Page 1










Issue 108 £3.50 | June/July 2015



Kaffe Fassett talks about his career



How this year’s event was an even greater success



Sarah Hurley discusses the popularity of this technique



Discover adult colouring books


Maximise your stitching sales

18 ATTRACT YOUNG KNITTERS Bring in a new customer base

19 TRIED & TESTED Expert product reviews

25 HOME DECOR Capitalise on upcycling


Add value to your jewellery making range





THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES £10BILLION PLANS FOR SMALL BUSINESS Business Secretary Sajid Javid outlines new Enterprise Bill to enable growth


he government revealed plans to boost small business by cutting at least £10billion of red tape over the next five years A fresh Enterprise Bill was announced by new Business Secretary Sajid Javid in a speech in May, which he claimed would make Britain the best place in Europe to start and grow a business. It’s hoped that more than two million new jobs will be created over the course of this government’s term, giving more people the financial security they crave. Mr Javid said: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. As Business Secretary, I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs. As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy-handed regulators off firms’ backs and create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve disputes.” The Small Business Conciliation Business Minister, Anna Soubry, Service will settle disputes between added: “This will be a no-nonsense small and large businesses over various Bill to back small businesses and help matters, especially late payments. to create jobs, giving financial Small firms are predicted to be owed security and economic peace of mind more 1.3_CRAFTS than £32billion in late payments, hard Page working GROVES BUSINESS 03/03/2015to11:29 1 people across the however many of them are either country. We will be asking businesses unaware of their rights or are reluctant for evidence in the coming weeks to make any legal challenges. and months. We want them to be

Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them our partners in identifying and scrapping needless burdens at home and in Europe. It is important government gets behind small businesses – enabling them to get finance, get paid on time and get rid of red tape.” A spokesperson from Braant, a leading accountancy firm based in

the UK, said: “This new Bill will certainly go a long way in helping small businesses grow, and there will be a lot of interested entrepreneurs sitting up and taking notice of this news. “With such growth expected across the country, there’s going to be a bigger need than ever for companies to look after their finances, and they should make sure the correct processes are set up to boost efficiency. Qualified accountants and bookkeepers will be right behind small business prospects, helping them to develop into successful and profitable establishments.”

Welcome to the June/July issue of Craft Business. I shall be editing the magazine while Sarah-Jane is on maternity leave and this month, we caught up with Kaffe Fassett, who is celebrating 50 years in the textile design business, to find out what his inspirations are and his plans for the future – see p14. Also in this issue, we examine the huge success of adult colouring books, which have fast become the top trend in mindfulness and well-being, on p10. Sarah Hurley looks at the increasing popularity of die cutting on p8, showing how the latest innovations offer more versatility to consumers. On p20, we look back at the success of this year’s Yarn Shop Day, with many retailers reporting an even greater rise in revenue and footfall, plus we have a sneak preview of the new Sew Saturday campaign to boost the profile of the UK’s sewing shops in October. Once again, we have a wide range of the latest business advice for retailers. We look at why it is important to stock sewing patterns on p16, plus ways to attract a younger audience to knitting and crochet on p18. There’s advice on how to entice jewellery makers to try precious metal products on p27, plus the experts explain why icing remains a vital ingredient in the baking and sugarcraft sector. Enjoy reading! Melissa Hyland Acting Editor @CraftBiz |



The latest headlines from the industry


ge 1

Diary Dates

In 2016, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing £1.34 million in British citizens, by awarding up to 150 Travelling Fellowships. This will directly support those who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities. Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in the Crafts and Makers category, and the application process is now open. There are 11 varied categories in which people can apply. The deadline for the 2016 applications is 5pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. This offers people a unique opportunity to be funded to travel overseas to meet others in the same specialism, in order to share ideas, innovations and, in some cases, to build upon skills that are dying out in the UK, in order to preserve their craft. Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to UK residents over the age of 18, of any ethnicity, religion, or gender. Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being for 17/07/2014 approximately sixPage 1 COUNTRY LOVES CRAFTS 1.4 3 col_CRAFTS visited, BUSINESS 09:47 weeks overseas. For more information, visit www.wcmt. or call 020 7799 1660.

June 28-29, 2015

July 4, 2015

CHA-UK One Big Show

Independents Day

Holiday Inn Academy, Coventry


June 28

Art in Action

Sincerely Yours Portsmouth

July 16-19, 2015 Waterperry House & Garden, Oxfordshire

Artcoe, a major supplier of Art & Craft materials selling direct to high street stores across the UK with many exclusive brands such as, Speedball, X-Acto, Frisk, Elmer’s and more. We are looking to appoint a sales representative to cover the South of England on a full time basis. This position will offer a competitive basic salary plus commission, company car, laptop, mobile phone and out of pocket expenses. A full clean driving licence is required, experience within the trade would be an advantage, but full product training will be given.

Please forward your C.V to 4 |

THE CRAFT AWARDS GOES GLOBAL The Craft Awards, run by Crafts Beautiful and Papercrafter magazines will become The International Craft Awards this year to encompass products and brands around the world. Now in its 10th year, the awards are well established as a genuine and respected mark of quality within the industry, being nominated and then voted for entirely by consumers. Awards organiser Liz Tuthill said: “The organic growth of the awards that we have seen over recent years, alongside the reach of online shopping has gradually given a platform to more international brands and products, hence the re-naming of the awards to cement the inclusion of a number of inspiring, market-leading brands and innovative and creative products from across the international crafting community.”

SEWING BEE’S HEATHER JACKS OPENS RELOCATED HABERDASHERY SHOP A haberdashery shop was officially opened on Saturday, May 16, by Heather Jacks, winner of the 2014 series of the BBC hit show, The Great British Sewing Bee. The Faff Room, which was previously based at Carr Bank Stables in Mansfield, is now situated on Church Street in Mansfield MANOR 1.8_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:07 Page 1 Woodhouse. Heather wasHOUSE invited to open the new premises and to host a special workshop to make vintage-style dresses. The open day was attended by more than 150 local people who browsed The Faff Room’s fabric products in the shop, visited the new tea rooms and took part in various sewing-based workshops. Heather said: “Winning The Great British Sewing Bee is something I am incredibly proud of, so it is great to be invited to open such a fantastic sewing shop and workshop facility. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to lots of local sewers during the open day and think it is fantastic that there is such an enthusiasm to sew garments to wear and other products for the home. I wish The Faff Room every success in its new home.”

A team of specialist embroiderers from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) hand embellished a stunning gown created by the British couture fashion designer Nicholas Oakwell for the GREAT Britain Campaign. RSN degree students from the BA (Hons) hand embroidery for fashion, interiors, and textile art

Credit: The GREAT dress by Nicholas Oakwell Couture. Photographer Greg Williams

headed up the team of 70 embroiderers to hand stitch separate fronds of ostrich feathers to the layers of delicate silk organza. The feathers, coloured in 18 hand-dyed shades, were stitched following an intricate grid design to create a ‘degradé’ effect in colour and density. A photo shoot for the gown featured British super model Erin O’Connor, photographed by British photographer Greg Williams. The gown will be showcased on a world tour in June covering Paris, Milan, Berlin and the Americas before heading back to the UK. Angie Wyman, RSN degree course leader, said: “Working with Nicholas Oakwell Couture on this exciting project exemplifies many of the creative collaborations showcased through the GREAT Britain Campaign. The RSN degree enables students to explore traditional and innovative approaches to hand embroidery. Collaborations with companies such as Nicholas Oakwell Couture enable RSN degree students to gain direct contact with potential future employers.”




AMAZON ANNOUNCES NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE Q It was revealed on Friday, May 22 that e-commerce company Amazon is working on its own online marketplace for crafted goods. The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon had sent invites to Etsy sellers to join the new section, Handmade, although it gave no details about fees or when it would be rolled out. The invite directed to a questionnaire on Amazon’s site asking sellers which main category their products fell into, including jewellery, home and kitchen wares. Since then, Etsy’s stock has fallen 12% and shares are trading at about one dollar below their IPO price of $16 a share for the first time since the company went public. Analysts are questioning whether Amazon’s Handmade will impinge on Etsy’s potential future growth and erode its current user base. Some Etsy sellers who received the invitation are already considering

joining Handmade, citing Amazon’s huge traffic numbers, and not wishing to feel solely dependent on Etsy for income. However, although Amazon hasn’t announced Handmade’s fee structure yet, it currently charges a 15% commission on most products in its marketplace and will have difficulty undercutting Etsy’s 3.5% commission and flat $0.20 listing

fees. In addition, some sellers have expressed concern on Etsy’s message boards about Amazon’s shipping guarantees which include two days for Prime members – something that would be difficult to meet for those who make goods to demand. However, it is not yet clear whether these shipping standards would apply to sellers on the Handmade site.

Credit: Image: Lucian Milasan /]

Page 1


How would stocking West Yorkshire Spinners’ range benefit my business?

Being one of the last remaining Worsted Spinners left in the UK means that we have total control of the products we develop and manufacture. We source and purchase all our raw materials which enables us to pass savings on to our stockists. It has always been our philosophy that using the best quality raw materials is of great importance, but also the technical specification is critical to ensure a superior quality yarn. We do all the research and development for new products and shade ranges in house; this process can take several runs until we have

Richard Longbottom, Sales and Marketing Manager for West Yorkshire Spinners, answers your retail queries the desired finish. We often have grade A product remaining that doesn’t make it into our range, which we can offer as exclusives to our stockists at a reduced price. We also don’t have a minimum order level, as we strongly believe that the retailer knows their business better than anyone. Imposing minimum orders is not good for our stockists as they know how much they can sell and being forced to carry large stocks can be a problem both for the cash flow of the business and the space for storage.


How can I promote the West Yorkshire Spinners range to my customers?


Which are the core, must-stock West Yorkshire Spinners products that I should have in my shop?

The fact that we are one of the few remaining British manufacturers still remains a huge selling point, however, once customers have used our products, the usability, durability and quality of our yarns has become equally as important. As we have control of the entire manufacturing process, we can ensure the quality of the finished product is up to our exacting standards.

RETAIL SALES GROWTH SPARKS HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR JUNE Growth in retail sales volumes picked up strongly in the year to May and expectations for June are at their highest for 27 years, according to the CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey. Orders placed upon suppliers also rose more quickly than anticipated, at the fastest pace since December 2010, while sales were well above average for the time of year, to the greatest extent since April 2007. The survey of 134 firms, including 63 retailers, showed that growth in both the volume of retail sales and orders exceeded expectations in May. Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, said: “Retailers will be encouraged to see growth in sales and orders on the high street bounding ahead. Low inflation, which we expect to remain below 1% for the rest of the year, has given household incomes a much-needed boost and greater spending power.”

We have an ever expanding range of products to suit all budgets and tastes – here are just a couple of our most popular. Our 100% Bluefaced Leicester range is a superb example of what British Wool has to offer. This luxurious wool is often referred to as the British Merino because of its unparalleled softness and handle. Offering clear stitch definition and drape to each individually handcrafted garment, this yarn has been awarded the British Wool

Marketing Board Platinum Award as a mark of superior quality and traceability. As a company, West Yorkshire Spinners buy a large amount of the annual clip of Bluefaced Leicester, again allowing us to pass savings on and offer this stunning yarn at a fantastic price to our stockists. Our Signature 4 Ply range has been fantastically popular, not only for the stunning range of colour groups but also for the soft handle and blend of 75% wool – 25% nylon. What makes this range extra special is that the wool content contains 35% luxurious Bluefaced Leicester making this one of the most sumptuous 4 Ply products on the market. It is available in a range of vibrant colour groups; Sweet Shop, Spice Rack and Country Birds. Contact: 01535 664 500 |


2 Page 1


INTRODUCING THE GREAT BRITISH POTTERY THROW DOWN Get ready to roll up your sleeves and get dirty with Bake Off’s messier cousin, The Great British Pottery Throw Down, as Sara Cox presents the search for Britain’s best budding potter. In the brand new BBC Two, six part series from Love Productions she is joined by two of the British pottery scene’s most passionate and renowned potters, Keith Brymer-Jones and Kate Malone. The 10 potters are set a number of tasks testing their skills (and patience) at the wheel and with different techniques. Each week

they have to create the Main Make, which sees the potters produce a piece from a slab of clay to glazed glory, with every episode

culminating in the reveal of the Main Make which the potters present straight from their kiln for judging. But anything can go wrong. The potters who fail to impress with their clay will leave the pottery studio until the final when one person proves themselves to be master of the wheel. Sara Cox says “Clay, mess, passionate potters and the team behind Bake Off. What’s not to love. There’s something really raw and exciting about grabbing a lump of clay and creating something unique out of it.”

BRC REPORTS ON UK SHOP VACANCIES AND LOWER FOOTFALL The British Retail Consortium has reported that shop Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, vacancy rates are remaining above 10%, which in said: “The stubbornness of the footfall figures may be turn may be affecting footfall. explained by the similar obstinance in the vacancy The national centre vacancy rate was 10.2 Since the BRC started WOWtown POWDER ARTS 1/16_POWDER ARTS 1/8 rate 2 colfigure. 29/04/2015 13:57 Page 1 collecting these per cent in April 2015, down from the 10.4 per cent figures, shop vacancy rates have never fallen below rate reported in January 2015. In addition, footfall in 10%. We’ve long argued that vacant units put April was 0.8 per cent lower than a year ago, down shoppers off visiting an area and the long term trend from the 0.2 per cent rise in March. Both high streets in these numbers bear that out. and shopping centres have reported a decline, falling “For everyone looking to secure a sustainable 0.1 per cent and 3.0 per cent respectively. Footfall in future for our high streets and town centres, the out-of-town locations fared the best with a 0.5 per priority must be to drive shop vacancies down in PEAK DALEorder 1.8_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 1 cent increase year-on-year, but this is the lowest to see shopper numbers rise. A16:18 good Page first step figure since September 2014. However, four regions would be securing the reform of business rates and and countries reported footfall above the UK average, thereby removing one of the most significant with the East, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Greater barriers to re-opening abandoned shops,” London all reporting positive footfall growth. Helen added.

SARAH HURLEY REPORTS 500% BUSINESS GROWTH Since starting up her eponymous business in 2010, Sarah Hurley has announced a massive growth of 500% in the past year alone. Sarah launched her first products on Create & Craft TV and has continued to go from strength to strength since. The range has since grown to include paper, stamps, embellishments, sewing and craft kits, gifts greeting cards, stationery and children’s products,

6 |

including the award winning World of Imagination range. A spokesperson for Sarah Hurley said: “Even after all this growth, the journey is far from over. In fact, every day it feels like we are starting something new, including the launch of BeeBees Boutique and Spark Creative this year. One thing we would like to say is, keep your eyes peeled, there are exciting times ahead!”


