandma’s were doing it, but now cute 20-something year old girls are doing it.” And I said “I think that’s what all the grandpa’s thought too”.
No age restriction on fun
Amen to that! 🏼
I wonder if the internet has helped diversify the demographic. I was exposed growing up bit never had an interest because it seemed like the things made were very limited. Now it seems like you can make anything and it’s exciting. I’m really happy I picked up crochet a couple years ago, I just wish I discovered it sooner.
I have said before that I am not as educated in crochet history as I am knitting, but historically speaking, knitting and most fiber arts in general were almost exclusively the domain of men until the late 17th century. Knitting was even still considered a male craft for fishermen, soldiers, and shepherds until very recent history and still is a man’s task in some areas to this day (like Peruvian shepherds)
That is an interesting factoid!