Stitch in Mental Health & Mindfulness

Embroidery as mindfulness dates back to the first World War, where it was used to keep the hands and minds of soldiers busy who were suffering from PTSD. An example of what is called diversional therapy which, “is a client centered practice [that] recognizes that leisure and recreational experiences are the right of all individuals.” (Diversional therapy, n.d.)

This helped to establish The Disabled Soldier’s Embroidery Industry. Ran from 1918-1955 this industry acted as skills-development,  helping those ex-servicemen to raise their self-confidence. In addition stitching textiles with others helped to form bonds with those who had shared experiences, as well as make a bit of money. All through the power of embroidering items for industry and for themselves! Continue reading


On a beautiful sunny Saturday, I went out to visit the May Morris Exhibition at the Dovecot! I find blog exhibition posts particularly tricky to do, because I always take thousands of photos than feel overwhelmed when I have to post them all! My phone camera has a very high resolution too, so it means I individually resize every photograph uploaded on this blog. The more you know!

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One of the most common uni challenges is finding that social life and school work balance. Week 8 was not my time to shine. Given that Stitch starts on Monday at 9 A.m. (bright and early!). And I am an anemic, underweight girl who’s medication comes with a side effect of tiredness-so you can see where this is going-I was very much unfortunately not awake when I walked in. I also went out on the Sunday night prior to this class. (Once again, ground breaking and shocking considering my low energy levels and the fact that I rarely leave my flat past 7 P.M.) But the reason I went out was very very exciting!

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When I’m not doing embroidery, I work part-time in the beautiful vintage store, Herman Brown! Inspired by my recent trip to the Centre for Textiles Conservation at Glasgow University, learning about the various ways that are gone about to protect historical garments and textile samples reminded me of things that my job has taught me. Working in vintage, I have learned the importance of dusting as well as careful cleaning to keep the clothes protected. These are all things that were very relevant to how the textiles were stored at Centre for Textiles Conservation.


I am very grateful that I got to ask Anna, the owner of the shop and my boss, what her top tips would be for storing my embroidery and textiles samples. As she has been in the vintage business for many years, (Herman Brown has been open since 1983!) I knew she would have good advice on how I could protect my own work. Here are her four top tips:

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Our Research Task From Week Two

The initial piece which inspired my further research from the NDS collection was actually samples created to recreate the both the textures and visual elements in a larger scale. What stood out to me about these samples in particular was the fact they were created by prisoners. A lot of my own personal research has been into embroidery and mental health, as well as Lorina Bulwer who incarcerated in what was a called a lunatic asylum at the time. Therefor I was very interested in the concept as embroidery as a part of the rehabilitation process for the incarcerated.

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