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The highs and goodbyes in crafting 2018/2019

By Mark Hayhurst 06 Aug 2019

Hobbycraft, the UK’s largest arts and crafts retailer, reveals the rising trends in crafting and a new-found interest amongst millennials spurred on by the digital era.

The Rise of the Millennial Maker

Hobbycraft has seen a broadening appeal of crafting amongst millennials, with increasingly younger generations embracing their creativity. This is reflected through the growing rise of crafting conversations and communities on social channels driving the enthusiasm, and the introduction of revolutionary digital crafting tools.

  • Hobbycraft has seen a huge 60 per cent growth on Instagram YOY, Facebook ten per cent, Twitter 17 per cent and Pinterest 25 per cent respectively
  • 36 per cent of followers on Hobbycraft’s specialist instagram platform @knitcrafthq are aged between 25-34
  • Digitally driven crafting tools such as the Cricut machines are really taking off – almost 60per cent increase in machine purchases and 124 per cent sales increase in digital cutting tools to date this year

Find wellbeing in Wool (and other crafts)

Crafting has long since been proven to have a positive effect on health and wellbeing. In particular, the rhythmic and repetitive technique of knitting and crocheting is a relaxing way to distract the mind from everyday routine and anxieties.

  • Crocheting is the new textile craft trend - sales of crochet patterns to date TY have increased 179 per cent
  • Crafting creates communities – over 100,000 workshop attendees in the past year
  • Paint by numbers is the new chosen craft to help stimulate mindfulness and relaxation, with sales soaring over 80 per cent in 2018

Retro Revival

Hobbycraft has uncovered unlikely opponents rivalling the modern gadgets.

  • Traditional jigsaws are up ten per cent YTD
  • Kid’s jigsaws sales have increased a third this year so far
  • Model kits saw a 15 per cent increase in sales and modellers paints rose 20 per cent during 2018

Pour your heart into it

A relatively new trend rising in popularity amongst crafters and novices alike is, ‘pouring’. The technique creates a striking patterned effect achieved from repeatedly ‘pouring’ paints.

  • YTD sales have increased 17 per cent
  • Over 500,000 people have shared ‘insta-perfect’ creations using #pouring

Watercolour me happy

Despite watercolour being one of the more challenging painting crafts, the rise in popularity is clearly evident as the UK looks to advance their painting skills.

  • To date this year, water colour pencil sales have increased 20 per cent and 30 per cent increase LY
  • Sales of canvas (LY 13 per cent, YTD 20 per cent) and easels (YTD 51 per cent) are also on the rise

It’s all in the details

The rise of social media platforms has ultimately impacted the art of party planning as people get creative to achieve aspirational ‘insta-friendly’ pictures.

  • Sales of customising ‘accessorising blanks’ have boomed over 123 per cent last year

The Personal Touch

Personalisation remains ever prevalent as a craft trend.

  • The ‘Meghan Markle’ effect continues to drive sales of calligraphy sets, with almost double the sales LY and a 14 per cent further increase TD TY
  • Sales of screen printing tools increased over a third last year

Mad for Macramé

Macramé continues in popularity both on and offline. Recent macramé dedicated posts have seen uplifts in both reach and engagement.

  • 20 per cent YoY uplift in engagement on Facebook
  • The Facebook Live with Isabella Strambio had a total of 6.6K views, a 30K reach and 949 engagements
  • Sales have increased 324 per cent

What’s Not

Inevitably as new trends and markets emerge, some traditional crafts decline in popularity. Interestingly, the rise of fast fashion has had a detrimental impact as jewellery making starts to decline with minus five per cent sales vs LY.

The shift to digital cutting has also impacted long-standing tools with minus 14 per cent sales in fabric paints so far this year.

Joel Pickering, Head of Marketing, said: “Each year we see the trends in the crafting industry shift and while we are seeing a revival in retro trends and hobbies such as jigsaws and model making, at the same time, digital tools and social platforms are really driving a younger customer to turn their hand to crafting and share their creations amongst online communities.

“It is anticipated that digital crafting tools will only further rise in popularity as updated technology is introduced in the UK market.”

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