Magda Sayeg


Netizens debate over yarn bombs in Shanghai

A couple of trees in Shanghai became a local delight after they were draped in yarn knittings last Thursday. However, the beauty and fame didn’t last long, as the Shanghai government removed the much adored accessories on Wednesday.

The phoenix trees on Nanchang road were “yarn bombed” by a group of expats, the Shanghai Daily reported. Yarn bombing, also known as graffiti knitting or “kniffiti,” is a kind of street art that uses colorful displays of knitted yarn on public facilities. The movement is believed to have originated in Texas, US, in 2005 after Magda Sayeg first covered the door handle of her boutique with a knitted cozy.

As the colorful outfits successfully stunned passersby the next morning, netizens also showed their admiration towards the creative works, saying “they added beauty to the city.”

However, on Wednesday, one week after the incident, the city government removed the outfits, citing concerns that they would cause harm to the trees’ healthy growth.

This decision has triggered heated discussions online. While some say the government made the right decision, others are arguing that the city should be more open to creative minds.

“I can understand the government’s concerns, but maybe they could have kept the decorations up longer. They made the street appear more dynamic,” commented @Shiqiangqiang.

“The sweaters that fit human bodies may not suit the trees as well,” argued @Yueluoxishanby.


Yarn bombingcovering mundane objects (street signs, stairs, gates, pipes, etc.) with colorful knit and crochet work.

Sounds awesome, right? Do yourself a favor and check out the work of Magda Sayeg and Knitta Please, a group of guerrilla knitters who are doing great things to the dull, urban streets around the world. Here’s a peak at a documentary in the works about the yarn graffiti movement.


Si chiama Yarn bombing (bombardamento di fili)ed è nato nel 2005 a Houston su iniziativa di Magda Sayeg e del suo collettivo, Knitta Please, con l'intenzione di decorare le città anonime ricoprendo di fili colorati lavorati a maglia banali oggetti urbani come parchimetri, cartelli stradali e lampioni fino a realizzare progetti più audaci come la vestizione di auto o bus.


It is amazing what actually has been yarn bombed. These images are from the book Yarn Bombing which has some impressive photos of the many things that have been yarn bombed. Heres just a few………(and yes thats the great wall of china!!)