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Cross Stitch and Men - Crossing the Gender Barrier

Aug 17, 2007
Cross-stitch is not just an activity for women. Plenty of men love to pull out those needles and flosses to cross-stitch projects that they enjoy. For most men who cross-stitch it is about creating "art" or having a special interest in the design... and of course Cross Stitch is wonderfully therapeutic when it comes to de-stressing.

For some it is just not "manly" to call it a "craft". While men do not make up a large percentage of cross-stitchers, they most certainly do exist. Yet, many people wonder about men who like to cross-stitch, and it brings up a number of interesting questions:

Are Men Better than Women... at Cross-Stitch?
The simple answer to this question is that of course men are not better than women, just as women are no better than men either. Cross-stitching is a learned skill, and any person who cross-stitches is only as good as they allow themselves to be. Practice, practice, and more practice make a person a better cross-stitcher, not their gender.

Do Male Cross-Stitch Designers Exist?
Yes! Of course there are male designers. Why ever not? Cross-stitch design is an art form and certainly not restricted to the female gender. There are many men involved in creating their own cross-stitch patterns. For some it is a direct offshoot of their art - like Thomas Kinkade. For others, they are part of a design business, like the husband and wife team at Heartland House. Men are involved in designing and bringing you some of the great cross-stitch patterns. Some cross-stitch designers are also fashion designers and use their thread and floss to create patterns on the attire that they create.

Which Patterns are Popular with Men?
Men tend to choose more art-like patterns than women. They may not be as open to you choosing a teddy bear pattern for a pillow.

Often men are drawn to the things they like. If a man likes sports, he may choose a kit that represents his sports team. If a man is into architecture, then he may choose to cross-stitch a pattern based on Frank Lloyd Wright. There are even some gamers that have cross-stitched their favorite video game characters.

Other men use cross-stitch to create designs on their clothing, too. If you are choosing a pattern to give to a man, then you should take a look at what they like. Go with their interests.

How Do Men Get Into Cross-Stitch?
This question really depends on the man. Some men get involved simply because someone they love does it. A little boy may have wanted to do what his mother was doing. A man may help his wife finish a project only to find he liked it. Other men need something to do, and it is a craft just lying around. Often men do not find that they seek out cross-stitching, but it finds them one way or another. Some men believe it makes them look attractive to women, so they use it as a way to "pick someone up".

How Do I Handle a Man Who Wants to Cross-Stitch?
Embrace it. It takes a lot of courage for a man to put aside an image of masculinity to admit they want to try a "girly" craft. If the man is a significant other, then take pride in the fact that your man wants to share something with you. If it is a young man, then encourage the creativity that will come from the craft.

It is not often that men can put away the machismo to do something enjoyable like cross-stitch, so open up and be willing to teach and inspire. Who knows... the cross-stitching man in your life may find a way to inspire you too!
About the Author
John Wigham has been a professional author and editor for 20 years and is a co-founder of http://www.patternspatch.com an online cross stitch club dedicated to counted cross stitch. The website has a small team of writers who are devoted to our cross stitch club"> and enjoy writing about their hobby.
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