Wednesday, February 1

Embroidery Capital of the World

Could anyone here name the 'Embroidery Capital of the World'? The Gnome doubts it, so feels he should put you out of your misery. It is in fact Union City, New Jersey. A road sign on leaving Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel proclaims it so.

Apparently, Union City has been the 'Embroidery Capital of the World' since 1872, leading the Gnome to ponder from whom they took the title in that fateful year, and how they have managed to hold on to it for so long.

Is it an annual competition - akin to the America's Cup - with qualifying rounds until two worthy contenders emerge to battle for supremacy in a series of tense, emotionally charged stitching battles? If so, why are the general public uninformed of such a titanic clash? The drama of international cross stitching and needlepoint needs to be laid bare for all to see.

Once this step is taken, it can only be a matter of time before we have pro-celebrity embroidery with public voting to remove the team who foolishly used an Algerian Eye stitch when custom would have suggested a Crow's Foot instead.

Olympic recognition would surely follow - the Gnome can only imagine the improvement to the opening ceremony if the flags of all nations were embroidered rather than mere dyed canvas.

Perhaps one day in some alternative future there will be legions of fans queueing to get a glimpse of their embroiding heroes in action, posters of the more aesthetically pleasing competitors adorning teenagers' bedrooms, questions asked in Parliament as to why Britain cannot produce embroiders to compete at the highest level...

The Gnome feels moved to caution Union City residents. Do not be complacent in your 134 year grip on the title of 'Embroidery Capital of the World' - your reign may soon be challenged...

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