The Robots That Cross Stitch

I write for the XStitch Magazine, and in issue 4 I talk about the rise of Artificial Intelligence in art, and just how close we are to a robot creating a masterpiece. I mention the rise of a series of robots capable of creating something close to art, but there is one robot in particular that is making waves in cross stitch, and not the good kind.

How close are we to a robot cross stitch artist?

Really close. Really really really close.
Sewing machines have been around a long time, and the fact that they can complete a whole slew of stitches makes the art of patch embroidery possible, such as the awesome work of NAME.
However in the last 5 years sewing machines have been able to cross stitch too.

Last week we looked at the iconic IKEA cross stitch mail out. The point of the marketing campaign was to appear handmade, however they produced 40,000 of the letters, on machines. It kind of missed the point in my eye, however it just goes to show, that cross stitch isn’t just a handmade craft anymore.

cross stitch machine (source: youtube)
cross stitch machine (source: youtube)

The one good side? The cost. These machines are at the lowest $1000 and you just don’t see that many around. Thankfully, for now at least, cross stitch will remain wholly in the handmade.
And for any of those who want to know if it’s handmade or not, the machines can’t stitch on aida properly, so they normally stitch on linen.
Interested in more companion pieces? Check out my blog on the time cross stitch almost made it to space or why glow-in-the-dark thread is green.

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3 thoughts on “The Robots That Cross Stitch

  1. For me the point of devoting time to cross stitch is that doing so gives me pleasure, and I enjoy following your blog and the blogs of other stitchers for the pleasure in stitching and appreciation of design that you express. It doesn’t matter to me that a machine might be able to do similar work. I knit too, after all.

  2. Very interesting. I have often thought about this as people (not very nice ones!) sometimes ask me what’s the point of devoting so much time to cross stitch when “anybody could do it given enough time”, suggesting there’s no talent behind it. I think that, surely, there must be special value even in that time.

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