The Skill of our Needlepoint Stitchers
I believe that the group of Haitians women we have are some of the most skilled needlepoint stitchers in the world. When you look at the designs they are able to make and the speed and uniformity with which they can needlepoint one cannot help but be amazed. Needlepointing is not part of Haitian or Dominican Culture or society, as it is part American Culture, particularly in the South. None of the women that I originally trained knew how to needlepoint. The JRF cook at the time was a Dominican woman named Leidy, she was craftsy and new how to do some needlework although not needlepoint specifically. I originally used Youtube to teach her and me and then she taught 4 of the children at the foundation’s mothers how to stitch. So all of the women who work for Good Threads were taught by those first 4 women or women that those first 4 women taught.
While many of our needlepoint stitchers have only been needlepoint for 1-3 years they are incredibly skilled. I think Haitians are naturally better at needlepoint than Americas as they spend so much time doing hair and braiding and working with hair requires dexterous hands and fingers. Needlepointing quickly and at a high level also requires dexterous fingers. Our women can do the stitching for a needlepoint belt in 2-3 days. That is without a stand that holds the needlepoint, if we could ever figure out how to make one of those well and they got to use both hands to pass the needle they would really fly. Our stitchers are very happy with their jobs and they do an incredible job for us in order to make beautiful needlepoint products for our customers.