Girl Strikers: Gender and Cleveland's Garment District Strikes of 1911
Before the strike, owners flaunted the fact that production had risen each of the last ten years. The city’s 35 factories employed roughly 20,000 workers, many sewing six days a week, 12-hours a day in conditions widely regarded as sweatshops.
Worse were the starvation wages made possible by the fierce competition for sewing jobs as immigrants flooded the cores of American cities.
Work was bad enough, but 60 percent of the garment workers were sole breadwinners, and another 50,000 Clevelanders either supplied or serviced the local garment industry. The only safety net was charity.
In 2011 a group of 40 women known as The Materialistics exhibited a collection of their art work called "The Grand Tour" at the Customs House in South Shields, England. "The Grand Tour" comprised 50 pieces of art work and it took The Materialistics a year to create them. What made this collection remarkable was the medium used to create these art works: they were not painted or sculpted, but knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. Through needlework, The Materialistics had recreated 50 well-known works of art in painstaking detail: Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, Edvard Munch's The Scream, Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Pablo Picasso's Woman in Garden, Rembrandt's self-portrait, Dante Gabriel's Rosetti's Daydream, Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, and many more. [more inside]
Ginger Anyhow (blog) has embroidered a series of romantic text messages, capturing the 21st century record of the waxing and waning of a relationship in a pre-industrial era form. (via notcot)
EZ does it. "Unventor" of the Möbius scarf and the Pi Shawl, "ur-geek of knitting" Elizabeth Zimmermann will be honored at the University of Wisconsin's Design Gallery in the retrospective exhibit New School Knitting: the Influence of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Schoolhouse Press (opening Oct. 27). "EZ" has been called "the Jerry Garcia of knitting: jolly, kind, unconventional, endlessly creative, often quoted, and much-loved by countless people." More than all those things, however, EZ was an Opinionated Knitter who urged her fellow needlepersons to think critically and inventively about their craft; in her 1999 obit the New York Times said she "brought a penetrating intellect and a sculptor's sensitivity to revolutionizing [this] ancient art." Plus she was funny. The Wisconsin knit camp she founded is now run by her daughter, Meg Swansen (heir to the throne in more ways than one); it was featured in a Wisconsin Public Television segment that aired last December (warning: RealPlayer format; transcript here).