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Hobbycraft issue first Craft Report and launch Great British Button Challenge

By Mark Hayhurst 06 Mar 2018

Hobbycraft has launched its first Craft Report, revealing that one in five people in the UK are unskilled when it comes to sewing a button on.

Nearly half of those aged 44-54 were taught at school to sew a button on compared to just a third of those aged 25-34, revealing the generation knowledge gap when it comes to sewing. Specifically, 31 per cent of those aged 18-24 cannot sew on a button compared to just five per cent of those aged over 55.

Women are on top when it comes to sewing with nine in ten women in the UK able to sew on a button compared to just three quarters of men.

The UK’s largest craft retailer surveyed 10,000 UK adults to bring together its first annual Craft Report which details the state of the craft industry, which crafts are on the way up and which ones are dying out, the nation’s favourite craft, as well as how thousands of people are using crafts to improve their mental health.

Teachers’ views

The research also polled over 2,000 teachers to review the state of crafts on the curriculum. Overwhelmingly teachers believe that crafts should feature more at school with 66 per cent wanting crafts to be recognised the same amount as music and sport.

Crafting is good for you

Hobbycraft sees an average of over 60,000 searches for the term ‘mindfulness’ on its website every month as the nation turns to craft to help them feel good. This is an increase of three per cent year on year. When it comes to switching off from hectic lives 54 per cent of the nation use craft to relax and 28 per cent of people use craft to help with their mental health.

The report also reveals that one in four people have a friend or family member who uses craft to feel good and women (31 per cent) are more to likely to craft to feel good compared to men (19 per cent).

Making something unique and personalised

Personalisation through craft is on the rise as Hobbycraft sees sales of trimmings rise by 13.8 per cent, which is used for fringing. Whether it’s a personalised item of clothing or a handmade piece of jewellery, fashion and crafts now go hand in hand, despite a fifth of the nation being unable to sew.

The crafting movement has been a growing trend with almost two thirds of UK adults describing crafts as ‘fashionable’ and those aged 25-34 are the age group who think it the most (67 per cent). Jewellery making kits are up 54 per cent at Hobbycraft compared to last year, accessorising blanks have increased by 445 per cent.

Katherine Patterson, Customer Development Director at Hobbycraft, said: “It’s official: we are a nation of makers! More people than ever are now taking up creative hobbies as a way to relax and escape their busy lives, as well as looking to learn practical craft skills. Our first Hobbycraft report reveals what’s trending now and what’s next for the world of crafting.

“Shockingly, the report exposes that one in five people can’t sew a button on and how there is a real need to skill up the ‘missing’ generation who were never taught by their parents to sew. As a result of this, we’ll soon be launching our Great British Button Challenge, giving free buttons to Primary schools across the UK to get kids sewing.

“We’re here to create a craft movement, empowering people to get making and to get creative. Join us!”

Janet Ellis, former Blue Peter Presenter, said: “Hobbycraft’s first Craft Report makes for an interesting read and I’m thrilled to have been involved in the launch of such an insightful piece of work. My Blue Peter days showed me how important ‘making’ is for children; using your hands to create all sorts of things to encourage kids to be creative and make a mess!”

“It’s exciting to see Hobbycraft launch its Great British Button Challenge to skill up kids with sewing. Basic skills, such as knowing how to sew on a button, are the foundation to a child’s education and we mustn’t lose these traditional skills in favour of championing more technology based skills. There must be a balance of ensuring that the old skills aren’t thrown out in replacement of newer skills.”

2018 will see the rise of new more specialist crafts becoming main stream as the nation gets more adventurous. Predictions for the tops crafts for 2018 include:

1 Lino printing

2 Candle making

3 Weaving

4 Jungle prints

5 Macramé

The popularity of new crafts automatically results in the demise of other crafts and Hobbycraft reveals the following crafts that are falling out of favour:

1 Mosaics -36.1%

2 Candy Making -19%,

3 Jewellery making-37%

4 Maché crafts -13.2%

5 Adult colouring in -13%.

Crafting as a driving force behind entrepreneurial Britain

Crafty hobbies are transforming into jobs as crafters turn their talents into kitchen-table businesses. Report findings reveal that nearly half (44%) of the nation think that if nobody crafted in the UK, it would have a negative impact on the economy, revealing the importance of small craft businesses.

This spring sees Hobbycraft championing craftrepreneurs as the retailer host its first ever Open House event to recruit British brands and makers as the retailer hopes to speak to British brands and entrepreneurs interested in launching their products in the retail sector.

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