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What this year’s Craft Report reveals for your business

By Emily Peagram 18 Mar 2022

With a 19.5 million strong crafting community, the UK has an ever growing, inclusive crafting population. The industry-leading 2022 Craft Report, commissioned by craft show organisers ICHF Events, uses insights from an extensive consumer base to provide valuable research on the ever-evolving industry and was unveiled to the industry at CHSI Stitches at the NEC in February. Read on to find out how to use the research to build a better crafting business.

A changing audience

The Craft Report shows that the crafting community is predominantly female, yet with a growing audience, this range is changing. Since the pandemic, the Omnibus study has reported 1 in 3 crafters to be male. Keep this demographic in mind with any marketing activity.

The pandemic has also seen a positive trend toward younger enthusiasts with under 35s accounting for 1 in 3 crafters.

With an 80% increase in crafting activity and 62% having a dedicated craft space or room, the consumer base is strong and presents significant opportunities.

Wish Lists: what audiences want

Two years into the pandemic, knitting remains the most popular crafting practice. But ventures such as cross stitching, papercraft, upcycling, crystal art and flower arranging are on the rise. The Craft Report highlights a craze of natural materials on wish lists. Supplies such as glass (18%), pottery (16%), crochet (14%) and wood (11%) are amongst this trend.

Social media

Linda Jones, research consultant for the Craft Report says: “Social media and craft are ideal bed fellows. The pandemic has reinforced this relationship, increasing social media use by 40% since 2020 and doubling the number of crafters shopping mainly/exclusively online. Fostering a sense of community and linking like-minded people are additional reasons as to why a social media strategy should not be neglected.”

The report found over 90% of crafters use social media. Despite the age bias of the Craft Show database, YouTube came out on top in both studies with well over half of crafters using the platform. Pinterest and Facebook followed close after with Instagram being key for young audiences. There is a correlation with age profile and media channels, with TikTok and Instagram having a greater representation amongst the younger crafters study.

“Change a little, change a lot”

There is still much further for the industry to go when it comes to sustainability, but many positive changes are being made. The Craft Report lays out some ways to focus business efforts on this journey, which adapt to a more educated and conscious consumer base.

There seems to be a focus on using, rather than buying sustainably. Small steps, such as promoting new ranges, whilst using them to encourage consumers to use well and buy well can help reach both goals.

However, the Craft Report also recognises there are practical barriers that need to be addressed. 44% of the sample group stated they simply cannot afford to source environmentally friendly materials.

Other ways to help a business is keeping up-to date on trends, actively promoting sustainability on social media pages, being transparent with sourcing and educating consumers to make more informed choices. In 2022, people are more sensitive to greenwashing, so a business should always back-up sustainability claims.

The Craft Report reveals an area of vast opportunity to shape the green agenda, bringing consumers along on a sustainability journey. Small steps have the potential to shift the industry’s average sustainability ratings into thriving ratings. This will inevitably encourage subsequent action, loyalty and ultimately business growth.

Key insights from the 2022 report:

* The pandemic has resulted in a significant growth in the number of adults taking part in craft. It is estimated that there are now just over 19.5 million crafters in the UK.

* Almost 90% of crafters have also done more craft since the start of Covid, resulting in an 11% increase in spending over the period.

* The younger crafter now accounts for 1 in 3 of the crafting audience, and represents a great opportunity for the industry, being high spenders, better connected in social media terms and more actively committed to the environment.

* Almost half of the older established crafting audience are planning to make some income out of their activities in the future – an encouraging development given their higher level of spend.

* Almost 1 in 3 of the total crafting audience have started to take action to craft more sustainably, and a further 10% are on the cusp of doing so. Amongst the under 35s, the number who are already crafting more sustainably is significantly higher at almost 3 in 4.

CHSI Stitches 2023 takes place from 19-20 February at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. For more information visit To discuss exhibiting options in 2023, contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0) 1425 460 811 or email

From the Craft Business Directory