Gandhi the Cotton Spinner & 47 Other Historical Examples of Craftivism

Gandhi the non-violent revolutionary: yep, I know about that. Gandhi the attorney: don’t know much other than he was one. Gandhi the inventor of a spinning wheel for cotton: really? While I don’t know if he spun the cloth in which he w as famously wrapped, I did learn today that Gandhi encouraged cloth-making – and invented a tool for doing it – as an act of “[self-sufficiency] and ultimately freedom for India.” This one bit of seeming trivia is a great example of “historical craftivism,” a concept which blogger Betsy Greer is highlighting throughout the year at her site “craftivism.”

Blogging buddy Becky Striepe dug further into Betsy’s almost year-long effort so far at Crafting a Green World, and has highlighted not only the Gandhi story, but also tales of political activism involving embroidery and sewing. After peeking at some of the eleven posts already published, I also came across examples of quilting and tapestry making. Take a look at Becky’s enthusiastic write-up below, and then head over to craftivism to check out the rest… you know you want to!

A little different from our normal posts, but, hey, it’s the weekend (that’s also a little different for us!). If you know of other good examples of political and social activism featuring handiwork, share it with us…

48 Weeks of Historical Craftivism #histcraftivism (via

My awesome friend Betsy Greer – the woman who coined the term craftivism – is doing a weekly historical craftivism feature on her blog. And it’s brimming with inspiration. Craftivism is a relatively new term, but as an action it’s been around…

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