Knitting: The Destructive Yarn-Bomb

Eleanor O'Neill*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper explores the effect of yarn-bombing on the cultural value of knitting. While it has been suggested that such acts of craftivism may help to broaden the public view of knitting, beyond its oft perceived limitations of the domestic and the feminine, I argue the opposite. For yarn-bombing to be the effective tool of political activism it is so often intended to be, it is necessary for knitting to maintain strong associations with women and the home. In such a way, yarn-bombing only serves to further constrain knitting within this firmly established narrative and such a narrative causes knitting to continually be undervalued as a way of making. Using discourse analysis as a method, this paper will consider two yarn-bombs and how, through their reliance on such associations, they continue to “enable, constrain, and constitute” (Storey 2018, 133) the public perception of knitting today. Exposing this narrative, to begin to challenge it, is key to changing the public’s perception of knitting and encouraging its wider use in innovate manufacturing solutions of the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTextile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022


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