Get Involved - Yarn Bombing

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Yarn Bombing

Kirklees has a fantastic history of yarn bombing, and this has been pivotal to WOVEN in Kirklees, from the community yarn bombing of 2019 through to the flag ship Big Rainbow Knit in 2021

For WOVEN2023 we are focusing back on community yarn bombing. From the feedback in 2021 we know how much people loved travelling around Kirklees to find the amazing yarn bombs, so we’re making it easier not to miss any this year by creating a map. If you want your town, village, school, or community on the printed map then fill out this simplified form by Monday 15 May. Any forms received after that date will be listed on the website.

You can also get involved in a special yarn bomb for the King’s Coronation. Find out more here.

The overall theme of WOVEN23 is sustainability. That doesn’t mean you to yarn bomb on this theme, but we would be interested to see how yarn bombing can be more sustainable.

And International Yarn Bombing Day is June 10th – perfect WOVEN timing

So what is yarn bombing? 

Yarn bombing is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk. It is also called wool bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting, or graffiti knitting.

Yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalising sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.

The first known yarn bomb was by Magda Sayeg, and was a knitted cover on the door knob of her boutique.

The great thing about yarn bombing is that everyone can take part, whether you’re part of a group or acting solo and no matter where in the world you are. It doesn’t even matter if you are living in the city, or in a small village!

The only thing you need to yarn bomb (except the yarn and needles or hook) is some creative inspiration and the need to make the world around you a more beautiful place.  

How do I get involved?
If you are feeling inspired, have a think about the following…

Who can I do this with?
Are you part of a local group? Do you know anyone who has done it before? Do you want to fly solo?

Where can I do it?
Anywhere from the front of your own house, the village green, through to covering a giant building 

Do I need to tell anyone/get permission?
It’s always better to get permission from your local authority, or the landowner. You will also need to consider public safety.

What will I use?
Think about types of yarn and fabric. Do you have a stash that you can use, or are there any previous yarn bombs that can be re-used?

How will I attach and make sure its secure?
Your yarn bombing needs to be secure so that it doesn’t blow away, or cause an obstruction. Think about ties and stitching.

How will it impact on the environment?
As much as people love to see colourful yarn bombing, it has come under criticism for its potential environmental impact. You will need to consider types of yarn, how it will be attached and where, and what will happen to it afterwards.

For a more detailed guide on steps to yarn bombing check out Emma Leith 

Top tips and considerations for sustainable yarn bombing…

  • Do you have any previous yarn bombing that can be used again? 
  • Where possible use natural fibres, acrylic yarns are plastic and won’t disintegrate or break down with the wear and tear of weather, same with using plastic tags to hold the yarn bombing in place. Natural yarns will break down and eventually disintegrate. 
  • How long will you be leaving the yarn bombing up? Will it look as good once weathered and damaged? Will it become more of an eyesore than a thing of beauty?
  • Think about where you will yarn bomb, especially if using acrylic yarns, as the insects may be poisoned and there has been criticism of trees being damaged and growth affected. 
  • What will happen to the yarn bomb when you take it down? Always start with the end in mind.
  • After the Big Rainbow Knit the squares were laundered, made into blankets and distributed to various charities. We know of local councillors whose spare bedroom is full of bunting that comes out again every year.