A country dweller and worker, often with limited means and education, highly skilled at all levels of craftsmanship, home making and husbandry. In what we call the ‘first world’, this is by-and-large a lifestyle choice, almost–if not fully–extinct. In what we all the ‘third world’ (or ‘developing, or emerging world’), the peasant life remains prevalent.
The integrity of peasant food and textiles increasingly commands respect: from poverty comes resourcefulness and an appreciation for making the most of everything, wasting nothing. Peasant textiles are made from home grown, home spun yarn, locally sourced materials and dyestuffs, woven or knitted into finished garments, blankets, bedding covers and bags.
Peasant works are always adequate, made with pride and to last, but as with all handworks, can be beautifully, expertly made and of exquisite quality or rather poor. It’s perhaps a shame and a touch unfair that the term ‘ home spun’ is common parlance to describe inferior work, whereas ‘hand spun’ suggests a more elevated and sophisticated product.
Peasant clothes usually contain intricate detailing such as pintucks, pleats, buttons, button holes, and embroidery – all worked from local materials or a limited selection offered by traders. The works are always made according to local tradition and to showcase skills.