Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do you make Potholders?

                                               Crocheting is another Hobby I love..I love making
                                                         Potholders.. especially for gifts!

Potholders are Hot Stuff!
Cheryl Miller  
            The evolution of the potholder has a long, long history.  The earliest form of the potholder evolved when man first discovered fire and discovered that he would burn his hands if he attempted to touch the fire.  Animal hides served as the first potholders.  The animal hide was replaced many decades later by sturdy rags, kept near the hearth to transfer the pot to the table for serving.
            Early pioneers discovered that quilting blocks made handy and decorative potholders. Potholders in the 1920s were pretty flimsy and made with knitted lace and were rarely padded (similar to the flapper dresses of the time). Potholders in the 1930’s were crocheted and contained whimsical designs such as animals, faces, flowers, and cars. Potholders, towels, tablecloths, curtains, canisters, and aprons soon evolved into matching sets in the 1940’s.  Women were spending more and more time in the kitchen and decorating ideas abound using their everyday household items.
            Similar to their counterpart, the aprons, the 1950s were the heyday for potholders.  Enthusiastic homemakers knitted, crocheted, quilted, embroidered, and sewed wonderfully creative, but sometimes quirky, potholders. They often followed directions found in women’s magazines during that era but many created their own designs.
            Woman rarely purchased a potholder. Do you remember growing up in the 1950’s with your little Loom Loopers?  Every little girl owned one, and she proudly gifted her lopsided and stringy potholder to some fortunate grandparent, who of course made over it. Again, like aprons, potholders were decorated for various holidays and seasons. Handfuls of potholders were found in every kitchen and linen closet. 
            Potholders are becoming very popular with collectors. They are accruing the vintage potholders, framing them, and hanging them in their kitchens. They are unique because, for the most part, they are nearly all handmade. These often neglected and overlooked kitchen items are no longer on the back burner.  Potholders are making a reappearance as they add a nostalgic and homey feeling, plus a definite touch of whimsy to your kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I do...make potholders...the ones that are crochet into a bit of a tube and then fold down double. I've really been wanting to make quilted ones. Although, in practicality, I grab the "glove" ones or I would probably burn my finnnners. =P

    ---I have some from the 1940-50's that my grandma crocheted.

    Fun post! Thanks for the great history on potholders. =)