CRESCENT CORNER: Strings Attached – Vintage Crafts Make a Comeback

by Connie Cook, Senior Product Manager

The last few years have seen a resurgence in popularity of many retro craft styles. From embroidery, knitting, crocheting and macramé to rug hooking and string art crafts, these vintage crafts have made a comeback. While the basic methods are the same, today’s crafters and artisans are using traditional needle art and yarn crafting techniques and reinterpreting them within a modern context.

NeoCon, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 2018

This blog takes a look at vintage craft trends reinterpreted into modern merchandise that were spotted at recent home décor design shows, as well as some cultural trends that are driving the renewed interest in handmade methods. We’ve even got some fun custom framing designs that incorporate these traditional crafts.

What’s Triggering This Trend?

As an antithesis to mass-merchandised products, the Maker Movement began over a decade ago to reconnect people to traditional crafts and skills, while often combining these methods with technology. This trend is popular with Millennials, who, “probably had two busy, working parents while growing up (and therefore likely did not get a deep education on many of these skills) and you’ll realize why we are all now flocking to do-it-yourself (DIY) websites and apps that will teach us the cooking, crafting and making skills that many of us missed out on in our youth and which now are so important as we build homes and start families”. Huffington Post, Jul 02, 2013

Whether attending fairs such as Maker Faires or Renegade Craft Fairs, or using Etsy to buy and sell handmade products, makers are finding new ways to disrupt the status quo and network with like-minded artisans and hand-made enthusiasts.

Modern Aesthetics with a Nod to Tradition

Here are some home décor accessories seen at recent industry shows that reflect the influence of the maker trend. All feature earthy, organic textures and neutral palettes that would easily accent today’s urban farmhouse design aesthetic.

L to R: Macramé Afghan, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, New York, NY 2018; Stool with Jute Cross Stitch Detail, Holly Hunt, Merchandise Mart, Chicago 2018; Pierced Leather Pillow with Cross Stitch Detail, NeoCon, Merchandise Mart, Chicago 2018

Bringing it Home: Custom Framing Ideas with Needle Arts Accents

Matting from Top to Bottom: Crescent Select 9853 Bruxelles, 9881 Real Teal, 9816 Ginger, 9520 Haystack

While making a macramé frame is not beyond the realm of possibilities, here are a few simpler ideas that incorporate traditional yarn & string craft touches to framing design.

This first piece incorporates technology with handmade. The cross stitch design on the top mat was created using Adobe Illustrator, and the tiny squares were cut on a Valiani Mat Pro Ultra. Jute string was then used in the hand-stitched surface embroidery.

This next piece applies the embroidery to the frame itself, creating an understated detail that perfectly enhances the vintage barn photograph

Matting from Top to Bottom: Crescent Select 5654 Natural Jute, 5540 Barnwood Jute, 5542 Black Jute

How will you interpret this trend in your framing projects? We’d love to see your designs and will share them on the Crescent Facebook page. Please like/follow us if you don’t already!

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