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About This Article: History of Crafting

A brief history of craft and how crafting reflects the culture, tradition and history of a place

History of crafting

Crafting is an ancient practice that is perhaps as old as the human civilization itself. Archaeologists over the years have conducted excavations in different parts of the world and discovered various handmade objects of craft from different ages. Crafting reflects the culture, tradition and history of a place and lives long after the culture has undergone modern transformations.

Historically, the earliest stage of crafting can be called as the one when practically every creation was a piece of craft. Every object was made with hands, using physical human skills, creativity and patience, as there was no automation or technology available to make anything mechanically. The second stage in the history of crafting came with the Renaissance period in Europe when there was a cultural revolution in the fields of arts and craft. The third stage in the development of crafting came along with the Industrial Revolution when machines took up a major role in man's life, and many tools and synthetic materials were invented that could be used to create more modern forms of craft.


Crafting was an art that began out of need and necessity of man to create objects for his own use. But it evolved into a decorative art when the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century fulfilled the functional and utilitarian needs of man. It gave people the opportunity to pursue crafting as a hobby and as a form of art to please their senses and as an expression of their creative faculties. In the west, home crafts became decorative folk art.


In the early part of the nineteenth century, craft related ideas and suggestions began to appear in women's magazines and became highly popular. Near the turn of the twentieth century, several manuals and instruction guides on crafting had been published that took the crafting ideas and techniques to the common man. Crafting skills began to be used for creating family scrapbooks and albums. This became a great family activity and people prepared specially crafted scrapbooks for momentous occasions in their life and as souvenirs and gifts for the loved ones.


In the twentieth century, crafting has become greatly popular as a hobby among people of various age groups. As per the Craft and Hobby Association of America, over 80% of American families have at least one family member involved with crafting activities in some way or the other. Computers and the digital age have given a new technological flavor to crafting. People are able to experience a great scrapbook experience with digital imaging and printing technologies. SUMMARY: Crafting is an ancient activity with a history as old as the human civilization itself. Over the time periods, crafting kept on changing its forms, and now it is popular as a great family hobby and creative pastime.
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