“Manbroiderers”, or men who stitch, are thankfully becoming much more common and are coming out of the woodwork. One thing I’ve been noticing recently is the number of men who are watching my YouTube cross stitch tutorials and subscribing to my channel. I think it’s completely awesome – for too long men have been taught that needlecrafts are only for the “womenfolk” which is such rubbish. I think cross stitch is amazing in that it is so simple to learn, and yet has such incredible benefits for your peace of mind and relaxation. I’m loving all the new modern cross stitch designs that have been emerging in the past few years, and I think it’s great that more men are discovering cross stitch and becoming manbroiderers.
In the video below I discuss three stitchers and designers. The first is Mr X Stitch, Jamie Chalmers. He did a fantastic TEDx talk called “Why X Stitch is Important.” In that talk he discusses his inspiration for learning to stitch (he wanted a project for a plane ride when he was going on vacation with his wife), and his views on “art” versus “craft.” He also talks about the emerging “manbroiderer” phenomenon, and how cross stitch is an ideal craft for many people.
The second man I talk about is “Stitcher Moose.” He’s a YouTuber who labels his channel as the “adventures of a male, red flannel cross stitcher.” He has a very good dry sense of humour, and also talks about his inspiration for learning to stitch in his first video. He does really lovely work, and is a great example of a normal guy who just happens to be really into cross stitching.
Kaffe Fassett is the third man I discuss in the video. He’s very well known for his vibrant colourful patterns and knitting designs, but he has also designed quilts, needlepoint, tapestries, and rugs. He is a great role model for any man who thinks that a career in textiles is out of reach – it’s completely possible. It’s always baffled me why male fashion designers are the norm (Giorgio Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld), and yet there seem to be so few men involved in other textile arts. I would love to see that change – craft and design skills are not connected to gender, but to creativity.
In the video I also discuss some ideas I have about designing some pieces that are more masculine in nature (maybe using houndstooth or tweed patterns, for example). I was reading Reddit one day and a woman was bemoaning the lack of decent patterns for male stitchers. Her boyfriend loved stitching, and wanted to make a project bag to carry with him (to hold his work in progress, a needle cover, scissor holder, etc). But she couldn’t find any patterns, and no one who responded had any other suggestions. Of course there are some guys who don’t mind making more “feminine” pieces, but it seems that it is much harder to find cross stitch patterns that are designed specifically for men. I’d love to get feedback on my ideas to make some patterns, you can leave comments in the video comment area or below this blog post!
Below the video are links to the various YouTube channels I mention in the video. Also, there is one organization I forgot to mention in the video – the Fine Cell Work organization in Britain. It works with incarcerated prisoners (95% male) to teach them stitching. It gives them a skill, and also helps them earn money while in prison. You don’t find many tougher guys than those in prison, and yet those involved in the project would all happily describe themselves as manbroiderers. The testimonials page is amazing, how some of these men’s lives have changed through such a simple craft as stitching is truly remarkable.
Manbroiderers – Men who Stitch
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below!
Links mentioned in the video: