March 19, 2021 22 Comments on About Cultural Appropriation
Recently we have been called out on social media for our extensive catalog of patterns that originate in the folk cultures of Asia and Southeast Asia. We appreciate this calling out.
Let's be honest - Folkwear develops and sells patterns based on garments from folk traditions from around the world. Many of these traditions are not our own. We do this in the belief that these are more than just clothing patterns. We hope to inspire and provoke interest and understanding of the deeper value of how clothing has helped shape the world. We believe that sewing is made richer, and therefore more enjoyable, when you understand more about the garments you have been inspired to make - including their histories and cultures. The whole reason Folkwear exists is because of cultural appreciation. We are working to balance the historical cultural context of the patterns we sell and the very real objectification and othering that is experienced by the people who identify with the cultures that created these garments. We should, can and will do better.
Some actions we are taking and will continue to take:
Once again, we welcome your feedback on our efforts. We thank those in the sewing community for urging us to do better. We do believe that to gain a true understanding and respect of all people, it is equally important to look a little deeper into the truths and realities of history.
We would also like to recommend some writing on this issue by others in the sewing/craft world: