What is yarn bombing?
In the world of street art there are many different forms of graffiti and creative methods for getting one’s art on the streets. While many people think of spray paint, markers, and sometimes stickers as traditional graffiti, yarn isn’t often thought of as a tool of the graffiti trade.
However all over the world yarn bombing “art installations” are appearing on anything that can be covered in yarn. Poles, street signs, bike racks, and trees are all common surfaces used by yarn bomb artists.
Artists utilize either crocheting, knitting, or sewing techniques to fashion what might be described as “tubes” or “sleeves” of different yarn colors and materials. Some artists might add accessories to the tubes of yarn in the form of yarn flowers and puffs. Others might thread the yarn in such a way that words, phrases, even images appear in the design of the sleeve.
Often the sleeve or design is made by the artist in advance. The artist might scout out the potential pole or tree and take measurements before beginning work on the project. Then depending on the area, the artist may return at a time when not many people are around and attach the yarn bomb work to the fixture using extra yarn to connect it. Some artists may simply stop and quickly produce the art from scratch on the site.
While some may view graffiti as destructive and valueless others view graffiti as unique, artistic, and a way to add color and style to an area. Unlike traditional graffiti, yarn bombing leaves no permanent mark or damage to the surface it is applied to and may often be left alone since it may add more than detract from the look of the area it is in. Removal of yarn bomb graffiti is often easily done with a knife or scissors making it unique in that there is no need to pay for cover up paints, power washing, or other costly repairs.
Some yarn graffiti artists have their work commissioned, that is they are asked by local businesses or towns to design works of yarn graffiti for certain locations and fixtures. These works may be left up for an indefinite amount of time.
One problem with this style of graffiti is that the elements can easily wear down and destroy the yarn fibers. In addition those passing by may touch the yarn, pull on it, or remove it to take home. Photo taking of these works of art are often the best way to preserve the art itself in photo form.
You can view examples of yarn bombing graffiti at the following websites: