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Distributed for Reaktion Books

The Point of the Needle

Why Sewing Matters

From the pleasures of mending to the problems of fast fashion, an intimate look at the creativity, community, and deep meaning sewed into every stitch.
Tens of millions of people sew for necessity or pleasure every day, yet the craft is surprisingly under-appreciated. The Point of the Needle redresses the balance: this is a book that argues for sewing’s place in our lives. It celebrates not only sewing’s recent resurgence but sewists’ creativity, well-being, and community. Barbara Burman chronicles new voices of people who sew today, by hand or machine, to explore what they sew, what motivates them, what they value, and why they mend things, revealing insights into sewing’s more intimate stories. In our age of superfast fashion with its environmental and social injustices, this eloquent book makes a passionate case for identity, diversity, resilience, and memory—what people create for themselves as they stitch and make.

288 pages | 1 halftone | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2023

Art: Art--General Studies

History: American History, European History

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"This excellent book unpicks the culture of sewing in fascinating detail. Exploring the history and use of its most basic requirements—cloth, thread, needle, and scissors—Burman delves deeper into the skill, the joy, the challenge of needlework through the words of past and present stitchers to offer an inspiring insight into why sewing matters."

Clare Hunter, author of "Threads of Life"

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