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Pins and needles: Why sewing is a perfect panacea in a pandemic

Haberdashery suppliers are reporting a surge in business during lockdown, and it's no surprise. From stitching our own face masks to simply creating something beautiful, needlework is back in fashion

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In stitches: Primary school teacher Clare Gallagher has set up an Etsy shop selling her cross-stitch patterns as a lockdown project. Photo: Mark Condren

In stitches: Primary school teacher Clare Gallagher has set up an Etsy shop selling her cross-stitch patterns as a lockdown project. Photo: Mark Condren

In stitches: Primary school teacher Clare Gallagher has set up an Etsy shop selling her cross-stitch patterns as a lockdown project. Photo: Mark Condren

A salutary lockdown lesson has proved to be the importance of having a hobby or finding one. Take away our gyms, our cinema-going, our pub nights and our blow-dries and we're left with an awful lot of time to fill. Recent research from e-commerce platform Picodi revealed how Irish people's pastime pursuits have changed due to isolation with an increase in hobbies like puzzles and board games, as well as decorative arts, including origami and crochet, also on the up.

Google Trends indicates a spike in Irish searches for sewing machines and craft techniques, and a combination of factors, like rising to the challenge of making your own face mask as well as finding a rewarding way to spend all that extra time, means a needlecraft renaissance is now in full swing.

Reality show The Great British Sewing Bee, where amateurs compete to be crowned TV's best sewer and currently on screens for its sixth series, has also driven desire to start stitching. In short, there's never been a better time to get crafty.