MOVERS SHAKERS ExaClair Brings in Experienced Talent ExaClair has further strengthened its sales team with the appointment of two new sales executives: Darren Stedeford and Sharon Shuttleworth. ExaClair is the UK supplier of brands including Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Europa, Decopatch, Avenue Mandarine and Guildhall. The new appointments follow the retirement of two longstanding employees, Roger Keys and Eddie Jessiman. Darren Stedeford has more than 25 years experience in sales and marketing, having most recently worked for product promotion services as a regional sales manager. He will cover Roger Key’s previous territory including most of London and the southern Home Counties. Sharon Shuttleworth worked for four years as a territory sales manager for Tactical Solutions, a part of the St Ives Group. Prior to that she was a key account manager with Newell Rubbermaid, with an impressive customer portfolio including W H Smith, Fenwicks and Harrods. She is replacing Eddie Jessiman covering Northern England.

Craft Businesses Named Small Business Saturday 2015 Champions Francesca Kemp, owner of Crafty Revolution, and Lorna Syson have been named among 20 entrepreneurs around the UK to become a Small Business Saturday champion for 2015. Crafty Revolution makes unique handmade items for the home and children including vintage map bunting, appliqué T-shirts and bags. Lorna Syson’s eponymous business designs interior products including wallpaper, fabrics, lampshades and cushions. Both have a remit to promote Small Business Saturday 2015, which takes place on December 5, when the UK’s 5.2 million small businesses are placed in the national spotlight. Events will be planned throughout the UK in the run-up to and on Small Business Saturday itself, including an expanded nationwide bus tour, special events by small businesses, plus a series of free workshops around the country led by prominent small business experts and entrepreneurs, which will also be streamed live online. For more information, visit www.

Crafter’s Companion Makes Britain’s Top 100 British Export List For the first time the Sunday Times BT Business SME Export Track 100 league table has ranked Britain’s private SMEs with the fastestgrowing international sales over the last two years. Coming 26th in the rankings, Crafter’s Companion has achieved a 77.86% growth in sales in the last two years and achieved sales of £9.6m last year alone. Founder, Sara Davies said: “I am incredibly proud that Crafter’s Companion has been named in The Sunday Times Business SME Export Track 100. This is all down to the creativity, dedication and hard work of my amazing team. We work tirelessly in understanding what crafters across the world want and need, before developing new products and refining existing products. This along with with a passion for craft that runs throughout the business are the reason for such achievements.”


THE STATIONERY MARKET TURNS OUT IN FULL FORCE The London Stationery Show Celebrates Another Successful Year With Growing Numbers of Exhibitors


his year’s London Stationery Show took place on April 28-29 at the Business Design Centre London. Now in its fifth year, an increase in exhibitor numbers 116 S BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:15from Page 1 to 134 marked it as the biggest so far. As a result of increased exhibitor numbers, the show also managed to achieve more than a 20 per cent rise in visitors compared to last year, with some even travelling from as far away as New Zealand to attend. The show also earned enthusiastic comments and support from across the industry, with Pyramid International, Stone Marketing, Silvine, Edding, Kaweco, Root &

Seed, and Strawberry Design & Marketing among those exhibitors who have already rebooked for 2016. Chris Leonard-Morgan, show director, said: “The show looked fantastic and had a great atmosphere and sense of community – exhibitors put on a great show, and the amount of new product on offer was inspiring.” The annual Stationery Awards attracted the highest number of entries to date for a panel of top industry buyers to consider. On the panel this year were Pamela Cartwright, stationery buyer at Paperchase; Joanne Barber of the Stationery & Gift Boutique,

Bedfordshire; Katy Golden, category manager for stationery and gifts at WH Smith Direct; Jo Irons, buying director of Bureau Direct and Abel Dos Santos, gifts and stationery buyer at Foyles Bookshop. The product display was a top draw at the show and give visitors the opportunity to easily review the products and winners. Three of the awards went to Lime Stationery & Art, which was also presented with the overall Judges’ Award in recognition of the company’s innovative and accessible offer. Henri Davis, independent retail advisor, who chaired the panel for the fifth year running commented:

“This is definitely the most exciting year so far for the Stationery Awards. We have seen a great cross-section of products and suppliers which makes the whole judging process very interesting for the judges. “And yet again, the reaction of the judges to the products they see and their immediate determination to seek out suppliers after judging, proves that entering the Awards is an excellent way to get your product seen,” Henri added.

ran a week long campaign in-store and online, which encompassed half a million newsletter customers. Marks & Spencer started the week with a tweet about the campaign to more than 400,000 followers and another two million Facebook fans, and Tesco and B&M Stores, along with many independent gift and stationery stores, who also ran special offers. Chris says: “The UK stationery market is fashion-led and fast

The show looked fantastic and had a great atmosphere and sense of community The London Stationery Show is the trade element of National Stationery Week, the UK-wide consumer campaign which runs from April 27 to May 3 and now also includes World Stationery Day for the first time this year on April 29. The campaign asks people to share what they like about stationery; their favourite products, brands and retailers, and encourages them to write by hand and not just by text or email. Paperchase, which also made a well-received presentation at the show to mark World Stationery Day,

moving, and the London Stationery Show has created a unique platform for the industry to meet and do business. This year’s show has been an unqualified success and earned its place as the key event for the industry. “Whether you buy or supply stationery, the London Stationery Show is now a ‘must-attend’ event,” Chris adds. Next year’s London Stationery Show will take place on April 26 and 27 at the Business Design Centre in London. For more information, visit



Winner: SemiKolon Filing Tabs, SemiKolon Commended: Noteshel, Noteshel Commended: Walls Storage Box, Robert Frederick

Winner: Tombow Monograph Mechanical Pencil, Stone Marketing Commended: The Stormy Grey Ink J Herbin, ExaClair Commended: Schneider Slider Touch with Stylus, Stone Marketing

DIARIES, CALENDERS & ORGANISERS Winner: A6 Day to View Diary, Go Stationery Commended: Academic/ Mid-Year Diary, Busy B Commended: The Mesh Stripe Diary, FLB Group

NOTEBOOKS & JOURNALS Winner: The Happily Ever Bendy Notebook, Lime Stationery & Art Commended: Nuuna Glow In The Dark Notebook, Stone Marketing Commended: The Bright Ideas Journal, Abrams & Chronicle

NOVELTY Winner: Magic Pencils, Koh i Noor/Lime Stationery & Art Commended: The Clean Up Stationery Set, Legami Commended: Enchanted Forest Colouring Book, Laurence King/ Thames & Hudson

WRITING INSTRUMENTS OVER £25 Winner: Lamy Studio Wild Rubin, C Josef Lamy Commended: The Brass Sports Pens, Kaweco Pens Commended: The Brass Lilliput Pen, Kaweco Pens



Winner: Woodland Trust Range, Go Stationery Commended: The Kellogg’s A6 Notebook, Mad Stuff Commended: The Kellogg’s A5 Journal, Mad Stuff

Winner: The Original Crown Mill Writing Set, Lime Stationery & Art Commended: Lotta Jansdotter Notecards, Quadrille Commended: Triple Notecard Pack, The Art File |




DIE CUTTING Sarah Hurley looks at the continuing evolution of the market


ie cutting is becoming increasingly popular in the craft world, a fast moving trend that only seems SIZZIX 1.3_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 to grow in popularity each year, as well as consistently changes and develops. Not so long ago, die cutting machines were very expensive and dies were pricey, bulky and limited in designs and styles. Now, the machines are better value and offer increased versatility. Dies are ever more intricate and detailed, easier to purchase and store, as well as cheaper and more widely available. What’s more, electronic machines that utilise SVG files or similar means that a wealth of designs are available on demand for as little as 50p! This wider variety of shapes and dies, larger machines such as the Sizzix Big Shot Plus, as well as the versatility to cut other materials such as chipboard, cork and fabric, means that die cutting can now be used, not only in card making and scrapbooking, but for more intricate designs and crafts, mixed media,

8 |

With the ever increasing offering of machines and add ons such as dies and consumables, this offers retailers an exciting opportunity to take advantage of this trend, positioning themselves as the source for not only products but ongoing classes and trusted advice (meaning more shop visits!) Die cutting machines are a considered purchase for most people and now there is so much choice that it can be confusing.There are lots of variables for the customer to consider before purchase: Electronic or manual? Standard or large size? Do they take all my existing dies or shapes? Is the software easy to use? Is it durable and will it last me at least a couple of years? By taking away some of the stress of these choices, retailers have an opportunity to not only sell the machines and the add on purchases, but to be the go-to point of contact thereafter. I would recommend having in store demonstrations of the machines, showing the differences

encourage further sales, keeping the enthusiasm for the machine alive. These would also encourage further purchases down the line of additional dies or consumables.

ONLINE REACH Social media is also a great tool to share images of new and upcoming products, finished makes, projects from upcoming classes or YouTube demonstrations of various aspects of the machines that you sell, keeping your customers’ attention and positioning yourself as the product expert for them. While there are a number of demonstrations on TV and online, when learning a new skill like this, we all like to have someone who can answer questions and give us advice if we don’t feel so confident about the purchase. While we can see machines being used and sold on Create & Craft for instance on an almost daily basis, we don’t necessarily get the chance to ask anyone if that’s the machine for us and get one on one advice. By

Die cutting can now be used not only in card making and scrapbooking, but for more intricate designs and crafts

fabric and home decor projects such as quilts, garlands and partyware. These open up new and 16:12 Page 1 exciting possibilities for crafters of all kinds.

CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES Die cutting offers a wealth of creativity to crafters, allowing them professional results quickly and easily, and more versatility in taking their crafts into a new area. It’s now very easy for a card maker to create matching party banners or decorations for instance, all using the same machine and dies. We have also seen, over the last 12 months or so, the introduction of stamps with matching die sets, jumping on the fact that there has been an increase in people having die cutting machines at home and finding moments to craft in an ever more fast paced world. Often, they don’t have a few hours to spend on making a card and want to be able to create one, along with a matching gift bag, in 10 minutes. If

we can die cut a shape quickly and easily rather than have to spend minutes cutting out a complicated image, then we’ll certainly be prepared to pay a little more for that convenience! Throughout my relatively short time in the craft industry, I have, and continue to, design dies and die cut shapes for various machines and companies and have noticed the biggest change in that area. Where initially I designed mostly titles, alphabets and basic shapes and greetings, now I’m called on to design ever more complicated and intricate designs for a larger number of projects, 3D and mixed media being the newest challenge and trend. Designs need to be more versatile, with increasing amounts of choice.

and benefits of each to help the customer make a considered purchase that best fits their needs. Seeing the machines in action up close and being able to ask questions will really help in the decision making process. Have inspirational examples of the work that the machines or dies can produce on display – quite often it can be hard to imagine from the flat image how the shapes (especially the very versatile or 3D ones) can be incorporated into projects. Again, dies are a considered purchase and showing how they can be used in a number of ways can help to inspire your customers. Ongoing classes can provide after sales support with advice given, examples and techniques shown, and related products demonstrated to

offering this to customers, you can use these shows as a marketing tool for your business. With Sizzix’ continuing development of their dies and machines (their Big Shot Plus and Pro launched at the CHA Mega Show earlier this year), Cricut offering a wealth of inspiration via their blog and social media channels, and Silhouette’s upcoming release of not only bigger, better and more versatile machines, but more consumables and add on parts that we could have ever dreamed of in previous years, as well as new machines and dies coming from some of the leading companies in the craft industry, I think this is a trend that will be around for a very long time, and one that we could all do with staying ahead of.


TATTERED LACE: REVOLUTIONISING DIE CUTTING Stephanie Weightman, creative director at Craft Channel Productions, explains how their Tattered Lace die cutting range has evolved to inspire crafters even further TELL US ABOUT TATTERED LACE PRODUCTS AND THE COMPANY’S USP. Tattered Lace specialises in products to use with die cutting and embossing machines. We differ to other companies in that we provide the most intricate and detailed dies on the market. All of our dies are designed to provide at least three unique patterns that can be created by cutting sections off the die cut shape to form new designs. We have recently launched our brand new Crossover die cutting and embossing machine. It allows you to die cut a range of different materials by adjusting the rollers to apply pressure to card, chipboard, cork, fabric, foam and so much more. This will revolutionise the die cutting industry as it opens up a whole world of projects using different mediums.

HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED SINCE THE COMPANY FIRST LAUNCHED? Techniques are ever developing and changing, and we’re finding that we can produce more intricate die designs than ever before. The industry is always looking for the next new thing so we are constantly looking at innovative ways to make

them more advanced. For example, we took the embossing technique and produced the interchangeable embossing folders. These allow you to emboss your choice of message to a card which saves having need to stamp or attach a sentiment. In a world where everyone is so busy, we look at time saving methods to still make crafting enjoyable, but providing results that are effective, precise and take less time to create. This then allows more time for the maker to add their own special touch to their projects.

HOW DO YOU INSPIRE CRAFTERS? Our Tattered Lace magazine features a wide array of projects using the latest dies on sale, as well as projects using the free die that’s included too. Each project features illustrated step by step instructions, finished photos, hints, tips and so much more. We also have a Tattered Lace blog, as well as a number of social media pages including Facebook and Pinterest. Videos are also the perfect way to provide greater understanding so we also feature a number of videos on our YouTube channel, as well as providing on air demonstrations on our Create and Craft shows.

WHICH ARE YOUR BEST SELLERS AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? We have seen a number of our designs sell out in a short space of time and believe that it’s largely due to the popularity of our on trend designs for each season that can be used for a multitude of projects. These dies are often part of a collection where all dies work beautifully

together. We aim to provide designs that are on trend for each season that can be used for a multitude of projects. We also find that our new shaped cards, such as the side and centre stepper card dies are incredibly popular because it allows crafters to save time and money by quickly creating their own cards without the need for a template or shop bought card blank, as well as being provided with a number of coordinating dies to matt and layer with. Anything that enables a customer to make their own unique card projects has more

other craft retailers, such as Best New Product at The Craft Awards 2014. But one thing we are particularly happy about is achieving a successful interaction with our customers, particularly through social media. It is so important to us and more than anything, we love to receive crafters’

We feel Tattered Lace is only just getting started and that there is so much more to come from our brand of an appeal as crafters can get really creative. Our recent Trio collection was also a huge hit, as they allow you to produce your own dimensional flowers in your choice of colour without purchasing expensive ready made ones.

WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS HAVE YOU MADE THAT YOU ARE PARTICULARLY PROUD OF AND WHY? We’re very proud of the awards we’ve won and the recognition given by

feedback and see how our products are being used all over the world. We are honoured by the loyalty our Tattered Lace customers have and the enthusiasm for our products. We’re so grateful that people take time out of their day to post a message and say thank you for a particular design or service provided. We listen to our customers and strive to produce something that makes crafting more effective and enjoyable, such as our shaped card dies.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? We feel Tattered Lace is only just getting started and that there is so much more to come from our brand. As craft trends and tools develop, we’d like to work on evolving into these new styles with the customer in mind, by providing brand new products and techniques that can work alongside their existing equipment. Crafters invest a lot of money into die cutting machines, so with this in mind we will continue to produce brand new seasonal dies and many other products too. There are lots of exciting projects coming up for us in the future, with some brand new products that take crafting to the next level. All of our latest concepts have been very well received in the industry and we are really looking forward to inspiring crafters to make beautiful cards for years to come.


