Neil Mach

Author – Fantasy Realism

Royal Navy Woolie

Sewing is an appropriate hobby for a man.

Woolie

Needlework encourages mindfulness, reduces stress and alleviates anxiety. A man who focuses on a manual task such as embroidery will genuinely relax. Sewing improves hand-to-eye coordination, develops motor skills, and relieves physical problems such as muscle tension.

Sewing requires creativity and using the brain in a creative way stimulates mental growth.

Sewing increases dopamine in the brain, making needle-workers feel more positive about life. Stitching keeps the mind clear, focused and active, and this helps prevent dementia.

Lt Col Neil Stace

But if, as a stalwart and hearty male, you’re still not convinced about the merits of sewing, here are twelve manly reasons why you should pick up a needle in the New Year:

  • The style known as Opus Anglicanum or “English work”  was once famous all across Europe — but what was it? It was silk thread embroidery. Isn’t it high time we took back control of our sovereign stitchery?
Opus Anglicanum
  • In the fourteenth century, when people spoke about a “particularly English richness” they were not referring to hedge fund managers or scruffy, plump “High Street Kings” languishing on yachts — but rather they were talking about lavishly embroidered wall-hangings. Sewing makes you seem richer than you might actually be.
  • The orange-haired megalomaniac, state executionist, serial womanizer, country bankrupter, and famously selfish guy who inherited a fortune from his father, only to throw it all away on fancy women, country estates and idiotic business ideas, (I’m talking about King Henry VIII here, by the way) was a big fan of hand sewing. Wouldn’t you want to be a bloated, annoying, orange-skinned, pig-head… just like him? Are you a fan of demented despots? Yes? Then take up embroidery! Make needlepoint great again…
orange-haired megalomaniac
  • Other royal narcissists who allowed themselves to sew (a bit on the side) include: Edward VIII, Charles I, and William I
  • The famous and respected Cockney Pearly Kings of London reportedly sew-on their own buttons. Wouldn’t you like to be considered salt of the earth?
Pearly Kings
  • We all know about shell casings and woodwork being carved in trenches, but British soldiers were far more likely to engage in embroidery than any other form of “Trench Art”. During World War I, the British Army’s work in Egypt included sewing and embroidering clothing for Syrian refugees. Trench sewing has been done by British troops since the Napoleonic wars and is a noble tradition.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Neil Stace, British Army (pictured with sewing machine, above) was a finalist in the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee 2015.
Sewing Machines
  • English men invented sewing machines. During the world wars, sewing machine factories aided the war-effort by making ammunition and machine guns. Some made parts for Spitfires! Sewing helped win the Battle of Britain.
  • Coldplay’s Chris Martin keeps busy on tour with his band, knitting and sewing. Both George Clooney and Ryan Gosling do sewing too. Not manly enough for you? What about Paul Newman? Paul used to darn his own socks for pleasure and relaxation. While Burt Reynolds did cross-stitch on the weekends.
Paul Newman darned socks
Paul Newman darned socks
  • Captain ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce dealt with the stresses of working in a busy M*A*S*H field hospital during the Korean War by drinking copious amounts of martini cocktails, back-chatting senior officers, teasing nurses and sewing (knitting.)
  • An important element in any escape plans for British troops held captive inside German POW camps during WWII would be the sewing and embroidering of patches, badges, folding maps, and other essential escape items. If you couldn’t sew on the stalag, you’d be of no help to the escape committee.  Keep the spirit of the Great Escape alive by learning to thread a needle!
British soldiers were far more likely to engage in embroidery than any other form of “Trench Art”
Trench Art
  • The sailors of the Royal Navy have always been experts in all forms of sewing. Sailors spent their time completing projects such as appliques with old sail scraps, chain stitching, darning, woolen work, rope drawings, and clever embroidery known as “woolies” (see main picture.) Keep the spirit of Trafalgar alive by learning to cross-stitch… landlubbers!

Words: @neilmach 2020 ©

Comments? Tweet @neilmach 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: