Tell us about your company?
The company was founded in 1948 by Tony Levy, grandfather of the current owner Aarran Levy. Located in the garment district of Manchester, the company was a general fabric merchant, buying and selling all types of fabric, typically to clothing manufacturers. As clothing manufacturing moved abroad, the company concentrated on speciality fabrics for dancewear & fashion and printed cottons for a variety of customers.
On a trip to the USA 15 years ago, Aarran saw his first fat quarter bundle. Always on the lookout for exciting new concepts and designs, the company decided to produce its first collection of pre-cut bundles. Demand from crafters and quilters continued to grow and to give this area of the company it’s own identity, the company created a new brand in 2011 and called it The Craft Cotton Co, a trading name of the limited company Visage Textiles.
Have there been any recent developments that have changed your company’s profile?
To underline a commitment to bring exclusive ranges to quilt store customers, the company show collections by Henry Glass & Company who have been a leader in developing innovative quilt lines for the home sewer for over 100 years. They launch new lines each season designed by their in-house art department and work exclusively with famous licensed designers such as Kim Diehl.
Recent ranges of licensed designs including Winnie The Pooh and Peter Rabbit have also proven to be particularly successful. The company are very excited to announce a partnership with Camelot Fabrics to offer licensed ranges including Bambi & Star Wars to the UK.
How has the market changed since you first started out?
Participation in crafting grew during the last recession. Rather than going out for a meal or going to the pub, consumers stayed at home and looked for hobbies to occupy their time and they continue to do so.
Personalities such as Kirstie Allsopp and tv shows like BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee have shown that sewing and upcycling can be both useful and really fun. They say doing it yourself is not just about saving money, it’s about creating something you can be proud of. The therapeutic benefits of crafting are also now widely recognised.
Many mainstream retailers have recognised these trends and you now find crafts in all manner of stores.
What products do you specialise in?
Alongside the speciality fabrics and printed cottons mentioned earlier, the company has worked hard to develop an exciting and affordable range of pre-cut fabrics, for example fat quarter packs, recognising that these packs are incredibly helpful to new and more experienced crafters who are taking on a new project.
To what would you accredit this success?
The company don’t have a formal mission statement but if they did, it would be ‘to bring craft sewing and quilting to the many, rather than to the few.’ The way they have achieved that is through great designs, great quality fabrics and great prices.
The company never stops asking for feedback from customers and end consumers. What designs do you like? What do you like about them? What do you do with them?
What services and support do you offer retailers who stock your product?
The Craft Cotton Company blog provides free content in the form of fun projects, easy to download and distribute to their customers. Subscribe to the blog through the company website.
What are your plans for the future?
Always moving forward and never standing still, the company are about to launch their own line of Premium Acrylic Double Knit Yarns in many beautiful shades.
The Craft Cotton Company
9-11 Chatley Street
0161 832 9431