Tattered Lace 01246 251 212 |



COLOURING TOPS THE BEST SELLERS Maximise sales with the latest craft trend


nce it was just a way of keeping children occupied, but now the latest craft trend sees adults rediscovering the pleasures, not to mention health benefits, of colouring-in. Promoted as a great stress reliever, colouring books aimed at adults have been regularly listed in the Top 10 of Amazon's best seller charts, packed with sophisticated images waiting to be brought to life. “The decision to focus on the therapeutic value of colouring has paved the way for adult colouring books,” explains Lin Chan, marketing and publicity executive at Search Press. “Using words like therapeutic, Zen, relax and de-stress has really helped the trend take off and grow, as has the fact that colouring can help readers attain well-being and meditate, rather than being merely a regressive activity.” Illustrator Millie Marotta is the author of Animal Kingdom and Tropical Wonderland colouring books, which have now attracted over 500 five star reviews on Amazon. She explains: “Colouring can offer a much needed distraction from the ‘grown-up’ world and things which cause us worry. It has

shapes and patterns put together in a beautiful way, are key.” Nick Watt, marketing manager at Chameleon Pens, says: “It focuses the mind to an almost meditative state, which is very therapeutic. Colouring has a relaxing quality that you simply can’t appreciate until you spend time doing it. If you are able to switch off and end up with something that looks beautiful, you gain a sense of accomplishment too.” Ana McLaughlin, head of publicity, marketing and online at Michael O'Mara Books, adds: “We've really seen the trend take off over the last year – we've sold over 340,000 colouring books aimed at adults now and sales have really speeded up since the publication of the Art Therapy Colouring Book in spring 2014.” SEARCH PRESS 1.4_CRAFTS BUSINESS

GLORIOUS TECHNICOLOUR As well as the books themselves, it pays to provide something to fill them in with as well. “My personal preference would be coloured pencils every time,” Millie says. “I love the versatility they offer in being able to blend colours together and getting so many shades from just one pencil. However I have seen

It’s a wonderfully simple, creative outlet and a great way to de-stress in today’s busy and fast paced world actually been proven that these types of creative activities, where you are focusing the mind and working with your hands, can reduce levels of anxiety and help relieve stress.”

TIME TO UNWIND Sarah Hurley, owner of SarahHurley. com and CHA UK Board Director, says: “I think more and more people are beginning to realise just how relaxing it is to unwind with some pens or pencils, as it takes us back to a simpler time. When I first started demonstrating marker colouring years ago, people used to laugh but now they’re telling me, ‘I get it!’ I’ve loved the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest books by Johanna Basford, and as my own Woodland Whimsies colouring book are being published in June. I think quite simple

10 |

some fantastic results from Animal Kingdom where pens or even watercolours have been used.” “Have a wide selection of colouring books for people to choose from,” Lin adds. “Run special in-store promotions, or deals such as buy two colouring books and get a pack of colouring pencils for free, whatever you can work with.” Sarah says: “I'd suggest stocking fineliner pens, colouring pencils and gel pens. I know some people have had alcohol marker related disasters in their books, so pen recommendations are key! Alcohol markers need a special kind of paper so are not suitable for colouring books. I’d recommend Staedtler Fineliners, Derwent Coloursoft Pencils and Sakura Gel Pens for glitter and other effects.”

Nick suggests: “I think it would be possible able to create some great pen and book bundles, in addition to merchandising all the colour therapy classified items in one section. Workshops based around colour therapy would be great too. People may have heard about the trend but might be unsure what it could do for them, so educate them on the benefits.”

THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT So how is the trend for adult colouring books set to develop in the future? According to Sarah: “I think we’ll see more and more colouring books on lots of different themes, aimed at both adults and children, as well as separate postcards or posters that can be coloured and framed to use as art without cutting apart the books. These are things I’m working on myself and I’m sure other 08/06/2015 16:10 Page 1

companies and designers will be having the same idea.” Lin adds: “I see publishers upping their game, as more and more enter the market. I think there will be emphasis on good quality paper, attractive packaging, and intricate designs.” According to Nick: “I think you will start to see more workshops and classes appearing. It is already beginning to be adopted by counsellors and the NHS, so I believe we may start to see the health benefits of colour therapy emphasised more by companies. As the number of participants continues to grow, people will look for more unique ways to colour their images and we have many new innovations that we think will make for perfect colouring in.” “We certainly don't see it slowing down - the more people who try it,

the more get hooked!” says Ana. “But we are publishing into more niche areas – the Classic Comic Colouring Book with fabulous pulp fiction and superhero designs, and the Typography Colouring Book for font geeks. The trend is here to stay, but will diversify as more people try it.” Millie says: “The popularity of colouring books spans generations and they are enjoyed by such a diverse range of people. It’s because of this universal appeal that I think that they’re going to go from strength to strength. I’m sure as people become more aware of the benefits of this type of activity, we will probably see a rise in popularity for other similar art-based activities, but colouring books are such a simple, effective and enjoyable creative outlet, I think that people will continue to make them a part of their everyday lives.”


STOCK CHECK This month’s hot products


FRISK STORAGE SOLUTIONS FRISK from ARTCOE have just introduced a new and easy solution for all your customers’ crafting bits and bobs, with this range of three dispensers that are ideal for storing water, paint, glitter, beads, embossing powder and so much more. All packed in easy euro slot hanging bags.

0845 300 7750

CRAFTER’S COMPANION NORDIC CHRISTMAS For Christmas crafting in a Scandinavian style, look no further than the festive Nordic Christmas collection from Crafter’s Companion. From snowy village scenes to images of Santa and friends, this heartwarming set of designs is bound to inspire lots of creative seasonal makes. The collection includes 10 embossing folders, unmounted rubber stamps and a papercrafting CD-ROM.

01388 660 930


WOODLAND WHIMSIES COLOURING BOOK Hot on the heels of her publishing company launch announcement comes details of Sarah’s first book. The Woodland Whimsies Colouring Adventure Book is a beautifully hand illustrated book ready to be coloured by adults and children alike! Available for pre-order from 10th June.

020 8502 3568


BUTTERFLY DREAMS The Butterfly Dreams collection is perfect for welcoming summer time. With delicate butterflies and climbing foliage featuring on Thinlits which cut, stencil and emboss, customers can create beautiful papercraft projects. These on trend dies are great for layering on cards, scrapbook layouts, gift tags and even home décor items!

0844 499 8181


KRAFT BROWN PAPER AND CARD A must-have for shabby chic papercrafts, this kraft brown paper and card can be used for card making, wrapping, scrapbooking and more. With an SRP of just 30p per sheet of A4 card, it’s great value too. Available in two finishes: ribbed and eco flecked. Contact Craft Creations for more information.

01992 781 909

HUNKYDORY CRAFTS BOUTIQUE CHIC LUXURY CARD COLLECTION This fun-filled collection is every girl’s dream as it features fashion, pampering, cakes, shopping and some cute little furry friends too. Printed onto a gorgeous colour palette featuring cool mint, blush pink and lovely lilac, this range features beautiful silver foiling which works wonderfully with the pretty pastel shades.

01772 272 577


FAIRY DOOR This delightful British designed and manufactured kit provides a new and unique craft product to sit within the Fairy Door sales phenomenon. Designed for parents and children to create together, it consists of a wooden door, door frame, real brass hinges and doorknob, as well as ‘fairy dust’ and mirrored card. RRP £5.99.

01298 78447


KOI COLORING BRUSHES NEW Koi Coloring Brushes are a convenient way to add vibrant shades to any journal, illustration or rubber stamp. The 48 transparent ink colours blend easily and a colourless blender pen creates seamless graduations. The pens are available in assortments of 6,12, 24 and 48, and open stock. The point of sale spinner takes up little space.

01756 700 024



IN THE PAPERS Award-winning craft designer Corinne Bradd discusses the latest papercraft trends

Discover why papercraft embellishments are a versatile range that you can’t afford not to stock


mbellishments are one of the most versatile product ranges, from glitters, ribbons and decorative tape, to metallic charms, faux gems and much more. Not only suited to papercrafts, many customers are putting them to other creative uses, making it very worthwhile to have something to offer in this line. “A good selection of papercraft embellishments is a must have for retailers,” advises Jenny Kearley, director of Craft Creations. “Though not always the centre of customers’ projects, being visually attractive and easy to use makes them great add-on or impulse purchases.” Jayne Sheriff, owner of E-Crafts, agrees: “Today’s papercrafting customer wants to be unique in their products. The bigger the range of embellishments, the more ideas can be born. Papercrafting is no longer just about card making and scrapbooking, it has spread to many more crafts.

paper shapes, to flowers, ribbon and lace,” Emma advises. “Most embellishments can be used on cards and scrapbook pages, as well as MDF and canvas projects and so there is ENTICING SELECTION constant demand. So what should businesses be “The key products include a offering to attract this potential range of gemstones; after all these audience? “Themes are great, years, they still retain top place in our especially bridal, where people like customer selection. We make sure to to make their own wedding cards by have several different sets available – hand,” Marion suggests. “We’ve pearls, pastels, festive and gold and seen a rise in people creating their silver among others, all in either own embellishments using our 3mm or 4mm packs. Melt-It and embossing powders “It’s also important to stock as and silicone moulds. This is because much ribbon as possible – it is they can make them in any colour, amazing how many shades and personalising them to their widths are needed so that just that own theme. right shade is available for the Jayne says: “Where possible, a customer! Paper flowers are good, as range of embellishments stocked in HUNKYDORY 1.4 3_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:04 Page 1 not everyone wants to die-cut and different sizes and colours meets the create their own. Finally, there’s demands of all crafters. Diamond Sparkles micro-glitter – Embellishments and butterflies that we’re expecting this to become even give a 3D effect and texture are as more sought-after later this year for popular as ever with retailers and Christmas cards,” Emma adds. customers alike. With the versatility

customers a well-rounded selection of embellishments as these are the finishing touches to any project.”

Papercrafting is no longer just about card making and scrapbooking, it has spread to many more crafts Page 1

“Basic embellishments stocked should cover products that can be versatile. Papercrafters who started out with card making or scrapbooking have now found a new love with smaller-scale projects like creating delightful home decor items and gifts to give,” Jayne continues. Marion Emberson, creative consultant at WOW! Embossing Powders, says: “It’s very important for retailers to have a good selection of embellishment products available to offer their customers. Being able to provide many different varieties will reach more audiences.” Emma Rees, assistant manager at Inspirations Craft Superstore, Preston, adds: “It is vital that retailers offer their

they offer to most mediums, they are always a good product to stock.” “Ideally, a good offering of embellishments should cover a range of different styles and tones, so customers can find something fun, serious or sentimental according to what they’re working on,” Jenny says. “Die-cut banners have proven quite popular lately as most people want to add words to their project and an elegant printed banner often fits the bill. Peel-off stickers, especially decorative borders and corners are also popular right now. “Banners and peel-off stickers are flexible items in their own right, they work well on cards, scrapbooking and more. They can also often be customised with Promarkers and other colouring systems, which make great upsell items. It’s a good idea to stock the latest seasonal items, but a strong selection of the basics, such as like ribbons, gem dots, banners, stickers and buttons will be popular at any time of year.” Jenny continues.

WIDE CHOICE “A good selection can vary, from gemstones, brads, Candi, felt and

12 |

PERFECT DISPLAY As always, presentation is half the battle to entice customers into stopping for a second look, and hopefully a purchase. “The stands we supply show our products off really well,” Marion says. “If it looks good to the retailer, then it will certainly appeal to the customer as well. With products such as glitter and embossing powders, it’s also a good idea to show the colours on tags, and

to have finished samples on display. “In our experience, a finished item will spark off the customer’s imagination much more than a product in a pack,” Jenny adds. “This can be in the flesh, or shown in a selection of images.” “Showcasing how the embellishments can be used is always a good idea where space allows,” Jayne agrees. “For example, our feather butterfly embellishments can be used in almost any craft you can think of; in a wedding theme, we have seen them on invites through to the cake, the flowers and inserted into tiny frames as favours.” “At Inspirations, we have ribbon stands, with the ribbon reels colourco-ordinated, and we cut 1m lengths so that the customer can choose just what they want rather than having to buy a reel that may just lie around in their craft room,” Emma reveals. “The gemstones, paper flowers and other embellishments are all placed on stands that the customers all pass to reach the tills and so are perfectly positioned for that ‘Ooh! I must just get….’ moment.”

In papercraft, anything that looks intricate is instantly popular. Whether it’s a silhouette that you’ve spent hours carefully cutting with a craft knife, or a lacy design that’s been hot foiled in seconds, the finished look of the project is key. Crafters want a piece with real wow factor and there have been a host of new gadgets out this year to satisfy this need. Focus seems to have steered away from card making and developed into something far more extravagant, with greetings now being given in the form of fantastic paper creations. I’m quite keen on letterpress and hot foiling techniques as I originally trained as a printer. The Minc foil applicator looks promising, providing you have access to a laser printer, as does the newly launched TODO die-crafting machine with its host of applications. Metal accents and splashes of vibrant colour have been popping up in fashion, home decor and subsequently papercraft. I’m hoping there will be a few new Christmas ranges that reflect this trend, such as burnt orange, teal and copper, and less of the traditional combinations (red, green and gold or worse, silver, blue and lilac) that have appeared year after year.



Arne & Carlos


Jennie Atkinson’s Swarovski showpiece dress

Emma Irving, marketing manager for Coats Crafts UK, talks about their online downloadable patterns, the latest trends, and what the future holds... YOU HAVE RECENTLY EXPERIENCED A BOOM IN ONLINE DOWNLOADABLE PATTERNS; TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS AND WHY? We see our digital patterns as a great way of providing knitters with patterns on the go. In this day and age, knitters should be able to access patterns quickly and easily using a variety of platforms, from desktop PCs to tablets and mobile devices.

ARE ONLINE DOWNLOADS THE WAY FORWARD NOW IN THE KNITTING AND SEWING INDUSTRIES AND IF SO, WHY? As important as online accessibility is for craft, we don’t see digital being the end of print. Digital satisfies the instant reward, easily accessible demand, but pattern booklets and magazines are still important. An example of this is the Rowan Magazine, a collectible, coffee table style publication, which people keep as part of their hobby. They return to it again and again, using it for inspiration and ideas.

WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES FOR GOOD ONLINE/DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT? HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO FEATURE? It is important to keep ideas and content fresh and fashionable, ensuring that social channels and online presence reacts to everyday events and trends. We have seen how quickly content can spread online

and it is important to be a part of that where relevant.

