This Is Your Brain on Fibre

6 October 2021
By Michelle Woodvine
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The science behind the feel-good power of fibre and textile crafting

When the Going Gets Tough…

In February, 2021, I was interviewing craft shop owners about the ups and downs of running their businesses during a pandemic when I noticed something interesting. Almost every person I spoke with described how creating things with fibre and textiles had helped them cope, not just with pandemic stress, but with grief, health issues, and loneliness. That made me wonder: what is it about working with fibre that is so good for our brains?

It turns out that occupational therapy, education, and cognitive neuroscience researchers are asking the same question, and they’re developing ways to measure and confirm what we crafters have known all along: Making things with fibres and textiles can help us manage stress, fend off depression, delay age-related cognitive decline, learn, grow, fail, and even build communities.

This article focuses on connections researchers have discovered between crafting and mental and neurological health, and is published to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

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The articles, tutorials and patterns we publish about Canadian fibre and textile arts, crafts and industry are made possible by our Armchair and Studio Members.

About Michelle Woodvine

Michelle Woodvine is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor on a quest to never stop learning and making. When she’s not wordsmithing for others, Michelle can usually be found working on her trilogy of speculative fiction novels, learning a new skill, or goofing around with family (including her very own rocket scientist, two teenage boys, and one feisty ginger cat). For more information visit www.woodvinewrites.com. To follow the adventures on social media, check out @woodvinewrites.

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