Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crochet Sighting

I was at the grocery store when I caught this card in the corner of my eye. I was surprised to see that it was crocheted. It's very pretty.

It seems to be a card and necklace combo, with the crochet being a detachable accessory. At first I was tempted to purchase it for later use. It certainly is cute. Plus c'mon, it's crochet! But before I could snag it I began to question the card's origin. I've mentioned before that crochet isn't as easy to do by machine as knitting, and these rounds and flowers look even and balanced. Perhaps they were done by hand. Can it possibly be cost effective for a company to pay a fair wage for workers to crochet these by hand when the card costs about $7? I didn't think to check the back of the card for a country of origin until I had left the store.

I searched for the card online but couldn't find any information. It very well could have been machine made or made by workers paid a fair wage. I just didn't want to take any chances. This situation has spurred reflection on the cost of goods today. My husband and I have been watching a lot of late 19th century period pieces lately. I mentioned that, though I dislike the emphasis on beauty and purity for women during that time, I do wish that people today did more of the meditative handicrafts that women of that era were accomplished in. He remarked that things cost much more in general back then and it may well have been a better idea to make something yourself rather than purchase it. I feel that this card illustrates this point. Many goods are cheaply made and sold at low prices. This cheapens our enjoyment of them as well. If someone can buy this card for $7, what will they expect to pay for my handmade baby set that required hours of work? Not as much as it's worth I'll bet. 

In my life I am going to strive to purchase fewer things and make those things that I do purchase special, useful, and durable. I think if I want to send someone a crochet necklace I should make it myself since I have the skills and materials to do so. 

What do you think? How do you feel about the cost of goods in general and how that affects the sale of skilled arts and crafts?

1 comment:

  1. These same thoughts go through my head every day! Why I stayed up making heirloom tomato soup from farmers' market and garden tomatoes the other night - might be a little more expensive than the cheap grocery stuff, but it tastes SO much better, isn't shipped from halfway around the world, and paid the farmers a living wage. And this winter my MIL will hopefully be teaching me to sew (beyond basic stitches). :)


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