HOW CAN RETAILERS CAPITALISE ON THE DOWNLOADABLE PATTERNS YOU NOW PROVIDE? The bank of pattern support available on our umbrella site and is a huge resource for retailers. It provides the vehicle to promote our brands through design support in a way we can control and influence, which allows us to support retailers in their yarn, fabric, haberdashery and kit and canvas sales.

The latest trend we have also influenced is a huge return to sock knitting through our Regia partnership with the quirky Norwegian duo Arne & Carlos, who are currently taking the sock knitting world by storm. They will be joining us at Knitting and Stitching in October for their first UK appearance with Regia.

WHAT SEWING TRENDS HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY THIS YEAR AND HOW DO YOU THINK THIS WILL AFFECT BUSINESS FOR 2016? Fabric demand increased rapidly over the past year due to the growing

It is important to keep ideas and content fresh and fashionable, ensuring that social channels and online presence reacts to everyday events and trends WHAT ARE THE THREE TOP KNITTING TRENDS WE ARE SET TO SEE THIS SEASON? For us it’s all about eye-catching knitwear, using the best textures, techniques, colours and patterns. The birth of the royal princess has definitely influenced a return to baby knitting and in particular the more traditional heirloom pieces.

trend for patchwork and quilting in the UK. As our FreeSpirit brand team is based in the US, the flagship market for patchwork and quilting, we are now able to work closely with our fabric designers to create beautiful quilt patterns for each collection we launch. The popularity of the Great British Sewing Bee is also still influencing the trend for dress making and home sewing, as well as introducing a new generation of sewers who want simple projects like bags and cushions for starter projects.

YOU RECENTLY COLLABORATED WITH SWAROVSKI, WHICH IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE INDUSTRY. TELL US MORE ABOUT IT: The partnership started in early 2014 when Rowan and Swarovski met at a trade event in Europe. Rowan teamed up with Swarovski as part of the ‘Create Your Style’ concept to

celebrate the elegance that crystals can bring to knitting, while creating a unique and personal touch. The collaboration between Rowan and Swarovski has enabled the creation of two exciting new collections of sparkling designs, a new Rowan Shine yarn, Swarovski crystal and bead packs and a spectacular showpiece dress by Jennie Atkinson, which is set to join the long list of iconic designs.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING UNIQUE THAT YOU ARE PLANNING ON BRINGING TO MARKET? We are very excited about our new Patons baby range, Baby Smiles, which will launch in July. This is a major achievement for Coats as we will be bringing unique and influential proposition to the UK market. Our focus on challenging ourselves and standing out for innovative products has led us to recognise that knitters are becoming more aware of the safety aspect of their knitting yarns. Patons Baby Smiles will carry the prestigious Oeko-tex Standard 100, class 1 certification, meaning that all our Patons baby yarns are free from any potentially harmful substances that could cause allergies or other health problems. The certification appears on all our baby yarns and in this category is unique to Coats. We are planning some big public relations initiatives across the brand, particularly as part of the Rowan and Swarovski collaboration. Stronger targeted press editorials, consumer competitions and blog partnerships will bring us a new and stronger consumer focus to the knitting market in the run up to the festive season.

with strong product innovation and a key focus on helping all our customers maximise their sales growth through meeting consumer needs and trends. We will look to replicate activities like our recent trade roadshow events where we hosted a special day in three iconic locations across the country for customers and prospects to attend. We presented our AW15/16 collections, had fantastic talks from two guest speakers focusing on how we can help retailers maximise sales and develop their business for the future. Jenna, from Exeter Sewing Machine Company was among many to write to us after the event. She said: “I had a fantastic time – the talks were of huge interest to me, I couldn’t have asked for better subjects myself. In fact I can honestly say that just one of Stuart Hillard’s merchandising tips was worth going to the event for alone! So if they do ask for feedback from customers in view of doing future events, I’d definitely say that talks of that quality and about such useful subjects are what will make me want to go again.”


Coats Crafts UK 01484 681 881

WHAT’S NEXT FOR COATS CRAFTS UK? Looking to the future we will continue to stand out from the crowd |


INTERVIEW Dreaming in Colour - An Autobiography by Kaffe Fassett, published by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book


KAFFE FASSETT Having recently celebrated half a century in the business, Sarah-Jane Lampe caught up with renowned textile designer Kaffe Fassett to relive his journey


ou have travelled a lot throughout your life. How has that contributed to your creative journey and the work you’ve produced? It has impacted my work in so many ways. There’s nothing like travel to make you look at things more intensely, immersing yourself in a new culture makes things very exciting. In the last five weeks, I’ve been to Prague and Vienna and then on to Germany and Norway, before we finally came back to the north of England. All are very different cultures and I come away feeling completely inspired by the way people decorate architecture, put tiles up a staircase or even decorate windows. I find window shopping an absolutely fabulous inspiration, just going through markets and looking at the way people stack up fruit for example. There is always plenty to make travel a very exciting and fruitful adventure.

YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE TEXTILE DESIGN INDUSTRY FOR 50 YEARS NOW, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU’VE MADE? I feel very grateful that the whole world has helped me develop and given me encouragement because I’m not the most talented person around, but I have certainly had tremendous luck. I’ve worked hard, but everyone has been very encouraging and I’m extremely grateful to them for their help.


Images used with permission from Kaffe Fassett Dreaming in Colour, Abrams Books

Not really, England has taught me so much about being restrained,

14 |

thinking about things carefully and just going a little more slowly. I think we are very gung-ho in America and if we get a bit between our teeth we commercialise things very quickly. You’re not supposed to be a success unless something is quite commercial. I’m grateful to be in a culture where that isn’t the top prize, that people value other things and they are happy to let things develop organically. I don’t think I would do anything differently, I think it’s worked out amazingly well. I mean,

wonderful surge because it wasn’t just me that came into the public arena. There were other wonderful designers too, like Sasha Kagan and

There’s nothing like travel to make you look at things more intensely, immersing yourself in a new culture makes things very exciting I would love to have huge museum shows, films and documentaries; there are a lot of things I would love to do and get commissions to cover, such as huge sky scrapers covered in tiles. I love all of that, but having said that I have been given a great deal in life.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THE KNITTING INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? When I first started out in the business, someone said to me with a very sad face, “Oh what a pity that you are bringing out this wonderful book, just as knitting has peaked and is on its way down.” I was like, “Oh thanks!.” They were right and it had sort of peaked, but then it got this

Susan Duckworth who used pattern and colour in a way that excited people. It encouraged a lot of people to have a go at complicated Fair Isle and Persia knitting.

YOU ARE RENOWNED FOR YOUR PASSION FOR COLOUR AND PATTERN, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU? It’s hard to know where these things come from. It’s funny to think I was raised in bland old America, but in a sense we have every culture going and we are very romantic about foreign cultures. I remember my two best friends at school, one was Lithuanian and the other was half German and half Japanese, but when I looked around there were also Russian families and Islamic families, where you would go home to visit your friends and their parents wouldn’t speak any English and it would be a household of very ethnic people. I developed a big interest in the Orient because we had some great

China towns, San Francisco is one of the most exciting and New York has one too, so I would go and look for Oriental antiques and beautiful artwork for example. When I was at school we did Yugoslavian folk dancing and we made our costumes, with big balloon trousers and embroidered shirts, ribbons in the girls hair and it was exciting, so we were drawn to all those cultures. I think perhaps that was an influence, but I’ve always had an eye for colour and I’d always be looking for that extra bit of wow somewhere in this bland country.

YOU HAVE WORKED ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF MEDIA INCLUDING QUILTING, AND TEXTILE DESIGN. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE AND IF SO WHY? Not really, I mean I love knitting because it is organic and so soothing, I can take it anywhere. The first thing

I think about when I know I’m going on a big trip is to go and find a knitting project and packing all the yarns for it so I don’t run out. But on the other hand I love needlepoint too because you’re not limited by subject matter and you can do anything with it. I also love quilting and I’m working on a quilt at the moment and really enjoying it. It’s all about playing with colour and arranging pattern.

HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE 50 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY? The best present I’ve had to celebrate all my years is the patchwork quilt exhibition that I have just opened in New York. I’ve been able to have free rein over a big collection of scrappy antique quilts from the Quilters Guild and I took 15 of those and made my own exhibition. Now it is going off at great expense to the Huston Quilt Festival and it’s very exciting to be able to show off those wonderful English quilts. People always say to me, ‘where do you get your ideas from’, well here’s an exhibition that is really going to show them.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR KAFFE FASSETT? I think I’m starting to realise some of the dreams that I have put on hold, like certain quilts that I want to make by hand. I’m going to carry on writing books and I would love to make more television and broadcast more to inspire people. It’s a very visual thing that I do and it would be exciting to be able to have an influence on the way that those crafts are filmed and really reach people. I see some craft shows that are less than thrilling and I would love to put some juice into that subject.

EQS page_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:03 Page 1






Graeme Wright, founder of EQS and member of the Advisory Council of Quilts reveals some of the upcoming American fabric trends this year

SUPPORT Sewn up How to make the most of the retail opportunities that sewing patterns offer


tocking beautiful fabrics alone isn’t enough to please customers. Stitchers are now, more than ever, searching for the ‘full package’; a good offering with quality products, great customer service, competitive prices and lets not forget those added extras such as pattern support. In fact, supplying great pattern support alongside your fabric offering can seal the deal for most stitchers when looking for their next big project. Ann Robinson and Liz Evans, product managers and buyers of fabrics, haberdashery and patterns for Abakhan Fabrics, Hobby & Home say sewing for fashion and the home is extremely popular at the moment. Ann says: “We consider this to be in part due to TV programmes such as Great British Sewing Bee, but also because sewing and crafting in general has become much more of a hobby than perhaps the necessity it once was.” Liz adds: “Sewing machine sales have been steadily increasing for some time now and even the entry level models have a range of stitches that will help achieve a professional finish. There’s a sense of pride and uniqueness about having made your own garment, something we are always hearing from our staff and customers alike.”

HOW IT WORKS Patterns offer great selling opportunities and in order to make the most of them, it is important the retailer understands the company and the process of producing a fantastic design that customers will want to purchase. “Imagine starting with a blank sheet of paper and ideas on a new style of dress. This is where a new design begins,” explains Wendy. “Sometimes designers will be asked to create a certain type of garment, other times they will be putting together their own ideas and collections. The designer will draw out ideas, adding colour, fabric suggestions etc. This is then taken by a pattern drafter to turn the idea into an actual garment, which is put together from separate pieces. “The accuracy of the pattern pieces and construction is tested by making a toile (sample garment) to check that the design works. Then it will be made in other fabrics to check it works well in a range of cloths. The pattern then has to be graded for different sizes.

16 |

“Alongside the actual design and production of the pattern is the compilation of step-by-step instructions for all the garments in the pattern pack. The pattern will then be made and photographed for the pattern envelope, plus the catalogue and website, and the pattern envelope information prepared. This includes garment measurements, amount of fabric and haberdashery needed, sizing and body measurements, recommendations for fabric choice and more. An awful lot goes into the production of a pattern, and of course, pattern companies like Simplicity bring out 30-40 new designs four to eight times a year!”

TOP PICKS Once you understand the work that goes into creating each pattern, it can help make it easier to spot each design’s USP and flag them when talking to customers. It also pays to chat with consumers about their

current likes and dislikes, what they’re making and get their opinions on some of the latest trends. Sue says: “Over the last few years we’ve enjoyed meeting with new and returning sewers. They tell us that for them, dressmaking is about fulfilling creativity, making a unique garment and achieving the perfect fit, that they might find lacking in ready-towear. Economy is not the issue, although a reasonably skilled sewer using a pattern from the Vogue Patterns Designer range can create a garment that ‘off the peg’ would cost considerably more. In addition, the popularity of our Vintage Vogue and Retro Butterick patterns shows no signs of waning.”

Pattern sales will help retailers increase sales of fabrics, haberdashery and sewing equipment including sewing machines

Wendy adds: “The rise in the popularity of patterns, particularly dressmaking has been strongly influenced by the Great British Sewing Bee and other shows, like Project Runway. Another reason people sew more at the moment is austerity – historically, periods of economic downturn have resulted in increased in home sewing. “Vintage style dresses have continued to be in demand for some time now, fuelled by the trend for all things nostalgic; this was evidenced by the immense popularity of the Walkaway dress featured on the most recent series of the GBSB,” says Ann. “Children’s patterns are always popular as well as the ‘easy’ ranges as they can make a great starting point for those new to sewing. Bridesmaid and prom dress patterns are also very popular at the moment and fancy dress patterns such as those characters in films like Frozen in particular are still in high demand.”

CAPITALISE ON PATTERNS “Pattern sales will help retailers increase sales of fabrics, haberdashery and sewing equipment including sewing machines. They are a great facilitator and because new designs are constantly added to the range, they are a great way to bring consumers back to the shop to buy more,” says Wendy. So how should you make the most of the different patterns available on the market? Sue Haft, MD of Butterick, says: “There is no doubt that stocking patterns to complement a modern and varied fabric and haberdashery range is a great way for retailers to

Four days of buying, selling, learning, meeting and, of course, eating. That is pretty much Quilt Market in Minneapolis! No wonder people come from all over the world to attend: 871 US stores and 103 international preregistered, the latter being more than 25 per cent fewer than in 2014. This may be a reflection of the ever-increasing cost of going and the impact that the strength of the US dollar has on buying prices. This year the show floor had 25 aisles, each about 100 metres long – 2.5 kilometres of walking and that in the highly unlikely event that you only walk it once. We found ourselves zig-zagging our way round the hall from one meeting to another, so comfy footwear is a must! Although this year fabric design continued to show an inclination towards contemporary and bright, there was a hint that the traditional look is preparing to make a come-back. Two companies, Riley Blake and P&B Textiles, both of whom have a strong presence in the modern look have recently launched a new brand each that is more than just a token gesture towards the period from the Civil War era right through to the ‘30s. Look out for Penny Rose Fabrics and Washington Street as they grow in strength. Next time, I’ll be reporting on the efforts by manufacturers in America to protect their intellectual property and the lengths they will go to in order to protect their designs.

‘up-sale the basket’. Sewers certainly favour shops that offer a varied range of brands and pattern types and once the sewer has selected their pattern, they are keen to source fabric and notions. “A working knowledge of what’s in the pattern catalogues, guiding sewers gently to the all important size information that appears in all catalogues will always pay off. It’s vital to remember pattern sizing is not the same as ‘ready to wear’,” she adds. Liz agrees. She says: “As a retailer it’s vital that we offer good pattern support alongside our fabric. It’s like the horse and cart – the jury is still out on whether our customers choose their pattern first or the fabric – but they go hand in hand. We like to think they take inspiration from both. We stock patterns from all the major companies in all stores, which meet the needs of our customers and means they can choose their fabrics and accessories at the same time.”

