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No special Mennonite needlework can be reported except the making of quilts, commonly made in group sewings, often as social occasions and also at women's sewing circles, e.g., in the Mennonite Church (MC) and among the Old Order Amish. The intricate designs often used are borrowed or bought commercially; hence there is little original or creative art expression.

Older generations of Mennonite and Amish women of Pennsylvania Dutch background produced a great deal of needlecraft for household use and as gifts. In this category would be placed embroidered bedspreads, towels, dresser scarves, and pillowcases, hooked and braided rugs, fancy cushion tops, etc. Many of these items had genuine folk art character, often with typical Pennsylvania Dutch motifs, some of which have found their way into art museums and museums of folk art.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Needlework." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 27 Jun 2022.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Needlework. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 June 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1111. All rights reserved.

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