Pussyhats of the Past: 10 Times Feminist Fiber Art Made History

The subway platforms and sidewalks were overflowing with pink that weekend. Like many women across the world, I joined millions marching in support of women and in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration during the Women’s March. Unlike many of these women; however, I had not donned the popular pink pussyhat that seemed to have become the event’s unofficial uniform.

A recent women’s college graduate, I was hesitant of any feminist gesture that was not inclusive, and I had joined in the conversation about whether representing women with “pussies” was the most trans friendly policy. But, as a knitter and quilter, I was enthralled by the political presence of traditionally feminine crafts at the march.

Molly Adams

As it turns out, women have taken to textile for generations as a means of making political statements. But, each generation has faced different challenges as to how they create and frame those messages.

These are 10 examples of feminist fiber art through history—including the now infamous pussyhat.




Cecilia Nowell is an immigration paralegal by day and a freelance journalist by night. She writes about political art and feminism, among other things, and her writing has appeared in Bitch, The Establishment, and Argot Magazine. Find her on (her brand new) Twitter @cecilianowell.