Stitching & Haberdashery

STOCK CHECK This month’s hot products


UNIVERSAL QUILT HANGER The best option for displaying your quilts professionally. It only takes one person to hang any size quilt and holds up to 40lbs. It’s self-levelling, less damage to your walls and no tools needed! Change to a different size quilt in seconds. Available in two sizes: Small 21” x 35” and Medium 35” x 63”.

0116 271 0033


HALF YARD CHRISTMAS BY DEBBIE SHORE Half Yard Christmas contains over 30 stylish, festive projects in six Christmasthemed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids. Crafters can select their favourite Christmas style or mix and match them throughout the home. Featuring Debbie Shore’s informative and friendly guidance, this book is ideal for sewers of all abilities. RRP £11.99.

01892 510 850


PAINT N’ POP WOODEN SHAPES Made from 3mm MDF, these laser cut shapes are perfect for a huge range of craft projects. Simply paint or decorate as desired and ‘pop’ the shapes out. There are 22 different sheets available, all lovingly made in England. They can be seen on Jomil’s new website, which launches around the end of May.

01274 578 997


INTRODUCING SIX NEW COLOURS WOW! Embossing Powder is proud to announce its 2015 release of six new colours: Coconut Ice Embossing Glitter, Opaque Pastel Glacier Mint, Opaque Primary Frozen, Primary Marshmallow, Primary Parma Violet, and Pearlescent Chocolate Caramel. These embossing powders can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, fabric, metal, and even ribbon.

01727 738 466


TRIMITS AUTUMN RANGE These wooden buttons from Trimits add character to garments, soft furnishings and home accessories. They can also be used for decorating handmade cards and even for gift wrapping. They include three owl designs as well as flowers, butterflies and strawberries. Available in three sizes: 20mm, 25mm and 30mm. Sold in tubes of 50.

01844 258 080

THE CRAFT COTTON COMPANY BOSAL CRAFTEX & IN-R FORM Bosal’s In-R Form & Craftex help to make projects come alive. Both have ideal weight and body, are washable, durable and fusible on one or both sides, and are easy for beginners. They come in many useful pre-cut shapes; sewers simply fuse their fabric onto the In-R Form and Craftex and stitch!

0161 832 9431


TRIPOD TOOL FOR NON-SEW FASTENERS The new tripod from Prym gives users the possibility of attaching non-sew articles further than 2cm from the edge as it can be positioned wherever needed on the workpiece. Press fasteners and other rivetable products can then be attached in the usual manner – insert the fastener components, then rivet in place.

+49 2402 1414


INCOMPARABLE CERAMIC BUTTONS With an extensive selection of fashion and novelty buttons on offer, popular Incomparable buttons add the perfect finishing touch to any handmade item. The range includes large single buttons suitable for fastenings on bags, colourful and durable sets for garments, plus teeny tiny buttons for decorating quilts and textile pictures.

01822 810 844



GENERATION Attract a new, younger audience to knitting and crocheting through your doors

longs, an opportunity to post and share pictures of one’s work, plus expert advice by popular designers would be a great way to keep crafters interested. Not only this, prevailing offers and discounts, and new arrivals can be very easily shared through social media.” And it’s not just online where people are getting social, Knit-andKnatter groups and crochet-a-longs also allow younger knitters and crocheters to socialise with older more experienced crafters, who are more than willing to pass on their knowledge. As a result, we see the younger generation improving their skills and evolving the craft, with new ideas, designs and techniques.


GETTING SOCIAL The rise in social media has also contributed to knitting and crochet’s 12/06/2015 14:09toPage 1 appeal a younger audience. Never before has the craft been more accessible to so many people, but now it’s being provided in a quick

The new range of crochet kits from Hawthorn Handmade contain everything you need to finish the project including British wool, a hook, stuffing and a detailed ‘How To Crochet’ booklet. Once the hare is complete, you can add unique needle felted features using the loose wool and felting needle included. RRP: £29.50

Contact: 01258 880 691

it works with the basic techniques like granny squares and single crochet, so it is less complicated. So In order to benefit from this universal far we have seen pixel crochet being appeal, companies are ensuring used to make afghans, as well as that they have something to converting small pictures of cartoons attract all age groups, drawing and video game characters into in a new generation while making crochet pieces for framing, but the sure that their existing audience possibilities are endless.” isn’t neglected. David says: “Interest in crochet “We are very committed to and knitting is going to continue to encouraging the new generation of grow. Arm knitting is quick and fun knitters and as a result ensure that a and easy to access format that and building in appeal already. Also, youngsters are fully up to speed with. good proportion of our designs are knooking (knitting with a crochet aimed at beginners,” says Emma. David Husbands, director of hook) is steadily gaining interest “We know that a quick result is key Viridian Distribution, says: “Online especially with beginners and when first learning to knit, so we and social media are a great way of crocheters who want to try have developed some chunkier yarns grabbing and keeping their attention, something different. with design support aimed offering inspiration to learn and to “Clover and KnitPro both offer specifically at that ‘quick fix’ market. create items they can wear with quality hooks with easy to hold We’ve also just launched digital pride. The younger generation live brightly coloured handles which downloads - from July, the knitter will their lives around online platforms, so appeal especially to younger hookers. be able to buy and download our it is therefore essential that Simple stitches in crochet combined patterns from a selection of retailers 1-8 2 col_VIRIDIAN 29/04/2015 15:20 Page 1 information is generated using VIRIDIAN all with the use of colour can quickly which will really appeal to the new types of social media.” create phone and tablet cases, bags generation who are happy to knit Emma Mychajlowskyj, sales and wearable accessories for the from their tablet or smartphone.” director at Sirdar, agrees: “The first younger crafter,” David adds. Shirish says: “We have a vast place the younger generation go is range of needles at KnitPro, in a online whether to shop, learn, variety of materials, to cater for the communicate or get inspiration. It is WHAT’S IN STORE needs of crafters from all skill levels. a relatively easy way to promote your While social media has an important We have wood and bamboo for those part to play in attracting younger business and with a limitless reach.” who want their needles to hold onto Shirish Jain, vice president of knitters, retailers should also consider yarn and also provide smooth marketing for KnitPro, says: “Social their in-store displays. Emma says: transition of stitches simultaneously. media is an inseparable part of our “Younger knitters want inspiration There are brass and Karbonz which lives these days. Therefore social when they walk through the door, are a delight for knitters who are media should be used as much as whether that is bringing in new looking for speed knitting. The possible to connect with young yarns, designs or colours, or simply younger knitters especially like our crafters. Occasional knit or crochet-achanging the displays in store. Show colourful and bright acrylic needles them how a yarn knits up, let them like Trendz and Marblz, which are a try it out if you can, have garments visual treat and very pocket friendly.” on display and change them often.”


o longer is it uncool to craft, in fact, with the younger generation it’s quite the opposite. Young people are searching for new and innovative ways to express their individuality and they seem to have found that in a variety of different crafts. In 2013, research from the CHA-UK found that more than half of women crafters were aged between 16-24. In the same research knitting was found to be the second most popular craft, with some 7.2 million people participating on a regular basis. So it’s no surprise that knitting and crochet continue to gain in popularity particularly with this age group.


Shirish suggests: “An eyecatching display of needles and yarn, plus finished products that are quick to make would help to attract younger crafters to retail shops. It would also help to organise periodic classes on knitting and crochet techniques, and have a-longs with needle and hook samplers as gifts. Having popular designers spend an afternoon with craft enthusiasts answering their queries would also be great.” “Have designs and yarns that reflect what the youngsters see on the High Street,” David says. “Where possible, offer free learn to knit sessions in school holidays or even create a special knitting group for kids. Offering support will keep the next generation crafting.”

HOOKED ON CROCHET Crochet has also been steadily gaining momentum for some time and a new technique in particular could appeal to younger crocheters. “Pixel crochet has made it possible to convert any digital image into a crochet pattern,” Shirish explains. “It is gaining in popularity, especially as

Sock Yarn Specialists UK Distrubutor for:

• Opal • Eucalan • KB ~ Knitting Boards/Looms

King Cole knitting yarns require stockists in many areas. We have booked another massive Advertising campaign and are being inundated by knitters requesting the location of their nearest King Cole stockist. Call NOW to find out more: Knitting Needles & Accessories

Tel: 01756 703670 or email:

18 |



T: 0117 300 5244


TRIED & TESTED Check out some of the industry’s top products and what our experts thought when they gave them a try POSCA Water-Based Paint Markers

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK Yarn

POSCA pens have been produced for over 30 years and are suitable for all ages. They contain paint composed of unalterable pigments and water, which can be used as a watercolour medium, is mixable and can also be overlaid when dry. The shaft of the pens contains a ball that mixes the components when shaken, rather like a spray can, ensuring the paint goes on evenly. The formula is similar to acrylic with an opaque finish that dries quickly, and can be used on paper, ceramics, wood, metal, textiles, plastics, glass and much more. With more than 40 colours, seven different nib sizes and five distinct tip shapes, including brush, tubular, tapered, chiselled and rectangular, the POSCA range is suitable for a wide range of hobbies and crafts.

JECELYN LATIMER, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT FOR CRAFTS BEAUTIFUL MAGAZINE, SAYS: “I love using POSCA pens to create beautiful painterly designs with ease. Because they are waterbased, other materials like glass and ceramic need to be set using different methods. I recently decorated a few mugs using my POSCA pens and baked them for 30 minutes in the oven at 160°C. Now I’ve got bespoke trinkets without paying through the roof!”

MELISSA HYLAND, ACTING EDITOR OF CRAFT BUSINESS MAGAZINE, SAYS: “These pens allow you to paint on all kinds of materials with very little mess. They provide great control, making it easy to draw and fill in a design and the nibs can be rinsed with water after use; some are even reversible or replaceable, providing great value for money. The wide variety of fine to chunky tips enables crafters to create all kinds of images.”

Yarn Stories is a family business, based in a Yorkshire mill where they have put decades of experience and skill into creating the most superlative yarns. The company has teamed up with famous designers from all over the world to bring knitters the most exciting collections that really bring out the beauty of these yarns. Yarn Stories was originally only available online, but due to popular demand the company has now decided to make their products available to yarn shops across the globe. Fine Merino DK is their signature yarn. It is worsted spun from the highest quality fibres and is available in a balanced palette of 20 shades from taupe to dark chocolate and duck egg blue to a deep thistle purple. RRP £5.25.

ADRIENNE CHANDLER, DEPUTY EDITOR OF LET’S KNIT MAGAZINE, SAYS: “The strong twist in this yarn aids stitch definition, so you can create distinct patterns like cables, lace and even more subtle textures such as basketweave and moss stitch. It would be a good option for crochet, too. Although this yarn gives good stitch definition, it still retains the benefits of a pure animal fibre when it comes to colourwork projects.”

MELISSA HYLAND, ACTING EDITOR OF CRAFT BUSINESS MAGAZINE, SAYS: “This yarn is beautifully soft with a wide range of colours and is also machine washable at 30°C. The wool fibres are very small in diameter – less than 20.5 microns – so they can be tightly spun. This means there are fewer ends poking out, which might make a yarn feel tickly against the skin, and the fabric is also less likely to pill or bobble with wear.”

CONTACT: 033 0100 9933,

CONTACT: 01535 609 798,

DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish Ultra-Matte Paint

Efco Texture Mats

The upcyling trend continues to grow and part of this is creating a vintage, shabby chic look on furniture and home decor pieces. Chalky Finish paint makes this look easy to achieve because it does not require hours of training or special skills. Available in 29 intermixable colours, from soft pastels to stronger shades, it adheres to all furniture surfaces without sanding, providing an opaque coverage in as little as two coats. The paint can be easily distressed to create an aged appearance, yet, once cured, it is also durable due to the unique cross-linking features of the paint resin system. A top coat of the cream waxes will provide a permanent, hard finish that can be left matte or buffed to a high gloss sheen. Mix the paint into the wax to create transparent wash effects.

ELLA JOHNSTON, EDITOR OF HOMEMAKER AND MAKE IT TODAY MAGAZINES, SAYS: “Getting a shabby chic vintage look can often be time consuming, which is frustrating when the item is meant to look like you’ve discovered it in your local thrift shop! However this paint makes it easy.They are also really good value as it has amazing coverage. One coat can cover up to 120 sq ft – a little goes a long way!”

MELISSA HYLAND, ACTING EDITOR OF CRAFT BUSINESS MAGAZINE, SAYS: “This paint provides a vintage look with ease, thanks to the wide range of classic colours. Even those who have never upcycled furniture before will be able to transform a piece, since it doesn’t require preparation beforehand. Those who are feeling adventurous can take it further with crackle and image transfer mediums for even more creative effects.”

CONTACT: Distributed by Country Love Crafts - 01235 861 700

Efco originally produced these rubber printing blocks as polymer clay moulds for jewellery making. However, crafters are now using them to print outlines for the latest trend of adult colouring-in, the intricate designs being perfect for the most demanding doodler. They are not just limited to paper either; the texture mats can also be used to print onto Efco’s Color-Décor transfer film using StazOn permanent inks. After colouring the design with Efco’s DARWI permanent markers, it can then be cut out and transferred onto ceramic, glass, and even textiles. There are 12 different designs of texture mat to choose from, ranging from pretty paisley motifs to more geometric designs, plus peacock feather, floral and abstract patterns.

ELAINE BENNETT, EDITOR OF PAPERCRAFTER MAGAZINE, SAYS: “These texture mats are great for stamping onto your chosen medium. This year we have seen the adult colouring-in market boom, and these swirly designs are perfect for adding hand-coloured motifs to ceramics, cards and other papercrafting projects. We used acrylic pens to shade in as these work well on porous surfaces and do not bleed.”

CONTACT: 01737 245 450

MELISSA HYLAND, ACTING EDITOR OF CRAFT BUSINESS MAGAZINE, SAYS: “The wide variety of detailed patterns available makes these texture mats ideal for creating motifs to colour in. At 9cm square, they are easy to handle and use, creating a goodsized image that is still relatively quick to colour in. If cared for between uses with StazOn cleaner, they can be used over and over again.”



aunched in 2014 by Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines, the first Yarn Shop Day saw more than 160 retailers throughout the UK take part in a highly promoted campaign to encourage consumers to visit their local yarn shop. This proved to be a huge success, with businesses reporting increased footfall and higher sales. This year, more than 200 shops signed up for Yarn Shop Day, which was sponsored by ICHF, on Saturday, May 2, receiving the benefit of the campaign’s huge publicity drive. Many well-known industry names made appearances at premises throughout the UK for demonstrations and book signings, and customers could take part in free


We quiz some of the retailers who took part in Yarn Shop Day on their celebrations and successes

workshops, receive goody bags, or take advantage of in-store discounts. This attracted huge numbers of regular and new customers, with many stores reporting even greater results compared to last year. Wayne McEwan from Knitting Wool and Yarn, Paignton, said: “It was our most successful day trading in five and a half years!”

