The Russian invasion of Ukraine is having an unexpected effect on cross-stitchers who buy patterns on Etsy. Slate released an article outlining how Etsy’s recent suspension of Russian shops, as well as cross-stitch pattern selling outlets that are — to the surprise of a few crafters — closely concentrated in Russia, have “devastated” American cross-stitchers.
Move-stitch is a type of hand embroidery in which artists sew designs directly to cloth with X’s, often using a pattern as a guide. Designs range from simple to complex; they normally start at $3 but can go up to “a lot more” for more elaborate goods.
Etsy is a popular place for cross-stitchers to find virtual designs, and cross-stitchers on Reddit began to discover that their favorite development retail stores had vanished from the platform a few weeks ago.
Slate spoke with Russian artists and a historian to learn why so many cross-stitch development businesses were first headquartered entirely in Russia. One theory was that Russian Etsy sellers were stealing and reselling digital patterns, while designers attribute it to the country’s rich stitching tradition.
“The saddest phase is that the entire pieces were given hidden, and no person can see the patterns i’ve been running on for the ultimate seven years,” Maria Demina, the landlord of the preferred little room in the attic retailer on Etsy, says.
Demina links the recognition of this interest and the number of virtual designs in Russia no longer associated with piracy, however nationwide traditions handed down through generations. “i do have two shirts that my great-great-grandfather cross-stitched,” she added.
Although Etsy wouldn’t disclose how many Russian retail locations have closed, it’s clear that cross-stitch is popular in Russia, and crafters in other countries have benefited from Russian patterns available on the internet.
On VK, a popular social media platform in Russia, Slate uncovered roughly 3,000 cross-stitch teams, and there are trainings and courses for newcomers to learn the skill.
The store owners who have been affected by the prohibition are understandably dissatisfied at the prospect of losing their business and connections to overseas audiences. Dealers say they feel as if all of their laborious paintings have been wasted due to constraints.
Given the choice of designers and their wisdom, Russia’s growing isolation will seldom result in disaster in the country’s cross-stitch sector, reverting it to Soviet times.
Digging In More Details
However, as many development leaders have recognized, the lack of cultural shift and the inability to obtain feedback from consumers all over the world has already harmed their drive.
“I believe it is harmful to refer to people in another country, because it has inspired me to keep going.” It’s all about stars, feedback, and consumer notes. “It’s all gone now,” Alyona said.
Even if the products are virtual, the Slate article is an engaging example of how supply chains may break down. The story does an excellent job of portraying the unexpected consequences of Russian sanctions and warfare through a small but dedicated community — and the frustrations of dealers with little or no redress.