I’m mostly interested in displacing some untruths about these two arts. I have no real interest in knit clothing or the potential knitting has to be an art. I choose crochet as a child for a solid purpose – I was good at it. Later, as I invested myself into the art, I realized the full repercussions of my choice.
Anything that has been crocheted (not just claimed as such but actually crocheted) was made by hand. Knitted fabrics/clothing have not necessarily of been made by hand. I am not making an argument here, I am only stating facts. There is no machine that can reproduce crochet, though there are machines, and many of them, that produce knit clothing.
The one thing I want people to take from this, and the only argument I make concerning the subject, is that it is a piece of evidence that can be used to decipher if the clothing has been made in sweatshops – or shops similar to sweatshops. If the article in question is being sold as crochet, the purchaser should realize a professional crocheter spends an average of an hour of his/her time on a single item: hat, glove, scarf, whatever… If this item is being sold for a small amount of money, the laborer is earning only a percentage of the sales price (after the sales fee, materials, and other cost are deducted). So think: Crochet hats that are in fashion, sold at airports as we speak, cost, by my calculation, an average of $10 to sell and $2 in material cost. This sales price would consist of the shipping to the airport and the expense of the storefront in the airport and cashier wages. The material cost would consist of the price of the acrylic yarn used. These hats in particular are being sold for $15. This means that the selling company is only making $3 profit per hat. But wait!!! We forgot to calculate the cost of labor (we already ruled out machine cost). Either these companies are paying their employees somewhere around $3 an hour, or they are keeping part of the profit themselves and paying their employees less that $3 an hour.
The scenario above can go beyond the crochet hats I noticed at airports recently. Crochet hats are being sold everywhere at ridiculously low prices. How is this possible? Who is making these hats?
Knit hats are a safer bet to purchase at chain stores, as they are more-than-likely machine made.