Campaign-led websites like Yarn Shop Day raise awareness and spur on members of that industry to actively promote their business

Jane Ellison, Purl&Jane Design Studio and Yarn Emporium, Skipton “I took part in the first Yarn Shop Day which was very successful. This year’s event was even more popular, especially with my regular customers – it was so lovely to see them pop in and support the day because they love their yarn shop! The response was amazing and this was reflected in the sales – it was one of the busiest days we have had this year. “Yarn Shop Day is definitely bringing more customers into their local yarn shops. I believe this event is a great initiative and it recognises how hard local yarn shop owners work. These campaigns can help to bring the industry together, to support the people who work in it and give us some much needed publicity.”

Tonia Sears, The Periwinkle, Ilfracombe “I took part in Yarn Shop Day 2014, and had a fun afternoon with my regulars. This year I had a great range of offers and events, and was lucky enough to receive items from Search Press, GMC, Rooster Yarns and Knit Pro, which I packaged into goody bags and offered as raffle prizes. We offered 30 per cent off a range of books and yarns, and had our regular crochet tutor Robin Bray in to teach free crochet taster sessions. In addition, I was so excited to have Martin Storey signing his latest Rowan book, Easy Knits for Babies. “The day was fantastic, better than I hoped for, with record sales since we opened. I was also thrilled to discover that other local retailers benefited from the crowds on the day. I would definitely take part again next year and would recommend Yarn Shop Day to other small shops too.”

Leona-Jayne Kelly, fluph, Dundee “I unofficially took part in Yarn Shop Day last year, as I didn’t realise it was happening until way too late, so I didn’t really make a big deal of it. This year however, we had Karina Westermann in to teach two handed colourwork, plus the limited edition West Yorkshire Spinners yarn. We also had plenty of cake and tea. “The response was fantastic, the shop was packed with people who brought me flowers, bought things, ate cake and chatted with Karina and I. There was also a huge impact on our sales; the week before I took approximately £20 but on Yarn Shop Day I took over £300! I’ll definitely be taking part again next year.”

Caroline Davis, Christine’s Wool Shop, Bournville Sharkey Tees, and knitting guru “We took part in Yarn Shop Day Dee Yau from London Knaughty in 2014 and were voted third in Knitters group. the British Knitting Awards for “We had a fantastic turnout Best Yarn Shop Day Experience. and doubled our usual Saturday This year, we offered 20 per cent trading figures. We found that off purchases on the day, goody there were more new faces this bags for the first 50 customers year, possibly because we were spending more than £10, plus featured in the local press, and free workshops and will definitely be taking part next demonstrations. We also had a year. Yarn Shop Day gives number of local crafters smaller outfits a chance to gain attending the event, including national promotion and feel part our in-house crochet expert Kate of the industry.” Hulme, local crafter Leona

Tina Stephens, The Wool Stop, Thornbury “We took part with Yarn Shop Day in 2014 at the last minute as we had only just moved premises, but this year we were better prepared! We had Learn to Spin sessions on a spinning wheel or a drop spindle, a raffle and competitions, plus a 10 per cent discount off everything in store. We also did some yarn bombing and invited people to make a pompom or knit a heart to add to the display during the day, which went down really well. We offered free tea and cakes, a knitting surgery, Knitter Natter and goody bags. “The shop was full of people literally all day, we were overwhelmed by the support we got. We actually had our best sales day ever, even with the discounts offered and the goody bag giveaways. Our chosen charity, Funding Neuro, also benefited with almost £200 raised in the raffle. The response from a lot of the suppliers was brilliant too – we had so much stuff donated from Stylecraft, Korbond, Rooster Yarns, Search Press and others that I was able to offer great raffle prizes and goody bags.”

20 |

“We had a great response and the event created a wonderful atmosphere in our shop,” said Lisa Sisk from This Is Knit, Dublin. “A local knitting group arranged a Yarn Crawl for the day and we think that encouraged even more people to come along. Our sales were up 65 per cent on the equivalent Saturday in 2014, and we will definitely take part again in 2016.


UK retailers nationwide reveal how Yarn Shop Day 2015 was an even greater success in its second year



Following the success of Yarn Shop Day, a new campaign is being launched to raise the profile of sewing shops and encourage stitchers to support their local store. On October 17, outlets across the UK will be celebrating Sew Saturday, the climax of months of activity from the Sew Saturday campaign launched by leading publication Sew magazine. The event is being supported by the whole industry, including Simplicity and Hobbycraft plus May Martin from the Great British Sewing Bee, and Stuart Hillard who will act as ambassadors. With extensive media coverage promoting the event, Sew Saturday promises to boost the profile of bricks and mortar sewing stores. Each store that signs up to the campaign is encouraged to host its own special event to draw in consumers, including anything from free tea and cake to star appearances by big industry names. Participating shops will also be featured on an interactive map at, organised by county to enable consumers to find their nearest outlet. The website also features three exclusive patterns downloads, including the Aly Owl mascot which is ideal for workshops on the day, the Saturday skirt and a patchwork cushion. Rolling coverage in magazines such as Sew, Make It Today, Homemaker and

Campaign-led websites like Yarn Shop Day raise awareness and spur on members of the industry to actively promote their business and be creative in their marketing efforts.” Millie Furby from The Slipped Stitch, Sherborne, said: “As we are a new shop, we decided that we would take part to raise our profile in the local area and also to thank our customers who have supported us since we opened. We had a fantastic response, it was one of our best days’ trading. We saw a huge number of people through the door with a mix of regulars and new faces.”

Sapphire Cameron, Spitspot Loves, Harleston, Norfolk “We opened our shop mid-March this year, and we had never actually heard about Yarn Shop Day. We had a week to organise our spitspotyarnbomb and the support we received from local crafters and all over the UK was phenomenal. It really was a great day, and totally gave us our crafty mojo to continue with our quirky ideas. We offered goody bags and also had our yarn bomb bike, plus 10 per cent off everything in the shop all day. “Yarn Shop Day had a great effect on sales, the bike inspired many to come on in and grab a hook and some yarn. We’ll definitely take part again next year, however with more planning. We are already running our charity yarn bomb for the Ladies Tractor Run for breast cancer awareness!”

Anne Aukland, Stash Fine Yarns, Chester “Yarn Shop Day 2014 was a great success for us and we decided that we would see what this year would bring. We were joined by Chester Wool Company and launched the six new shades of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply and Gleem Lace. There were goody bags, discounts, refreshments and a raffle with prizes from Chester Wool Company, Rowan, Sirdar and Designer Yarns. “We had not done as much advertising and build up as last year, but the turn out was still good and the day was relaxed and enjoyable. The sales for the day were good, and one customer remarked that it was like a group of friends getting together for coffee. Having events like this always helps to promote small businesses and the fact that it is nationwide means that more customers can be reached.”

Crafts Beautiful, plus their accompanying social media platforms will reach a huge number of consumers. It will provide the opportunity for sewing shops to remind their customers of the irreplaceable, personal service they provide. Lorraine Luximon, editor on Sew, says: “We know the value of a good bricks and mortar fabric store. As well as providing the opportunity to actually see and touch fabrics in person, they also offer the benefit of face-to-face advice. Our Sew Saturday campaign is aimed at alerting consumers to the advantages of these stores.” Ella Johnston, editor on Make It Today, adds: “It’s vitally important to celebrate our local sewing shops. We love the fact that you can touch and feel fabrics, check out colour and texture combinations and get that all-important expert advice from those in the know – our sewing retailers. I’m proud to support Sew Saturday as these stores hold a treasure trove of sewing goodies and are great places to learn about the art of stitching.” For more information on how to get involved, contact Clare Dance on 01206 505 495 or

Sarah Clark, The Sheep Shop, Cambridge “Last year, we did not formally take part in Yarn Shop Day as we already had a class booked for the morning, but because customers asked what our plans were, my lovely teachers volunteered to hold a free drop-in clinic for crocheters, knitters and sock-knitters in the afternoon. This year I decided to make a big deal of it, so started planning well in advance. “Joanne Scrace held a talk on the Design Process and a book signing of The Shawl Project, Louise Tilbrook did a demonstration on using Ravelry, and wonderful customers shared their skills by hosting mini-workshops in tatting and macramé. Activities needed to be booked ahead and cost £5, but people got that back as a voucher to spend. That helped us get a gauge on numbers expected. Those who pre-booked also got 10 per cent off purchases. It was well worth it, one of the best days in the last year and even better than Yarn Shop Day 2014.” |




AWARDS ARE BACK Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines’ annual awards return with a record number of nominees


n the first half of the year, readers and visitors to the websites of Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting magazines were busy nominating their favourite brands across the range of categories in the British Knitting Awards 2015. These awards have fast become the largest and most respected industry awards and, now into their eighth year, they are set to be bigger and better than ever before. The shortlist of nominees has been compiled from the nominations gathered over recent months, and will be revealed in the July issue of Let’s Knit, issue 72 of Let’s Get Crafting, and online from June 12, 2015. Let’s Knit editor, Sarah Neal says: “With such a great response behind it, the British Knitting Awards are a true representation of consumer opinion and are highly coveted by key names across the industry.”

INDUSTRY RECOGNITION Each category is shortlisted to four or five nominees who will now be awaiting the results of the voting stage, which are due to be revealed mid-September. The final list of winners will recognise a total of nearly 50 companies and individuals, and last year was the result of more than 8,000 consumers voting for their favourites and who they think deserves one of these now very prestigious industry accolades. Last year, two new categories were introduced to support British brands and retailers – Best Brand for British Yarn and Best Yarn Shop Day


Experience 2014. This year, West distinctive style and obvious customer Yorkshire Spinners has once again experience satisfaction. KNIT PRO 1.4 Best 2 col_CRAFTS 11/06/2015 15:07 Page 1 been nominated for the Brand for BUSINESS In support of all the efforts made British Yarn award, and also in the by independent yarn stores, and Best Independent Yarn Brand category following the hugely successful Love alongside another newcomer to the Your Yarn Shop Day, Let’s Knit and awards, Truly Hooked. Let’s Get Crafting will also be asking their readers and online community The Events category this year also has some new names on the shortlist, to nominate their local store for their experience on May 3, 2015. including The Spring Knitting & Winners will be published in the Stitching Show at Excel London and Christmas Special issue of Let’s Knit the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, also held magazine which is on sale on Friday, in March. October 2, 2015. The awards Other brands you can expect to ceremony will take place on see in these awards are Sirdar, James Thursday, October 8 at The Knitting C Brett, Loveknitting, Fyberspates, & Stitching Show at Alexandra King Cole, Rico, Stylecraft and Debbie Palace, London and will appear on Bliss, to name just a few.

The British Knitting Awards are a true representation of consumer opinion and are highly coveted by key names across the industry LOCAL HEROES As well as celebrating big names in the industry, the awards also recognise small local knitting shops and independent designers and yarns. Due to the huge number of shops and therefore large number of nominations in 2014 in the South of England, this section has been split into East and West for 2015. This broadening sees new shops emerging in both the East and West of South England, including Gillian Gladrags Fluff–a–torium in Dorking and Wool in Bath, both with

the British Knitting Awards website britishknittingawards along with a record of the winners towards the end of the year. British Knitting Awards organiser, Liz Tuthill says: “These awards are firmly established within the knitting community both for the purchaser and the producers and retail outlets. They help to bring the profile of yarn brands, designers, authors, shops, patterns and events to the readers and its online community.”

We look back at some of the winners of the 2014 British Knitting Awards WEST YORKSHIRE SPINNERS, KEIGHLEY

BLACK SHEEP WOOLS, WARRINGTON Commenting on winning Best Independent Store: North of England last year, owner of Black Sheep Wools, Sara Mulvey said: “It’s fabulous, we’ve won two awards which is a great achievement. We get so much positive feedback from our customers anyway, but to have it immortalised in the form of an award has been simply fantastic. “Our shop has gone from strength to strength this year. We have continued to do what we do best; sell quality products, offer as many workshops as possible and never fail to offer impeccable customer service at all costs.”

22 |

On having the distinction of being the first ever company to win the new category for 2014, Best Brand for British Yarn, Richard and Peter Longbottom from West Yorkshire Spinners said: “We are ecstatic about winning this award because the number of people who voted was amazing. We are proud to be a British manufacturer and we have been creating British products and yarns for a long time, to get this kind of feedback for our work is great recognition. Awards such as these are a great incentive and it encourages everyone to work harder to create new and better products.”

DERAMORES Online retailer Deramores won three times in the 2014 British Knitting Awards, including Best Online Store, Best Knitting Blog, and Best Independent Yarn Brand. Amy Last, marketing director from Deramores,

said: “We’re incredibly proud of everything we do at Deramores and to be voted Best Online Store by knitters and crocheters is the highest praise we could hope for. “This is our fourth consecutive year of winning the Best Online Store award, and I would say exceptional service has been key. Driven by customer feedback, we have developed our offerings to include same day despatch, a six-day customer service operation and a constantly evolving website.”


STOCK CHECK This month’s hot products


SUBLIME EXTRA FINE MERINO WORSTED Sublime, the luxury brand by Sirdar, is launching the fantastic Extra Fine Merino Worsted Collection in July. With 20 shades including both on-trend colours and classic favourites, patterns showcasing the best of modern contemporary design and the softest 100% extra fine merino, this package is a sure-fire winner this season.

01924 371 501


SIGNATURE 4 PLY – NEW SHADES This wool content contains 35% luxurious Bluefaced Leicester, making this one of the most sumptuous 4 Ply products on the market. It’s available in a range of vibrant colourways, including Sweet Shop, Spice Rack and Country Birds. WYS have recently added Mallard and accent colour Juniper to this popular collection.

01535 664 500


KB SCARF KITS These kits make ideal presents as they contain everything to make a scarf or a cowl. They are an easy on-the-go project not only for beginners, but also for those people who just cannot travel anywhere in the world without having knitting to do, but cannot take a pair of needles.

01173 005 244


KNITTED TOY PATTERNS A big success story for King Cole has been their fantastic collection of knitted toy patterns, from sparkly hedgehogs and owls, to fluffy penguins and seals. In particular, the Hedgehogs pattern 9015 knitted in King Cole Tinsel Chunky went viral overnight when featured on Facebook and kicked off a nationwide craze.

01756 703 670


FINE MERINO & BABY ALPACA IN DK & ARAN WEIGHT Spun in a Yorkshire mill steeped in history and tradition, a blend of 70% fine merino wool and 30% baby alpaca gives this yarn a cashmere-like softness combined with durability and practicality. There are 16 rich shades in DK and 12 in Aran. New pattern books available soon. RRP: £7.25 per 50g ball.

