Handmade vs Handcrafted

When you think of handmade you probably either think of someone lovingly creating something by hand, or sewing machine, etc; right? Handmade = not made in a factory, right? Well I found out through some research that is not the case, and as artists we may be misusing the word “handmade”; and changing it could be to our advantage as creative artists.

If I am being totally literal, here are the dictionary descriptions on handmade and handcrafted:

made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality.
to make (something) by manual skill.
Now while those definitions may seem very similar, there is a distinct difference; to call an item “handmade” it must be made, shaped, and formed by hand with the raw materials provided. For “handcrafted” items, the term can be used whenever hand labor is employed. Examples for could be : a dress that’s pattern is cut by hand, machine sewn and has either hand details, or hand sewn embellishments. Also, these are not legal definitions, it is just about understanding what you are saying about the items you make, and putting them in the correct category. In the end superb craftsmanship is what we all strive for, and one term is not better than the other, but it is food for thought in the handmade world. And when it comes down to it, the effort that we make  as handmade, handcrafted artists is astounding!  I feel lucky to be part of such a thriving community that is growing beyond belief. I would love you to comment below and share your thoughts!


Erin Bass

*Fashion Designer*Creator*Unicorn Whisperer*


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