Knitting, autonomy and identity: the role of hand-knitting in the construction of women's sense of self in an island community, Shetland, c. 1850-2000

Abrams, L. (2006) Knitting, autonomy and identity: the role of hand-knitting in the construction of women's sense of self in an island community, Shetland, c. 1850-2000. Textile History, 37(2), pp. 149-165. (doi:10.1179/004049606x132078)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/004049606x132078

Abstract

Hand knitting of woollen clothing by women was a key economic activity throughout the nineteenth and for most of the twentieth century in the Shetland islands. It integrated women into the market and enabled women to construct an identity for themselves based on their relationship with production and the wider economy. Generally regarded as a either a backward remnant of the pre-industrial economy or a traditional craft with little economic value, hand knitting does not belong to the story of women's work and independence in the modern industrial era. This article argues that hand knitting and the means by which it was produced and traded occupied a central place in the web of female relationships on the islands, helping to create a female culture characterized by an acknowledgement of women as producers with economic autonomy.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Abrams, Professor Lynn
Authors: Abrams, L.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Textile History
Publisher:Maney Publishing
ISSN:1743-2952

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record