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Crochet- An Art Form Becoming a Fast Fashion Trend

An art form from the sixteenth century can now be found on almost any fast fashion site with a quick search. 

Crochet is a beautiful art form with origins from countries all across the world. Still renowned today as a fun, creative hobby, an art form, and a business opportunity to sell homemade items. On the other hand, those complexities and nuances get lost when mass produced crochet products are available at the click of a button from any fast fashion site. Exploring the two very different roles crocheted products play into the world of fashion is a complex and interesting story. 

The history of crochet is explained by the Crochet Guild Of America. The exact start of crocheting is unclear, so many places are given the title for originating the art. One estimate is that it developed in the 16th century in France and England, but some date it as far back as the 1500’s. Another theory states it began in Arabia then traveled through Tibet, Spain, charting through the Arabian trade routes towards the Mediterranean. Another origin is in South America, another in China to make dolls. These origin stories only scratch the surface of how much crochet has played a part in so many cultures, communities, and places around the world. 

Since its creation, crochet has still played an active role in many people’s lives. There are various online resources for people who enjoy to crochet. Thousands of free patterns, lots of helpful Youtube videos, and a crochet Reddit community which currently has just under three hundred thousand members. 

Lots of people may view crochet or even knitting as hobbies for the elderly, but that is most certainly not the case. Today, you can find young and trendy crochet content creators on all social media platforms. Some notable ones include Shirley Designs Things, Hay Hay Crochet, both on TikTok, TL Yarn Crafts on Instagram, and more. The reason why people of all ages love crochet is it is very relaxing, not many materials are needed, you are creating something with love, and most importantly it is a fun and creative way to express yourself!

Even for folks who do not know how to crochet, there are many small businesses out there to support. My favorite company is LoCro Creations, an amazing small business founded by Lauryn Lewis. She makes wonderful crochet hats, ski masks, tops, and more! Her work is posted on Instagram and she does pop-up shops as well! Another store to check out is by Emani Milan, who created four yarn vending machines located throughout the city. Not to mention the many yarn stores like Knit from Within in Germantown, Yarnphoria in Center City, Hidden River Yarns in Manayunk and many more. 

Now that we have explored the history of crochet, the large number of participants it has today, the small business in Philadelphia, lets look at how fashion companies incorporated crochet into their fashion lines. For clarity purposes, I don’t just mean a simple cardigan sweater or knit blanket. Those products have been popular for years and are often staples in these winter months. More specifically, talking about crochet items like the colorful “granny square” pattern, triangle shaped crop tops where you can see the colors changing row by row, tote bags, and even bandanas. Examples are linked at the bottom of the page. 

I challenge you to go to any fashion site, go to the search bar and type in crochet. Of course, sites like Shein, Forever 21, have many different options. Higher end brands have even more crochet items that look homemade like Urban Outfitters, and Anthropology. Their high price tag means it would be significantly cheaper to buy yarn and make the garment yourself or purchase something from a small business. These sites’ search results are different from what we have seen from them in the past. A chunky, cozy sweater has been replaced by an intricate, complex, and homemade looking masterpiece. 

It is lovely that more people are admiring the art and style of crochet, but making it a trendy piece that has been mass produced in a factor seems to take a lot of the beauty out of it. Recognize how not only is it the art of crochet being sold to consumers, it’s the look of having something “homemade” that may be appealing. In many ways, fashion is all about being unique, personalizing your wardrobe. Buying crochet products from corporations gives consumers that unique feeling, but in reality, there are thousands of exact duplicates being sold across the country, which defeats the purpose. 

These many different facets of crochet in fashion, there are just some things to think about and consider. Everyone is able to make their own decisions on how to enjoy crocheted pieces but knowing that fashion companies are not the only option consumers have. 

Hello! My name is Kimberly and I am a sophomore Communications and Social Influence major at Temple University!
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