Craft Focus - December 2021/January 2022 (Issue 88)

38 2. The New Artisans Now in its fourth year, our research shows an emergence of a new breed of younger, more commercially minded crafter, who we’ve called The New Artisans. In a nutshell, this group tend to be in work with a higher disposable income than the traditional older crafter; they are keen users of kits as and are much more likely to recognise the commercial potential of craft, expecting craft, at least, to be self-funding. They are also creative, value originality, espouse online communities and are more attuned to the welfare benefits of craft. This next generation of crafters, with higher spending potential, is changing the face of craft. 3. Diversification The Craft Report also shows us that there’s a greater diversification of the crafts consumers are doing. The pandemic has prompted more experimentation amongst half the audience, who have either taken up a new craft, or re-engaged with at least one former craft. Needlecraft such as embroidery and tapestry, crochet and fashion sewing as well as upcycling, felting and macramé are increasingly popular with papercraft being the only area to go down in the top 10, though, within this, card making levels remain consistent. Making items for the home remains popular, and should be reflected in in product ranges, workshops and window displays. 4. The rise in kits The importance of kits is another of our 10 key shifts. Kits play a big role as a way of trying out a new craft and are one of the top reasons for choosing a new craft to start on during the pandemic, providing an immediate solution to project choice. As a result, the frequency of buying kits is up on last year, from 21 per cent, or one in five, to just over one in four. This figure doubles amongst younger and new crafters who lack the experience or stash to do it themselves. 5. Increased spending As a result of all of the above, our survey shows a higher level of spend on craft. Over one in three claim they’ve been spending more on supplies and equipment since last year, twice as many as those spending less. When questioned, higher spend is due to increased time spent crafting and an emotional shift in crafting is seen. It’s not just a pastime, but a way of treating themselves at a time when other forms of treat were not simply available. Average monthly spend on craft is up 20 per cent overall against last year (or 12 per cent up on 2019, the previous high). This varies across subgroups, with those who sell their craft or