The First Well-Known Knitters Were Men

The concept of knitting for many today conjures up images of grandmothers creating sweaters by a fireplace. However, the knitters from history were very different from this modern connotation. A high demand for knitting in 15th-century Europe aided the development knitting guilds, which were exclusively for men. These guilds were comparable to highly competitive labor unions, established to protect trade secrets, improve the quality of the profession, and increase business. In order for a boy in the Middle Ages to join a knitting guild as a master knitter, he would require six years of intensive training, and would need to be approved by a knitting apprentice through a rigorous exam. In the early 16th century, the Parisian guilds were considered the best.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Knitting has been shown to provide health benefits similar to those of meditational therapy. 00:35

  2. In many parts of Europe, knitting was a pastime reserved exclusively for men. 02:10

  3. At the beginning of WWII, knitting goods was a way to show affection and support for Allied troops. 03:12

Written by Curiosity Staff November 23, 2015

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