Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company

PTDD: Part II

In our last discussion of unfortunate historic clothing maladies, we discussed Post-Traumatic Dress Disorder and its related syndromes. Today, let us turn our attention to the twin maladies of Kliptomania, and Kliptophobia.

Kliptomania has only one symptom: sufferers habitually buy fabric, pin down patterns, and cut the pieces, then fail to sewn a single section together. Unfinished projects can stack up over time, increasing the risks of Toppled Pile Crush Accidents and Gangrenous Rusty Pin Grazes. Most sufferers have, if not entire wardrobes, large portions of wardrobes in various body sizes and even eras, stacked on floors and flat surfaces. Some try to disguise the true extent of their affliction by boxing the evidence, lining the boxes against a wall, tossing a nicely pressed bedsheet over the top as a “table drape” and calling the whole assembly a decorative feature. However, the success is short-lived: the stacked and draped boxes create a new flat surface upon which to pile other kliptomania-derived stacks of cut, but perpetually un-sewn, projects.

Kliptophobics purchase fabric in dress-cuts or bolt quantities, but are unable to bring themselves to commit the fabric to a project or cut into it. Many kliptophobics spend some amount of time communing with their fabric stash, stroking or petting the fabrics, waiting for the fabric to “speak” to them and give them the courage to cut and sew a project.

Some researchers claim that the application of simple muslin can help treat the moderate kliptophobic, by providing the opportunity to work out dressmaking mistakes in cheap cotton first, thereby reducing any potential issues with cutting the stash goods.

In some cases, advanced kliptophobia is re-classified as Obsessive Compulsive Fabric Syndrome. OCFS sufferers experience the permanent urge to buy multiple bolts of fabric simply because it is “authentic” for their era. In severe cases of OCFS, the syndrome leads to encroaching on the closets, attics, basements, and under-bed space of family and friends. The disease can be fatal if allowed to progress to the point of justifying the purchase of a larger house simply to hold more fabric.

Contributors include forum members Noah Briggs, Joanna Jones, Denise Butler, Barbara Smith, Bevin McCrae, Rebekah W, Anna Worden Bauersmith, Eileen Hook, Annette Bethke, Amanda Rawls, Amanda Carol, Sarah Meister, Mary Gutzke, Jeni Hulet, K Krewer, Melissa Marie, Carolann Schmitt, Jean, Sarah King, Kimberly Jackson, Cassandra, Michael Mescher, Stormi Souter, Rebecca Roberts, Lissa Wilson, and of course, yours truly, since I just can’t control myself when terrible puns are in the offing.

Explore:
Subscribe For Updates

Enter your email and receive content updates for The Sewing Academy!

About The Sewing Academy
With a focus on the 1840-1865 era, The Sewing Academy is your home on the (internet) range for resources to help you meet your living history goals!

Elizabeth Stewart Clark has been absorbed by the mid-19th century for over 20 years. She makes her home in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, four children (from wee to not-so-wee), far too many musical instruments, and five amusing hens.

Email Elizabeth Or call 208-523-3673 (10am to 8pm Mountain time zone, Monday through Saturday)
Share the SA