In this age of information, much of the technology in daily use is so complex that the contributions of earlier forms of technology are dismissed. Compare, for example, the motherboard of a computer with a sewing needle. It is true that a computer enables all kinds of essential tasks from writing to talking to, well, computing. The simple needle, though, provides us with modesty, style, comfort, and health. Even needlework novices can usually sew on a missing button to close the front of a shirt. More sophisticated sewers decorate with hand embroidery or quilting. A hand made quilt comforts and warms even with the thermostat lowered for the night. Blankets and clothing, of course, are necessary for life itself. No one would survive a winter without a coat and hat.
Needles making these important contributions include knitting and crochet as well as sewing needles. Use of sewing needles is accompanied by scissors and rulers. Technology is not just integral to the creation of vintage and hand made fashions and décor, it is an essential part of individual items. Not only buttons but also zippers and snaps enable better fitting and styled items as diverse as dresses, jackets, tote bags, and pillows. Style often includes nonfunctional sequins, beads, crystals, and chains, too. Must each one be created by hand from natural materials? Imagine the time required to apply hand made beads to a gown.
If mass produced sequins constitute an acceptable exception, is there a place for Velcro in newly hand made clothing and décor? Are machine stitched quilts hand made? Should a sweater created on a knitting machine be deemed mass produced? Directors of art fairs have already answered these questions in favor of all of these items. These decisions are minor, though, compared to the technological embellishments of the near future. If a backlit wristwatch featuring an alarm and a timer is jewelry, it's only a matter of time before smartphones are bejeweled and hand painted. Will you prefer a smartphone incorporated into a decorative headband, bracelet, or eyeglasses over the handheld variety? Are you ready for the future of fashion?
Copyright, American Brocade, 2019