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Manbroiderers – Men who Stitch

Manbroiderers – Men who Stitch

with 12 Comments

“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:


Manbroiderers - Men who Stitch
Article Name
Manbroiderers - Men who Stitch
"Manbroiderers", or men who stitch, are thankfully becoming much more common. This video explores three manbroiderers and stitching project ideas for men. 
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
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Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

12 Responses

  1. Ron Storozyszyn
    | Reply

    Hi Dana:

    I’m a few years late to the party, but I wanted to say, I am a 60 y.o. man who cross stitched for years (about 25). I started when I was 21. Lately I have switched to embroidery. I do find that more men are cross stitching, but sadly, I don’t find there are many men who are into embroidery. I would love to find a local group that does embroidery.

    Also, I find that local hobby stores don’t carry that much that is embroidery specific. I own about 15 books that deal with embroidery. So far I’ve only done 10 projects, but I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I really admire the artists who create new patterns. My own artistic skills are fairly weak, so I don’t imagine I’ll ever create one of my own.

    Thanks for writing this article. 😀

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      You’re so welcome Ron! And you could check with your local embroidery guilds — we have several men in our local guild, and they do cross stitch as well as other forms of embroidery. Local hobby stores don’t often carry anything other than super generic floss, fabric, etc (if they even have that), you’ll have to buy from specialty needlework shops (online or in person) to get better quality supplies and a bigger variety. And you never know about designing your own patterns — no one is born a designer or is “naturally” talented, it’s just a lot of work practicing your art and design skills and being ok with making a lot of really terrible art in the beginning. That’s how we all learn. 😊

  2. Dano
    | Reply

    I am a 56 year old newly retired elementary school Science teacher. I have always loved to sketch, in sharpie, pencil and colored pencils. but never felt like it was going anywhere. I came across your site a few months ago and subsequently, all of the”man stitching”sites that you recommended. Thank you. While I do not do many real cross stitch pattern stitching, I;freestyle it with vibrant colors and abstract designs. This new hobby is liberating, relaxing and very satisfying. You have encouraged me to see that the only boundaries I have are those of my own limitations. I have lifted many of those limitations and am having the creative time of my life. Thanks.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      That sounds awesome Dano, I’m so glad you have figured out a creative avenue for yourself! If you’re not doing the #inktober challenge on Instagram, it just started today, it sounds like that would be right up your alley (I’m doing it too, for the first time). So glad the blog post helped you! 🙂

  3. Daniel
    | Reply

    I hate these stereotypes and love your article. Traditionally men did needlepoint, sewing, crochet and knitting. In history a lot of beautiful tapestries were embroidered by men, East Asia and the old world countries of Europe mainly as that’s where a lot of our needle arts and other “woman” crafts come from and also those are places that even today men aren’t afraid to do these crafts because they have been doing them for centuries. But in more modern countries where their history doesn’t include men doing woman crafts boys grow up thinking they shouldn’t do it. Men need to get stop listening to these stereotypes that these are for women or gay men only. Look through history at the manly men who made beautiful art.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      I know eh, it’s sad that so many men don’t think it’s an ok hobby (or career) for them, I’m ever hopeful things will start to change. 🙂

  4. Edward
    | Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I’ve never cross stitched. However, I love doing long-stitch and plastic canvas. It’s nice to know I’m not the only man who enjoys this hobby!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Edward! Nope, you’re definitely not the only man to enjoy stitching! in fact, a new stitching magazine just started, it’s Mr X Stitch (Jamie Chalmers) who’s publishing it. There are quite a few male designers in it as well, it’s super cool. Check it out if you like, and happy stitching! 😀 http://xstitchmag.com/shop/issue-1

  5. Don
    | Reply

    Thank you for posting this. In took up cross stitch about 18 months ago. I was looking for a craft that did not require a ton of space (I live in a Manhattan apartment) and one that required some hand/eye coordination, counting, adhering to a pattern, all toward the goal of sharpening and challenging another part of my middle aged brain. My education and career has enabled me to highly develop my language skills (both written and verbal) and not much more. Since I began my cross stitch journey I feel I am developing more visual skills, strengthening my perception of color and texture. And being a total alpha male, adhering to a set pattern has helped me relax. I recommend this craft to more men.

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      That’s great Don, I’m so glad you found cross stitching! I love to encourage everyone to take it up, it has so many physical and mental health benefits. Plus as you’ve discovered, it’s compact, quiet, and inexpensive for the amount of hours you can spend on one project. I did finish the collection I was talking about in the video, that’s the new “Adorned Life” collection in my shop. I post pretty regularly on my Facebook page about cross stitch and the benefits of it (and how simple it is, and there are so many cool things you can do with it). So there are lots of posts you could forward to your friends (among this post) and say “See, see! I told you it’s awesome!” 😀 If you’d like to post any pics on my Facebook page of your WIPs, I’d love to see them! 🙂


    • Leslie
      | Reply

      Hi! Just found your post on a Pintrest page and just had to comment!
      My late hubby would have loved your post!
      He started Embroidery, Punch Embroidery, and sewing before he even started school. ( he started playing both piano and organ by ear at the age of 3)
      Only our closest friends and family knew about his crafting hobby. Afterall, Farmers of the male variety Did Not do handicrafts! Add to his gender and family occupation, BIG guys (6’8″ and extremely husky!)are expected to be tough at all costs.
      It was ok for him to cook and bake – many chefs are male.
      I am sure if he was still here, your site would easily become his ‘go-to” very quickly and follow you!
      Every Friday evening was “Crafts night” with another crafty couple. Needlepoint, Plastic Canvas and Crochet for me; Embroidery for hubby,
      knitting for the other hubby and knitting, Plastic Canvas and Counted Cross Stitch fir wife #2!
      Keep promoting Crafting is for Everyone!
      Thank you for bringing a wonderful memory back into focus.

      • Dana Batho

        Aww I’m so sorry he’s not around to enjoy the post Leslie, he sounds fantastic. ❤️

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