A stitch in time

A charity initiative in the UK is teaching valuable craft skills to prisoners, and their designs are interestingly unique.
Posted 17 Sep 10 By Design Indaba Craft Creative Work / Design News Comments

The old saying is that “a stitch in time saves nine” and while this may figuratively be true, it is also literally true in the case of Fine Cell Work.

Fine Cell Work is a London-based social enterprise initiative that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their designs. The prisoners do the stitching while they are locked in their cells. Fine Cell Work’s mission is to rehabilitate prisoners by giving them the opportunity to earn and save money while also developing a valuable skill. It also gives them the chance to rebuild their lives through craft and achievement.

Interestingly about 80% of the stitchers are men who spend an average of 20 hours per week doing embroidery. Fine Cell Work is done in 26 prisons and the organization counts on the time and services of about 50 volunteers.

Designs by Fine Cell Work will be on display at The Dock during the London Design Festival, which runs from 18 to 26 September 2010.