05 Feb 2020 Trends in Crafting
Each year we report on the newest trends in the craft industry. Typically we bring you our latest finds from AFCI’s Creativation and the TNNA Winter Show, and this year, both of these shows were combined into one one giant craft show on the weekend of January 16-20 – the same weekend as Vogue Knitting Live’s New York event. With the busy start to the year, we have lots of insight into what’s going to be hot in 2020!
Concern for the environment is at an all time high, especially among eco-conscious crafters. We’re seeing lots of themes to re-use, re-create and re-love existing materials. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of turning old or unwanted items into something new.
Whether it’s thrifting sweaters or unraveling WIPs and projects that don’t bring them joy, knitters and crocheters are re-using yarn to create new projects they love. Sewists are using all sorts of materials and items that would otherwise be considered waste, to create all new items. For example, we love watching OLFA Creator Randa Roberts upcycle leather she finds from old jackets and furniture on the curb to create gorgeous wallets, bags and accessories.
We’ve also seen an influx of patterns (knitting, crocheting and sewing) to use up leftovers yarns or fabric scraps.
In general these crafting trends line up with “A more conscious attitude to consumption, rising awareness of sustainability issues, and a sense of fatigue at influencers constantly pushing products are all contributing to an emerging anti-excess movement in fashion and beauty.” (J. Walter Thompson Intelligence). We can also see the trend reflected in the Pinterest 100: Top Trends to Inspire and Try in 2020 showing that the average pinner is interested in conscious consumption.
In addition to reducing and reusing, consumers are also carefully researching who is making their products, and many are opting to purchase those that are made closer to their homes. Local festivals and craft markets that feature local artisans are seeing rising attendance and sales, whereas craft stores sourcing widely available materials are seeing a fall-off in interest and sales.
Several smaller, sustainable fiber mills and small-batch American made yarns have recently risen in prominence as well. Spincycle Yarns work with Abundant Earth Fiber, a small mill in the Pacific Northwest is producing new small batch yarns, some even made from waste materials! Companies like Hudson + West are debuting yarns “American made from sheep to skein.”
In general, customers are looking for products made closer to home using sustainable materials and produced in small, artisan batches. These small batches of almost one of a kind hand-crafted materials create scarcity because they are produced in such limited quantities, driving up demand for those that want them.
In 2019, we saw a strong trend towards slow fashion. At its heart, slow fashion is passing up cheaper, trendy items in favor of well-made, sustainably-produced pieces that will last you for years to come. Slow fashion recognizes the value in craftsmanship of items, the need to compensate makers fairly, reduce waste and use items that are produced eco-consciously. Makers like knitters, crocheters and sewists fit perfectly into this movement because they are already engaged in making parts of their wardrobes with quality materials and investing their time and craftsmanship in making them items they hope will last for a long time.
We have seen the rise of independent sewing pattern designers, designing for a variety of body types and sizes. Capsule wardrobes, collections of basic pieces that you can combine in different ways, are in for 2020, and many makers are crafting an entirely handmade wardrobe from underwear and bras (sewn and knit) to coats. If you’re interested in seeing what crafters are up to, check out #slowfashion on Instagram.
We’ve seen a few fun trends in the area of yarn crafts. First, pattern designers are mixing and matching among yarn weights and composition, and holding yarns doubled to create new more complex colors and new textures. With the rise of patterns like Sorrel by Wool & Pine, Rue de Paris by Alma Bali, and Satellite by Andrea Mowry, knit designers are using mohair and brushed suri alpaca to create light knits with tons of halo.
We’re also seeing the rise of alternative yarn crafts. Latch-hooking and punch needle (#latchhook and #punchneedle) are growing in popularity. We’ve already seen the rise of project kits for those interested in learning these crafts, and we expect several craft books to be published in 2020 on this topic. Embroidery and Sashiko (the Japanese art of decorative, functional mending) are coming into fashion as part of the mending and reusing trends mentioned above, and books like Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh and Visible Mending by Jenny Wilding Cardon have debuted to critical acclaim.
We’re also seeing a focus on vegan materials. Bellatrista Yarns, as well as other companies, are introducing yarn lines focused on alternative plant-based fibers like bamboo, banana, mint and more as they pursue sustainability.
Racism, Inclusivity & Diversity
Last year was a big year in the crafting industry for hard topics like racism, inclusivity and diversity. While there is still much work to be done, we are seeing positive changes in the industry. Individual designers and larger publications are adding a wider range of sizing to their patterns, as well as featuring more diverse voices, body types and sizes. The industry is more vibrant for all these changes.
Vogue Knitting has created a Diversity Advisory Council whose purpose is to “ensure that all—regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, ability or access needs—feel welcome, supported and recognized by our publications and at our events.” XRX also added several panels to it’s Stitches events throughout 2019 and will hopefully continue in 2020. TNNA also hosted a Diversity and Inclusion Panel at its summer show in Cleveland, and a recording is available to members for viewing.
If you’re looking for ways to find more diverse voices to work with or promote, Instagram’s BIPOC Makers and BIPOC in Fiber are great places to start!
If you’d like to explore how to incorporate the latest trends into your 2020 marketing plan, contact us today to get started!