The Magpie Anthology

Craft during Coronavirus by Juliet Bawden

It has been apparent for some time that the appetite for the hand made is on the rise. The crafts council recently launched a report to identify and gauge the appetite for British craft. Here are some of the amazing, well to me, figures.

The current pandemic has highlighted the growing craft trend – the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee has shifted to a prime-time BBC TV slot and attracts audiences of close to 5.5 million, and sellers of craft supplies for the domestic market are seeing a surge in sales. 

With 20% of British consumers indicating that they would pay to attend a craft workshop, it is no surprise that such a significant number of people are turning to online tutorials and craft kits to learn a new skill while they have more time at home.

  • 73% of UK adults bought crafts in 2019.
  • 25 million hand made objects were purchased.         
  • 10.3m of us are buying craft online – a figure that has more than tripled over the last decade.  However, the majority of people still prefer to buy in-person
  • Online platforms have fuelled much of this growth: in December 2018, Etsy reported that there were 220,000 active sellers in the UK with a further 9,000 makers on Folksy 
  • Jewellery is the most popular craft discipline to purchase by volume, but glass and metal have seen the most sizeable growth since 2006
  • 85% of Americans surveyed would buy a piece of craft compared with 88%. In the UK. 28% have bought from a UK maker and 59% would consider doing so – pointing to considerable potential for growth.
  • There are 10.5m untapped, potential consumers living in New York and LA.
  • The under 35-year-old craft buying market has grown by 32% since 2006.
  • The report is available on the craft council’s web site

Juliet Bawden – Creative Colour

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