Zine 4 Bonus Content: Portraits of Homeworkers

By Emily Sear

3 months ago

For some women, working from home can create a safe space, shielding them from gender-bias and sexual harrasment which is often found in the traditional workplace. For others, the seclusion that comes from working from home can create other issues, including unpaid and unrecognised work. We spoke to women across the globe who have found safety and stability in working from home and are even using their spaces to start business of their own or teach others new skills.


Where do you work?
I work from home, but I also have another job. In November 2018 I started to teach young girls how to sew in a youth center.

What do you make?
I fix clothes and make private orders on measure. But My passion is to make clothes and accessories from recycled materials.

What is your craft?
My profession has a big impact on environment, so I started to make new clothes from fabric scraps and other old clothes that nobody wears anymore. Probably in my head it started already at young age, because I didn’t throw out any of My fabric leftovers with a thought that one day I will definitely use them.

How long have you been doing it?
I think I started to do this more seriously in 2013 when I was living in Italy. In 2014 I had My first recycled order, I made a bag from an old skirt.

Who taught you?
I went to a sewing course after school in youth centre. I think it was 7th or 8th grade when a blond and colourful woman came in our class room to inform us about possibility to learn sewing and make your own clothes. That’s how I met My first teacher Irma.

Does anyone else in your family do it?
Yes, it’s my Dad, his brother and sister and also her daughter. I found out from my granny. It comes from her side of the family

Kathleen is one of the hand knitters employed by the Knitter to make their one-of-a-kind knitwear pieces.

Where do you work?
I work in a sewing and knitting shop. We sell hand knit yarns and I enjoy helping and advising customers with their patterns and garments.

What do you make?
When I knit for myself it’s usually something for the grandchildren but knitting for Nicole means I can try more adventurous projects and use beautiful yarns.

What is your craft?
I enjoy crochet too but knitting is my real love. It’s so satisfying to work out a pattern and see the garment develop.

How long have you been doing it? Who taught you?
My Mum taught me to knit and crochet when I was 7 or 8. I started off with a scarf and progressed from there. When knitting faded in popularity for a while I still stuck at it and now that it’s big fashion news it’s lovely to see a resurgence in interest for hand knitted garments and that younger people are getting involved and bringing a new look to an old craft.

Does anyone else in your family do it?
My grandma was a knitter back in the days of fine knits and not much colour. She was a farmers wife and knitted all the working socks for the family.

Where do you work?
I work at 7WEAVES Social weaving centre in our village. Our village Garilic is part of Loharghat Forest Range.

What do you make?
Eri Silk Fabrics and fashion accessories like stoles are currently being produced in our centre.

What is your craft?
We work on fly-shuttle-handlooms in our centre. Mostly we make fabrics using hand-spun Eri Silk, which we also occasionally do natural dye using plants available locally.

How long have you been doing it?
I remember helping my mother when I was in school. Like all other girls here in our village we wear only what we make so almost of us know how to weave.

Who taught you?
I have learned how to weave from my mother and also my mahi (my mother’s sister) … later when I joined 7WEAVES centre in 2017 we were exposed to lots of new weaving techniques and designs using- 4-6 shaft looms. Earlier at home we normally used 2 shaft looms.

Does anyone else in your family do it?
Yes my mother still weaves at home and here my sister-in-law also weaves on her own loom.

Does this work provide you with a sustainable income?
Yes, I am happy that this money is helping me in my household and also allowing me to send my two children to go to a good school near our village because there is no other alternative for earning in our village.

Where do you work?
I am working alone in a small workshop place. I started in 2014 and in the beginning, I worked at home. When I bought a sewing machine I wasn’t able to work at home because I didn’t have enough space. That’s when I decided to rent a small space to work.

What do you make?
I make different clothes and accessories from natural silk.

hat is your craft?
Sewing and couture silk flowers for hair decoration, accessories.

How long have you been doing it?
Since 2004

Who taught you?
All by myself. But I have craftsmanship in leather art. I got my bachelor’s degree in leather art object program. But when the 90s came, this profession was not requested anymore and I needed to change my profession to another. After that, I got married, gave birth to my two sons and I left my job and decided to make my own business – working with natural silk.

Does anyone else in your family do it?
No, only me.

Does this work provide you with a sustainable income?
Not always, but it is my only job. I am all in one – business manager, IT specialist, marketing manager and so on.

Where do you work?
I work at home mostly. Knitting is very portable so wherever I am, I will usually have my work with me.

What do you make?
I make sample garments for photoshoots and I test patterns to see if there are any errors.

What is your craft?
Primarily knitting but sometimes crochet too.

How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been knitting for about 15 years but I have been doing it professionally for about 5 years.

Who taught you?
My grandma taught me when I was little. I stopped doing it through most of my teenage years and then when I picked it back up, I used internet tutorials to better my skills.

Does anyone else in your family do it?
Not really. I think a lot of people in my family know how to knit but they don’t actively practice it or do it for work.

Does this work provide you with a sustainable income?
I use it to supplement other income, I would struggle to live off this alone.


Zine 4: FASHION CRAFT REVOLUTION is an extensive examination of how we interact with craft in the age of the Anthropocene –  from the effects of globalisation, to the plight of the homeworker; the crafts that are on the brink of extinction, and the ones that are alive, kicking, and actively embracing new technologies to ensure the hand-made and the artisanal remain relevant for the future. Limited edition. Available to buy now here.