By: Pragya Jhunjhunwala
Crocheting, though unclear in its origin, has become a distinguished craft and one of the more popular trends in recent times. In continuation of the series describing the significance of crocheting in each decade, this blog piece covers the 90s, 2000s, and its current infatuation.
Crochet in the 90s
The 90s was when fast fashion established its place. Due to this, crocheting as a craft took a dip in popularity while crochet was quite fashionable. Crochet tops, vests, slouchy grunge style sweaters along with scrunchies, bucket hats, and handbags were popular.
This was also a period where crochet makers focused more on blankets and homeware.
Designer and writer Gwen Blakely Kinsler founded the first American guild dedicated to crochet in 1994, to “create an environment which provides education, networking, resources, and a national standard for the quality, art, and skill of crochet through creative endeavors which preserve the heritage of crochet.”
Northern IL Chapter of CGOA Conference Committee for Chain Link Conference in Chicago, 1997.
The 2000s and beyond
Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity, the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts and DIY, as well as great strides in the improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are several books available in the market with more patterns and several yarn stores offer crochet lessons along with traditional knitting ones too. In 2004, the first issue of Interweave Knit Crochet was printed. By 2007, it got converted to the quarterly magazine “Interweave Crochet” you can see and subscribe to today.
Unlike knitting, crochet has never become mechanized i.e. it is always handmade. It has appeared here and there in today’s fashion couture. Christopher Kane’s Fall 2011 Ready-To-Wear collection had made extensive use of the granny square, one of the most basic crochet motifs. Discrete crocheted edging sometimes appears on the work of fashion designers best known for their knitwear, such as Adolpho. The British design team Body Map has employed it in tongue-in-cheek homage to its “homemade” essence. The Irish designer Lainey Keogh uses knitting and crochet to celebrate sensuous femininity. Vivienne Westwood has absorbed crochet into her stable of elaborate embellishment techniques and used it with aplomb on her reworkings of historical costume. Jean-Paul Gaultier has combined knitting and crochet in ways that celebrate and subvert traditional patterns. Here’s the link for Fashion Report on the Summer/Spring Collection 2020 and how crocheted clothes were a key highlight!
2005 gave rise to a phenomenon called “yarn bombing” initially started by Texas knitter Magda Sayeg. Inspired by graffiti artists, Magda began to “tag” various objects in Houston with her knitted cozies. The movement has grown exponentially since that time, and there are now craftivists (groups that practice activism through crafting) around the globe.
It now has a day dedicated to it: June 11th!
In 2016, a Facebook group called Mother India’s Crochet Queens created a blanket measuring more than 120,000 square feet—the size of two football fields in Chennai. It is an official Guinness World Record!
Crocheting became one of the biggest trends of 2020 and is continuing to hook people onto the yarn in 2021 as well. From Harry Styles’ patchwork knit sweater by JW Anderson to viral TikTok and YouTube tutorials, everyone wants to get on this craft as a trend.
This year’s Spring/Summer 2021 fashion crowns crochet as the key trend, as seen at Fendi and Bottega Veneta.
Initially, people took up crafts including crochet as a way to relieve anxiety and stress stemming from the pandemic and the hectic work from home structure. It was a way to learn something new and picked the interest of quite a lot of people worldwide. This trend did end up with some very very cute results and hopefully, there are more yet to come!
In India specifically, we started Share A Square… WOOHOO! That’s it, that’s the big news. We’re kidding(mostly) but the prime foundation of Mother India’s Crochet Queens(MICQ) too started the ‘165 stitches in 165 days’ project on April 1st, 2020. This initiative taught members to make small squares daily using different stitches while engaging in charitable work as well.
So even though crochet might have been just a trend in 2020, it will always be an iconic craft. If you too want to learn how to crochet or even knit, follow Share A Square on Instagram and keep a close eye on our blog. Let’s keep crochet alive together!