Dress Economy for the British Home Front: Flora Klickmann’s Needlework Economies (1919)

Wroe, Hannah (2019) Dress Economy for the British Home Front: Flora Klickmann’s Needlework Economies (1919). The Journal of Dress History, 3 (1). pp. 151-178. ISSN 2515-0995

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This article explores how dress economy practices, including mending, remaking, and home dressmaking, were presented to British women during and after the First World War, 1914-1918. Flora Klickmann, influential editor of The Girls Own Paper and Women’s Magazine published 12 instructional needlework books between 1910 and 1920 as part of the Home Art Series. Through a close study of Klickmann’s 1919 Needlework Economies, this paper considers how women were educated to respond to the demands of wartime on the home front. After the reconstruction of examples, it is evident that although offering valuable transferable skills, Klickmann’s book is a superficial attempt at economy. Challenging preconceptions of radical developments in women’s domestic practices, this paper reveals the limitations of middle class needlework instruction.

Keywords:Flora Klickmann, British Home Front, Needlework, Home dressmaking education, Needlework Texts
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
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ID Code:36532
Deposited On:03 Sep 2019 12:35

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