Did you know that the first ever printed crochet patterns were designs for luxury purses made from gold and silver silk thread?
I love our range of Paco de la Mancha fashion jewellery and recently my curiosity got the better of me and I found myself on the internet enjoying several articles on the history of crochet. It's not just about teapot cozies!
The true origin of crochet is unclear. Evidence of an earlier form of crochet has been found in China, Turkey, India and Persia and later in Spain and other Mediterranean countries as the technique followed the Arab trade routes. Undeniably crochet is a true art form, and has developed over centuries though there is still question over the country of origin and timing.
The modern art of crochet as we know it today was developed in the 1700s; and in the 1800s it became popular in Europe. Being intricate and time consuming, it was really available to the wealthy only; used in lavish décor for
interiors and fashion items for example.
For a long time the skill of crochet was shared verbally between friendsand family. Stitches and patterns were copied directly from original crochet pieces. A little like Chinese whispers, the more information that is passed from one person to the next, the more it become inaccurate. In a similar way, as stitches and patterns were copied directly from original work, errors occurred and the end product was often highly inaccurate crochet making, and an evolution away from the original piece the more times an item was copied.
Eventually scrapbooks of patterns and stitching methods evolved and finally in the early 1800s the first printed crochet patterns were produced. But accuracy was inconsistent and relied heavily on theartist's intuition. It therefore became a true art form that has evolved thereafter.
Crochet and Paco de la Mancha Jewellery
In fact our development of the Paco de la Mancha crochet jewellery range has taken us to possibly the origin of this beautiful art form. Our range of stunning, hand-crafted jewellery are all customized designs.
A couple of years ago I was introduced to an amazing artisan in China. She now works nearly exclusively with metallic threads and beads to produce the most exquisite crochet jewellery for us.
But also of interest was learning how crochet virtually saved her family's embroidery business. It pulled them out of lean times. She used her ingenuity and artistic flair to set up a second business producing "bead and thread" crochet, and orienting that towards fashion accessories. She taught a small group of women the art of crochet and they went into business producing a range of jewellery and, in addition, customizing pieces for discerning clients. Her sound determination has seen her new business thrive successfully supporting the family business during the tough times. She now focuses solely on developing her crochet business which in turn supports her family and the families of the men and women that work with her.
Today in our high-tech world of mass production, it is nice to know that some things can only be conquered by hand and with time!