What is Yarn Bombing?

Not only does it bring a smile to passersby, but it also allows for knitters to make a statement and draw attention to everyday objects that usually go unnoticed. So, what is yarn bombing then? 

Yarn bombing is the practice of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted material. Think of it as graffiti, only less criminal and cuter. 

Yarn bombing is a form of street art and an ever-growing movement worldwide. It even has its own day! On the 11th of June every year, you may see decorations appear on your local bus stop, lamp post or tree. Bombs away!

yarn bombing on a tree with blue sky

Where did it begin?

Yarn bombing, also known as wool bombing, urban knitting, guerrilla knitting or yarn storming, originates from the United States in the early 2000s. Magda Sayeg was the first to yarn bomb her doorknob, creating a cute little cosy for it. Many passersby noticed the cosy and commented on this. 

Magda began to yarn bomb other objects in her town, such as stop signs. She observed how people started to notice things that they hadn’t before. Yard bombing became increasingly popular, and people from different cities began to decorate water pipes, trees, statues, stairs and any part of the cityscape that they could. 

It is recognised as a popular feminist movement as it takes the non-productive feminine tradition of knitting and combines it with a masculine graffiti scene to create something beautiful. 

Is yarn bombing illegal?

Although yarn bombing is technically illegal, it is very different to graffiti as it is non-permanent, non-destructive and easily removed if necessary. It is very unlikely to be prosecuted for yarn bombing as it is seen as a more positive change to brighten up the lifeless objects of a town and create a sense of belonging and community.  

Yarn bombing is a temporary, fun way to transform the landscape instead of graffiti which destroys it. 

Crazy yarn bombs

  • In Finland, the largest patchwork quilt was made to cover the steps of the Helsinki cathedral.
  • In Pittsburgh, USA, the side of the bridge was yarn bombed by the artist Andy Warhol.
  • In London, UK, an entire bus was yarn bombed. Crazy!
  • In New York, an entire 25-foot-by-50-foot billboard was created out of yarn for Miller Lite Beer.

Where can you purchase yarn?

At The Foundry Works, we sell a range of hand-dyed yarns, self-striping yarn, project bags, books and accessories online and in-store. Support a small independent business! Search our website, come in-store and follow us on social media today.


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