01535 609 798


PATONS BABY SMILES Patons are shaking up baby yarn as we know it! Innovation is the key to their new Baby Smiles range, with the introduction of an exciting unique paint box concept and a prestigious Oeko-tex Standard 100, class 1 certification, proving it’s free from substances that are hazardous or cause allergies.

01484 690 835


RURAL LANDSCAPE DesignEtte continue to add new styles to their knitting and crocheting kit range. Customers can choose between 27 kits in many lovely colours and qualities. This trendy-style Rural Landscape kit is available in two different quality combinations and 14 colour matches, in sizes XS to 3XL.

+45 5837 1011


ZING – THE NEW GENERATION LIGHT METAL KNITTING NEEDLES Zing metal needles are very light in weight and come in a spectrum of vibrant colours. Each size comes in a unique metallic shade with shiny silver tips. The smooth surface allows stitches to move easily and carries laser printed size. Available in single pointed, double pointed and fixed circular needles, from 2mm to 6mm.


THE BEST OF BRITISH We meet some of the UK-based brands who are really standing out in the industry WOODWARE CRAFT COLLECTION


“For over 140 years, Empee Silk Fabrics has been providing quality wholesale fabrics to the fashion trade, wholesale, retail shops, market traders, bridal wear, event organisers, theatrical and film industries,” explains warehouse manager, Robert Wiesenberg. “It became a limited company in 1940 and since then has continued to grow and develop into one of the UK’s leading fabric wholesalers.“ “We stock one of the most extensive ranges of fabrics in the United Kingdom, which is always evolving with new items arriving RAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:13 Page 1 weekly. Our best-selling products are our novelty cotton prints and poly cotton prints – providing something different to the market, but keeping our top quality and price. The UK craft retail market is growing, with an increase in small niche online businesses starting up.”


Director, Kate Midgeley says: “The business began back in 1991, designing and manufacturing quality tapestry kits with a small range of classic designs. Originally founded in Scotland, the business was sold and moved to Lancaster after three years where it grew rapidly. My mother and I bought the business in 2006, incorporated it in 2007 and moved it to Kirkby Lonsdale, and have continued to move the business forward. “Although we have always mainly focused on tapestry, we licensed the Cinnamon Cat brand of cross stitch kits about six years ago. We’ve always kept the classics, but also produced more contemporary designs, and have had particular success with smaller kits such as our Lavender Hearts, and the children’s starter kits. “I think customers still like to buy British, and there are still a number of British craft manufacturers around. Many of us have had to radically change our businesses in the last few years in order to survive, but it’s because we are passionate about our trade that we are still here. I strongly believe retailers should be proud to sell British brands.”

24 |

Judith Brewer, from Woodware Craft Collection says: “Woodware started trading in 1992, selling wooden toys and wood-mounted rubber stamps from Personal Stamp Exchange (PSX). Eventually the wooden toy side of the business was sold and Woodware took on the distribution of Stampendous, Clearsnap, Dreamweaver and Range, as well as introduced our own range of stamps, punches, ribbons and accessories and embellishments. We now are the UK distributor for Sakura, among many other European and American companies. “Our own clear polymer stamps are our strongest line at the moment. They are manufactured in the UK and all our designers are British. I think this makes a difference as our designers

understand what the UK crafter is looking for and caters for that market. “I think it is important for retailers to support not only British manufactured products, but also to support companies like ours that are based in the UK and are here to support them. We listen to our customers and then spend time looking for products around the world. The hunt will always start in the UK, but if we have to go overseas to source a product as a manufacturer and a distributor, then we will.”


“West Yorkshire Spinners was set up in 1997 in Oxenhope, which is a small village outside of Keighley,” says sales and marketing manager, Richard SIRDAR Longbottom. “In 2002, the factory was moved to Dalton 1.8_CRAFTS BUSINESS 08/06/2015 16:11 Page 1Lane, Keighley. Due to ever increasing demand for our products, in 2011 we moved again to the present site at Unit 2, Airedale Park, Keighley. “This building is very modern and has allowed us to completely re-organise the layout of the plant. For many years, the core business specialised in spinning for various customers. “We made the decision two years ago to launch our own brand of hand knitting products, mainly to supply the domestic market in the UK. Since the brand’s inception, the popularity of our products has grown significantly. “We believe that knowing where our raw material comes from, guarantees that the quality of the finished product is consistently high. From selecting the finest breeds to creating exquisite yarns, we are British through and through.”


he craft market is thriving, with consumers being presented with a huge variety of products around the world via the internet. However, there are many brands over here who are more than holding their own, and take pride in their British heritage. Here are some of the UK's crafting heroes, who share the story behind their successes.


Sales director, Emma Mychajlowskyj, says: “The original spinning company was founded in Ossett by the Harrap brothers, Tom and Henry in 1880, moving to its current site in Wakefield in 1890. In the 1930s the next generation, Fred Harrap, decided to dedicate the business to spinning hand knit yarns to sell to independent retailers and the Sirdar brand was born. “Fred’s daughter, Jean Tyrell, became the chief executive in 1960 and secured the first editorial in women’s fashion magazines, which introduced Sirdar to a huge audience. Mrs Tyrell was awarded an OBE and Businesswoman of the Year in recognition of her pioneering work. In 2007, there was a management buyout led by Russell Morris, which saw three directors with extensive experience in the industry take over and build on Sirdar’s success. “We have four strong brands under the Sirdar umbrella – Sirdar, Snuggly, Hayfield and Sublime – which cater for different areas of the market. We are extremely proud of our 135 year history and have built upon the success of the Harrap Bros, by keeping in touch with what the British knitter wants and giving it to them.”


“Yarn Stories launched in September 2014,” says sales and marketing director, Annabelle Hill. “We had spent the previous year perfecting our yarns, working with knitters, crocheters and designers to ensure we had the best product possible at launch. We wanted to produce a yarn spun in our own mill that people would really enjoy using and that would give the best result in any design. “We worked hard to develop a comprehensive palette of 20 colours. We also developed a progressive way of working with the best designers from all over the world, paying them a fee and offering them a revenue share from pattern downloads as a demonstration of our commitment to the design industry. At the Knitting and Stitching Show we launched one yarn in two weights, Fine Merino DK and 4ply, followed by Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca in DK and Aran a

month later. We will be introducing four luscious new shades in Fine Merino DK for the autumn. “Our heritage is very important. We are a family run business that is known for excellence across all our brands. We are based in the heart of Yorkshire where the industrial revolution started and this heritage is embodied in the skills our staff have.”



FOR THE HOME Check out the latest trends and how you can capitalise


e have seen a big rise in the popularity of home decor crafting in the past few years and it's set to BUSINESS continue. 08/06/2015It 16:00 Page 1fashionable first became when the recession hit and a large number of people began upcycling and making-do-and-mending to save money. But as they have developed those new found skills they have sought out new areas of craft and projects to try. Now that the economy

is beginning to pick up, crafters are spending their extra cash on quality projects they can craft for their home to improve their quality of living, while adding a touch of individuality and moving away from mass produced products. Jenny Hawkins, general manager of Country Love Crafts, says: “Creating a home decor item as a DIY craft project produces something completely opposite to the many mass produced items found in shops. Also, making something handmade forms a personal connection to an item and in some cases doubles as 'a piece of art', which makes the value shift from an object to a treasured keepsake.”

Debbie Shore, author and needlecraft consultant, says: “Many of us just don’t have a budget that will stretch to employing interior designers to re-style our homes, and with so many magazines and blogs providing inspiration and encouragement, more and more people are giving home decor crafting a go. It helps that things don’t have to be perfect with this shabby-chic trend, a home make-over can be both quick and affordable.” “A lot of people are fed up with mass produced items and have realised that they can easily make individual things that they can be proud of,” says Julie Aldous,

director of Peak Dale Products. “Using the mass produced goods as a starting point, it is easy to copy or adapt them so that a unique item is produced.” Nicki Trench, craft designer, says: “People have also gone back to traditional homemade crafts partly as a backlash against their everyday jobs where they are, generally speaking, tied to the front of their computer. In contrast they are going back to soft textiles and traditional creative skills that they can do with their hands.”

WHAT'S HOT Of all the crafts that are used for home decor, knitting, sewing and crochet are some of the most popular. Nicki says: “People are introducing soft throws, cushions and homemade items to decorate their homes. The colours that the yarn companies are introducing now are carefully chosen using on trend colours and soft yarns.” Rosie Beswick, creative director of Seek It Out, says: “Sewing in general has really become fashionable again. A mix of great TV shows such as The Great British Sewing Bee, desire to be different from the same old high street offering everywhere you go and the love of retro drives the passion. “Accent pieces like cushions and bunting are very popular as you can personalise ready made items or make from scratch without too much investment or time out of busy lives,” Rosie adds. Upcycling is another popular technique. Buying a second-hand chest of drawers and sprucing them up with a touch of paint is a far cheaper way of creating a very individual piece of furniture, which more importantly is a step away from mass production. “Upcycling is incredibly popular, particularly in the younger age group which is so nice to see,” says Debbie. “More and more second-hand and charity shops seem to be popping up on our high streets, and on the internet too.”

WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT There are a number of craft products that have entered the market and are perfect for home decor crafts such as paints, sprays, decopatch, brushes and clay to name a few. Jenny says: “Chalk paints are used for all types of DIY projects – furniture makeovers, upcycling, modernising, re-decorating, improving, refurbishing, revamping home and hand-finishing any customised or personalised projects.” “Retailers can’t stock everything, but keep all the basics in stock all the time,” explains Julie Aldous, director of Peak Dale Products. “Also retailers can take orders from customers and get them in quickly. If people want to do something they won’t wait for weeks to get the goods, they want it now! We use an overnight carrier so retailers can phone us with a small order and be assured that we will get it out for them to receive the next day.” Debbie agrees: “Providing basic raw materials to allow the crafter to craft is important. With a home-made trend the customer will be looking for affordability and a variety of products to choose from.” This trend will also help lure newbies in store who are looking to give crafting a try. Kits are always a great place to start them off because they tend to contain everything they will need and there are no additional costs, just in case they decide it's not for them. “Kits are very popular; because there are so many keen crafters who have trouble matching colours and textures, or knowing which are the best tools to use, putting together packages will have a large appeal to the beginner crafter,” says Debbie. Rosie says: “From our experience complete crafting project kits work because they save the customer time and effort. Haberdashery and idea cards also seem to be a really great way to get people interested in making something.”

THE CRAFT COTTON COMPANY THE QUILT COLLECTION KITS The Craft Cotton Company, the UK’s leading supplier of pre-cut fabrics is launching a collection of five unique projects this August. With patterns by leading quilter Jennie Rayment and fabrics by Victoria Louise Design, the range includes large and small-sized quilts, a tote bag and a table runner. Using beautiful and complementary 100% quilting cottons, these kits are unique because they contain everything the customer will need including fabrics, batting, templates, needles and thread. The Quilt Collection range also includes 36 fabric designs sold by the metre, six premium fat quarter packs and three rolled fabric strips. RRP: From £20 to £45 depending on the kit. Contact:

0161 832 9431 |





Provide jewellery makers with these essential products to ensure professional results


Burhouse Beads have recently added resins to their catalogue, which are fantastic for creating decoupage-style and photo jewellery. These self levelling compounds are simple to use and allow a different element to be added to jewellery stamping components. Their range BEADALON mini page_CRAFTS BUSINESS 19/01/2015 16:35includes Page 1 Lisa Pavelka, which sets with UV, or Ice Resin which is a two compound formula.



ImpressArt’s metal stamp sets have quickly become a must-have tool for any crafter looking to personalise their jewellery projects. With over 50 sets to choose from, ImpressArt has something for everyone. All ImpressArt stamp sets are built to last

and come in one of their stylish and functional storage cases.

CONTACT: +001 631 940 9530


This is a fantastic desktop kiln for making jewellery, annealing and beading as well as for working with both polymer and silver clays. An easy to use digital controller, 1000˚C top temperature and low power requirements make it a great choice for both hobbyists and professionals alike.

CONTACTS: 01235 861 700


ARTISTIC WIRE 3D BRACELET JIG Awarded one of the Best New Products at the CHA Show 2015, the Artistic Wire 3D Bracelet Jig allows even novice jewellery makers to create perfectly round, continuous bracelets using Artistic Wire, Beadalon German style wire, stones, or beads. This unique jig can also be used to make curved design components for bracelets and earrings.

CONTACT: +001 866 423 2325

26 |

01484 485 100



PRECIOUS METALS Provide added value to your jewellery making range


lthough some jewellery makers are content to stick to simple beading techniques, many want to expand their skills further, particularly when making to sell. Incorporating precious metals creates a perception of luxury and high quality, and often makes a piece look even more attractive. Some customers may also feel intimidated by precious metal products, believing that they are out of their price range. However, there are ways to persuade customers

that they can make use of copper, sterling silver and even gold without breaking the bank. Amanda Naylor, managing director of Palmer Metals says: “Many retailers shy away from precious metals because of the cost implications. However we have found that more and more buyers want to finish their work to a high quality standard and have the faith to both wear and sell an item that is classed as precious, both in terms of time and quality. Why spend hours on a piece only to finish in plate, when for

More buyers want to finish their work to a high quality standard and have the faith to both wear and sell an item that is classed as precious

8/06/2015 15:58 Page 1

a few pence more you can sell or wear a piece that has quality stamped all over it.” Petra Cameron, director of Metal Clay, agrees: “If your customers are jewellery makers, they will probably start out with beads and plated findings, but will eventually want to expand into precious metals. Ideally, you want to provide that to make sure your customer won't have to go elsewhere. And, of course, the benefit for you as a retailer is that higher cost items bring in more to your business, for less work.”

STOCK THE ESSENTIALS So what should retailers be stocking in order to persuade their customers to take the plunge? “If a retailer wants to dip their toe in the precious metal market, there are basic findings that they should stock including crimps, clasps, jump rings, ear findings and beads,” Amanda advises. “Wire in certain sizes are also a big seller. Once they are confident with their customers' requirements, they can then expand into other items that are sure to sell, because they have simply listened to their needs.” Petra adds: “If you haven't thought of precious metal clay, I suggest you take a closer look. Silver clay in particular has exploded in popularity over the last few years. It is a much more customer friendly material than wire and sheet metal, as it requires a very basic set up, and gives fast results – users can get almost instant gratification, creating a necklace from scratch in their kitchen in just a few hours! The cost of getting started is very low, so I would suggest looking at a good basic range of metal clay products.” Louise McLeod, managing director at Burhouse Beads, says: “A good range of learning materials are a great way to encourage metal clay use. We stock DVDs and books by silver clay designer Natalia Colman and work closely with her to ensure that we can offer customers all they require to use this product. Also a good range of findings including chains are essential. Accessibility to workshops and learning can often be the impetus to get people started and developing their skills.

