I am by no means an expert in trends in the crafting industry so if you’d like to read about this topic from someone in the know, I recommend you visit Suzanne McNeill’s blog: http://blog.suzannemcneill.com/2010/03/04/trends-in-the-craft-industry.aspx?ref=rss
Here where I live in Canada, I don’t see a lot of the trends in crafts in our stores. Well, to be more precise, I don’t see those trends in our stores until several years after they were already trends in other places. Even the big chains like Michael’s seem to be lagging behind around here. I think the staff at my local Michael’s store has decided that I am some kind of wacko who makes things up and then comes in to ask them if they have the supplies for it. Asking them about Zentangles, felting, and Lutradur had them looking at me like I had 3 heads and 11 eyes. I don’t quite understand why they aren’t up on what’s popular or becoming popular in the artistic world. A few times I have been tempted to throw the copies of Cloth, Paper, Scissors or Somerset Studios or other such magazines that they carry right there in their own stores down on the counter and demand that they actually open them up and look at them. I find it hard to believe they are reading any of them with the lack of knowledge that they show.
I get much of my knowledge of new trends from the internet. I talk to other crafters and artists, I participate in online crafting chats and radio shows, and I follow quite a few crafting blogs, including those of people who work within the industry itself. When employees (including management) at local craft stores have asked me where I heard of something new I am asking about and I tell them I read about it on a popular crafting website or blog, I am always shocked at their response. They tell me that they don’t peruse such sites and in fact, know nothing about their existence. I don’t understand how a person can work in a crafts business and not keep up with the current information out there. Would you believe that none of them have ever even heard of CHA?
In any case, my idea of what the current trends are is based on this online exploration that I do of the industry. I am seeing lots of birds, butterflies, owls (yes I know they’re birds but they seem to be taking on a category of their own), cupcakes, and those stylized girls with the sort of elongated faces. Journaling still seems to have quite a following as do any types of altered arts while the popularity of Zentangle, the relative newcomer, seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Felting (something I’m dying to try), crafting through recycling/upcycling (using plastic bottles and the metal from pop cans seems to be everywhere these days), and dyeing fabrics, yarns, and papers with alternative dyes such as Koolaid are all trends I see in my travels.
What about you? What trends are you seeing out there in the crafting world? Which are your favourites? Which ones have you tried? Which ones are at the top of your list to try next?