GETTING STARTED Louise adds, “Creating awareness that metal clay allows the easiest way to create unique personalised jewellery can also entice customers to give it a try. There is much interest in this as people want jewellery incorporating names of children, initials, fingerprints etc. Also, displaying finished pieces made with metal clay in store can create great interest in this technique.” Petra agrees: “Try offering some sample projects showing maybe a silver clay pendant, combined with your existing range of beads. Other ideas include silver clay earrings coloured with alcohol inks, copper buttons used on a home made knitted cardigan, or a silver clay

All Change Designer Linda Jones looks back at the evolution of the jewellery making market Having worked in the jewellery industry over the last 20 years, I have seen numerous changes. Initially, there were very few specialist UK bead suppliers. I remember having to travel to London to source my materials from Creative Beadcraft (then known as Ells & Farrier), and the original Bead Shop in Covent Garden. But now, with a click of a mouse, you can order anything online. The advent of the Internet has changed the industry completely. Selling jewellery was once only done at fairs, school fêtes, art shows, galleries and shops, but now anyone can open their own shop online, and promote and market their wares without having to pay expensive advertising costs in magazines. A Facebook profile and a website is an instant tool to promotion and has a global reach! In some ways, it has been wonderful to see the evolution of jewellery making to such a wide audience, away from traditional metal smithing and diamond mounting. The advent of new materials such as metal clay, new metal colouring techniques and resins, plus a wide range of affordable craft tools, gadgets and materials, have made it accessible and possible for anyone to create their own unique heirlooms. By having such a global market to tools, materials, design references and instant sourcing and purchasing, the market has rapidly encompassed exciting new ranges of mixed mediums, using paper, fabric and new metals with consideration for recycling and ethically sourced products. However, I’m personally sad to see the decline in the UK of glossy jewellery making magazines, and I would guess there will be a bigger fall out in years to come, with the rise of TV jewellery shopping channels and YouTube demos. Therefore, it is imperative for everyone in this industry to keep their business profile high and fresh online.

moulded heart framed in a card for a special occasion.” Keeping an eye on the current jewellery trends can also provide clues as to what your customers will want. Louise says: “Present trends are to make more elaborate kinetic designs and new formulations of metal clay, such as sterling silver clay and PMC flex, means that the metal clay artisan can really push the boundaries of their designs.”

LATEST TRENDS “With the cost of precious metals like silver increasing, we're seeing a lot of mixed media designs,” says Petra. “People are combining silver and gold with materials like felt, resin and also using chunkier stones and beads combined with accents of silver. In the metal clay industry, people are also taking advantage of products such as

Accent Silver or Accent Gold for Silver, which is used to 'paint' pure silver onto base metal designs, or techniques like KeumBoo where you add gold foil to silver. These create fantastic colour combinations, and allow the artist to spend a lot less on expensive materials.” Amanda says: “One of the popular trends at the moment is mixed metals, colours and textures. This enables the wearer to bring colour and depth into the piece whilst still maintaining the quality. “This can be achieved by using different methods. Chain, wire and sheet can achieve various looks and texture, and all these can then be oxidised for an aged appearance. Dyes can be used on the metal and combining colours in golds such as rose, white and yellow can all be used to create a fabulous look,” Amanda continues. |


Beading & Jewellery

STOCK CHECK This month’s hot products


ARTISTIC WIRE 3D BRACELET JIG Create bangle bracelets, cuff bracelets and curved components using the Artistic Wire 3D Bracelet Jig. Awarded one of the Best New Products at the CHA Show 2015, the Artistic wire 3D Bracelet Jig brings many jewelry designing possibilities to even a novice jewelry maker. The design capabilities are virtually limitless.


TEXTURE MATS A versatile craft product that can either be used as a printing block, or as a mould for jewellery making using contrasting colours of polymer clay and Efco’s range of brooch and pendant blanks. Very simple, but the results are stunning – think Wedgewood jasperware. The mats measure 9cm square, with 12 designs.

01737 245 450


MOD PODGE Crafters everywhere entrust their most treasured decoupage creations to Mod Podge, the all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. Mod Podge has been loved by crafters of all ages for its flexibility, versatility and supreme ease of use since 1967. It’s water based, making clean-up a snap, and non-toxic – perfect for young crafters.

01235 861 700


ERGO-ANGLE STAMPING HAMMER Anyone making metal stamped jewellery knows how frustrating partial impressions can be. ImpressArt’s new patented ErgoAngle Metal Stamping Hammer helps avoid them. One common cause of partial impressions is an uneven strike to the stamp head. The new hammer features an angled handle which helps ensure a square strike every time.

+001 631 940 9530


JEWELLERY STAMPINGS These fantastic quality silver plated stampings are sized for cabochons, but have seen great interest from enamellers and glass designers. The collection and range of designs continues to grow, with the latest featuring bees and dragonflies that are perfect for summer. The collection includes pendants, earrings, bangles, rings, brooches and scarf clips.

01484 485 100

SQUIRES KITCHEN SK SUGARPASTE For a flawless cake covering every time, Squires Kitchen’s ready-to-roll Fairtrade Sugarpaste is the professionals’ choice for a highly polished, soft and silky finish. SK Sugarpaste is the very first sugarpaste in the UK to be Fairtrade-certified and is available in 27 great colours.

01252 260 264


NEW WOW! EMBOSSING GLITTERS, STAMPS & MOULDS WOW! Embossing Powder is proud to introduce five new embossing glitters; Florida Sunset, Long Island Teal, Daytona Sands, Mulberry Mist and Atlantic Seaspray, which are infused with flecks of gold. WOW! are also releasing four new Clear Stamps and two new silicone mould designs. All these products will be available for trade customers to buy in July.

0870 777 8781


SCULPTURE BLOCK The Sculpture Block is ideal for artists and 3D designers. This extremely light and strong sculpture material gives long-lasting results, is easy to shape and much faster to use than most other sculpture product, allowing any design no matter how refined and detailed. It is ready to use and requires no preliminary or follow-up treatment.

0845 300 7750


lthough the taste and texture of a cake is important, the look of it is what tempts people to try it first. Despite the recent trend for ‘naked’ cakes, icing still remains a vital component for many bakers in order to create the perfect finish. NESS 08/06/2015 16:06 Page 1 Sandra Monger of Sandra Monger Cake Design, and author of Search Press titles including Using Cutters on Cakes, says: “Recently, I have been making a lot of rustic paddled buttercream cakes, which fits nicely with the rural wedding venues that

many of my customers choose. Sugarpaste is always popular too.” Cake decorator and demonstrator Ann Pickard, who runs the online School of Sugarcraft, says: “In my area of expertise, sugarpaste and royal icing are the most popular types – these two can be used to create every type of cake style and design you can imagine. Royal icing is simple to make at home. All good retailers will stock sugarpaste in a wide variety of colours, so customers rarely have to make their own any more. This makes cake decorating accessible to more


Discover the latest trends in techniques, styles and colours, to help customers finish their cakes to perfection people and allows them to create a more professional looking cake.

UNDER COVER Jake Cutler, account manager for Cake & Craft Group, says: “Massa Ticino sugarpaste is by far our biggest seller. It can be rolled thinner than other sugarpastes, so it is more economical, yet it doesn’t tear or create elephant skin when covering a cake.” The latest icing trends have produced some striking looks and designs. “This year, there are a lot of

wedding cakes featuring light shades of peach, orange, pink, coral and gold, also aqua and mint,” reveals Sandra. “There are also gold and silver metallics being applied as lustre or transfer leaf. The chalkboard effect is another trend this summer, using black icing with details painted on in white paste colour.” Ann says: “I am still seeing a lot of interest in purple – it’s very popular for celebration cakes because it creates a real statement design. Vintage colours and pastels are also very much on trend, with grey tones, muted greens and Wedgewood blue. “I am seeing lots of requests for lace style piping and designs, which are particularly good for wedding

to use and create lovely patterns. The new edible cake lace is a quick and easy way to add detail, which makes it very popular with beginners and children as it doesn’t require the skills that you need for piping. “And of course moulds are always popular – they can be used to create almost anything from sea shells to brooches, flowers, animals and lace. Again these are popular with people who don’t have the training in sugarpaste modelling or royal icing piping.” Jake says: “Australian double deep, straight edge cakes are very much on trend right now. To achieve this look, preparation and the right tools are everything. To smooth the

Sugarpaste and royal icing are the most popular types – these two can be used to create every type of cake style and design you can imagine and anniversary cakes. Going forward in 2015, I expect the pastel colours to remain popular along with the lace piping effects, and I’m starting to see growing interest in large flowers such as peonies,” Ann adds. Jake says: “We’re still seeing greys being used quite a lot as well as a mix of subtle colours, lemony colours in particular seem popular. The trend for natural wood and carved tree stump effect cakes is still going strong.”

FINISHING TOUCH In order to help customers achieve these effects, the right tools and products are essential. Ann says: “Effects created with a textured rolling pin are really popular – they are easy

ganache and sugarpaste, retailers should stock ganache smoothers (like the tools from Choctastique). Customers can practice Australia sharp edges on double deep cake dummies to perfect it before trying on a real cake, so make sure you also have these in stock. “The layer under your sugarpaste is the most important; without a good crumbcoat foundation, cakes won’t be able to keep a good sharp edge. Retailers should stock a good quality chocolate ganache like DinkyDoodle, which sets firm (unlike buttercream) allowing super sharp edges to be formed in the sugarpaste on top.” Jake continues.

EXPERT TUITION Newcomers to sugarcraft may require some advice and reassurance when embarking on cake decorating for the first time. Ann advises, “Retailers can encourage customers to buy icing and related products by telling them where they can learn and develop the skills they need to use the products. Of course the most popular place to find easy to follow ideas is online, YouTube and tutorial sites like my own School of Sugarcraft.” “We suggest that retailers run in-store demos using the product and making sure that their staff know all the main selling points,” Jake says. “Let customers get their hands on products such as sugarpaste, and show them how easy it is to create their own colours by mixing it up themselves.” |


*CLASSIFIED PAGEs_CLASSIFIED PAGE 10/06/2015 14:13 Page 30


Unit 2 Coach House Units, Phoenix Business Centre, Low Mill Road, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 1NS

Office: 01765 601772 Mobile: 07796 913393 Email:, Web:


Cash 'n' Carry Online Web Shop

Carriage FREE on all orders


Tel 01743 465 788 Fax 01743 465 799

64 year old, seeks position as an experienced demonstrator with an Arts and Crafts Material Supplier. Contact: Robin Rowling 07875 837933

Directory Now available online! Track down quality products and ensure your business stays well ahead of the competition.


Suppliers of Card Making, Scrapbooking, Craft and Bridal Supplies Tel: 01932 872 572 Decorative art and craft Tel: 01858 555500 Quality wrapped and bulk sewing needles for kits. 01803 323004



Four craft shop retailers give us the low-down on what’s been selling this month

Dorothy Hodgkiss, owner of Bobeadazzlers Bead Shop in Longton, Stoke on Trent opened her shop in 2009 ABOUT THIS SHOP:


We are a bead shop, which supplies everything beaders need to make their own jewellery.

We don’t really follow trends as such, but we are very flexible with our workshops, and strive to satisfy our customer requests.


Our best sellers are Miyuki seed beads closely followed by Czech glass beads.



We sell everything for the beading enthusiast such as a variety of beads, bead kits, findings, stringing materials, books and magazines.

Seed beads, as bead weaving continues to be very popular.

HOW MANY CUSTOMERS PER WEEK? On average, 100 customers per week.

BIGGEST TREND? Customer requirements continue to be diverse, so we do our best to match them

Our targets for this year are to get more customers into the shop and to promote our new website,, which has more than 1,500 items in stock and is still growing.


Rohini Shrivastava, owner of Rosarama Beadcraft based in Crawcrook, Gateshead opened her shop in 2001

CRAFTS BUSINESS 10/06/2015 14:31 Page 1


We have fairly recently moved, so at the moment we get around 50-60 customers a week.

BUSINESS TARGET FOR 2015? To keep adding new product lines and to bring more customers into the shop

Lyn Symonds, owner of Creative Crafts based in Winchester, opened her shop 35 years ago ABOUT THIS SHOP: Spread over three floors, there is an art supplies department on the top floor. The middle floor has cross stitch, tapestry, crochet, patchwork fabric, haberdashery, and jewellery making products. The basement has papercraft, rug making, books, kits, decopatch, fabric and glass paint, and craft kits.

HOW MANY CUSTOMERS PER WEEK? We have about 800 to 1000 customers a week. This can double just before Christmas and the 11 members of staff are kept very busy.

BEST-SELLING PRODUCT? I don’t think we have a single best selling item although at the moment

Sue Morgan, owner of Get Knitted in Brislington, Bristol opened her shop in 2006 ABOUT THIS SHOP: We are a large shop with happy, helpful and experienced staff and an amazing array of yarns, needles and craft items.

the trend is for fabrics, decopatch, and adult colouring books. Our own designed kits are also doing extremely well.

BUSINESS TARGET FOR 2015? Our two windows are the first thing customers see and we made the decision a couple of years ago to change them more often. Once customers are in, we always try to greet them with a smile.”

HOW MANY CUSTOMERS PER WEEK? We get around 500 visitors each week.

BEST-SELLING PRODUCT? A best seller for us has to be Stylecraft Special DK because of its quality, colour range and price. We also have an extensive range of our own crochet designs that increase even further.

BIGGEST TREND? It’s all about the crochet! We hold regular workshops and our learn to crochet class is really popular all year round.

BUSINESS TARGET FOR 2015? We plan to further increase footfall in the shop and continue to show the benefits of a bricks and mortar store.

DOING THE BUSINESS… Acting Editor Melissa Hyland 01206 505421 Group Editor Charlotte Smith Advertising Manager Sophie Hudson 01206 505116 Advertising Executive Clare Traverse 01206 508621 Subscriptions Maria Doyle 01206 505965

Group Advertising Manager Sam Reubin Accounts Anne-Marie Hartley 01206 505902 Design/Typesetting MS Typesetting & Design 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY Publishing Director Helen Tudor Printed in England Published by: Aceville Publications Ltd 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY ©Aceville Publications Ltd


The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Every effort is made to ensure the veracity and integrity of the companies, persons, products and services mentioned in this publication, and details given are believed to be accurate at the time of going to press. However no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted for any consequence or repercussion of responding to any information or advice given or inferred.

Would you like to share your views with other retailers? Get in touch today. Email We’d love to hear what you have to say. |


Welcome to the world of Coats, we are the number one player in the global textile crafts business. Every year our creative teams work with designers from all over the world to create a range of rich designs and pattern collections.

Our brands are built around a creative conversation, as we support and inspire both you and your customers.

Coats Crafts UK, Green Lane Mill, HolmďŹ rth, West Yorkshire HD9 2DX | 01484 681881

Craft Business 280mmx380mm.indd 1

09/06/2015 15:11

Aehtw435craft business june july 2015  
Aehtw435craft business june july 2015