With more suppliers, tricky techniques and inspiration than ever before, there's never been a better time to get into crafting. Here are the top 11 trends for 2015.
Every year we see trends in fashion and home decoration ebb and flow, and craft is no exception. From knitting, embroidery, string and rope art, dyeing, and colouring in, we are seeing new life injected into a whole range of traditional techniques. Now, a young, internet-savvy generation of crafters and traditionalists are just as dedicated as ever to their creations.
A new viewpoint
“For me it’s interesting to see that the younger generation of crafters don’t have the preconceptions of craft our mothers and grandmothers had,” says Judy Newman, Craft Consultant for the Stitches & Craft Show. “They were not made to learn sewing at school so that gives them a whole different viewpoint on what craft is about. And if they haven’t been introduced to craft before, they sit down and try a few things and get this instant reaction of 'I want to make something', it’s really wonderful to see.”
Benefits of craft
“There’s so many good reasons we should be making things. These days we’re used to doing things on computers or screens. Even if we’re doing something creative, it’s on computers. Cooking and craft is a good way to get your hands on something real and it really satisfies a need we have to create.”
Craft trends may not be as defined as home wares of fashion, but it’s still cyclical, says Judy. “Think back to the 80's and 90's when teddy bears, doll making, decoupage and folk art were really super popular. We don’t see those so much anymore. And of course there are always people that are always dedicated to their particular craft, but now we’re seeing things like modern quilts, easy sewing, and of course, crochet and knitting which was in the doldrums for a while. Now it’s back in such a big way.”
Judy talks about the top craft trends for 2015 we’ll be seeing at fairs, 'crafternoons', workshops and of course, Pinterest.
1. Colouring in
Not just for kids, the whole trend of colouring in as a creative past time has really taken off! “It’s huge in Europe, particularly in France where it’s outselling the cookbooks,” says Judy. What we are seeing is beautiful designs with good quality paper that’s suitable for colouring for adults. It’s a lot of fun, and very therapeutic. Plus you get a result that’s good enough to frame.”
“At the Stitches & Craft Show some of the designs were used from Johanna Basford’s wildly popular colouring in book The Secret Garden. (We) enlarged them, and invited people to contribute to a mural piece.”
2. Modern quilts
While there will always be a place for traditional quilts, this year we will be seeing a lot more modern quilts take their place in the family home. “A modern quilter tends to use a lot of solids, geometric designs and negative space – they’re not fussy quilts – they are very striking and something that would look in place in a modern home,” says Judy. “There are also contemporary art quilters who are very much into laser printing fabric and embellishing – this is something you’d want to hang on the wall rather than put on the bed.”
3. Die cutting machines
“One of the fantastic technologies we’ve seen develop and is on show at the Stitches & Craft Show is the die cutting machines,” says Judy. These machines were developed initially for paper craft, but advances in technology means they can now be used for fabric – which means you can cut up to six layers of fabric at a time, making them a popular choice for quilters and paper crafters. “These machines have really taken off and now there’s an electronic design where you can scan something in and have that design cut into your paper or fabric. So all those beautiful paper crafts like garlands and fabric that you can use in a quilt become very easy.”
4. Knitting and crochet
Credit: Lola Lovegrove - stitchesandcraft.net.au
Over the last five years, we’ve seen an explosion in knitting and crochet, thanks in part to a number of studies that boast the therapeutic value of picking up the knitting needles. “Knitting and crochet is still very popular,” says Judy. “The latest trend is using big yarn and strips of fabric, so making something like a bag becomes a lot quicker and easier.”
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5. Sewing clothes
Thanks to the foibles of fast fashion, buying a dress can be cheaper than buying lunch. But now, says Judy, we are seeing a return to people sewing their own clothes. “It’s great to see people sewing again,” says Judy. “People want something unique and are rediscovering the joys of making something from scratch.” In response to this, many manufacturers are re-releasing vintage fabrics and patterns.
For people who don’t want to sew something from scratch, upcycling second hand clothes and adding embellishments are also popular. “You might have a pair of shoes... if you’re tired of them you can give them a fresh life by changing the colours, or adding embellishments by applying a few simple craft techniques that can help you achieve that very simply. It can give new life to things you already own so you don’t have to go out and buy new.”
Crafters are at the forefront of the backlash against mindless consumerism, and as a result, upcycling is more popular than ever. “There’s a lot of upcycling in the craft world – you can apply it to almost anything. You can use old books for your paper crafts; you can make funky jewellery old pieces. The world is your oyster when it comes to upcycling and craft; the two go together really well.”
7. Dying fabric
Don’t bin it, dye it! “If you look at what you put in the recycling bin, often the fabric is really good and quite often you can upcycle it with some gorgeous dyes,” says Judy. “Take a beautiful old blanket, pop it into some dye and you can achieve an amazing colour change. The technology has improved so much, you don’t have to be an alchemist anymore.” Dyes such as Starr Laces & Ribbons
8. String art
Credit: The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of NSW
Macramé has been huge for the last couple of years, and shows no sign of slowing. But this year, we are set to see a lot more rope and string art. “We are seeing a lot of rope, string art, yarn craft, weaving, macramé and big tapestry weaving re-emerge. The kind of things that were popular in the 1970's but with different colours and slightly different materials. It ties into the big knitting and big crochet trend.” We are also seeing mini-embroidery taking centre stage, as well as weaving.
Stencilling reached the peak of its popularity in the 90's when folk art was at the forefront, and now it’s back with a modern twist. “There’s now a great range of stencils that are used by paper craft and textile artists. One of the techniques we’re seeing is to place them on fabric or paper, then overspray so you get a subtle pattern, or stencilling through fabric paint and embroidering over the top.”
10. Shades of grey
“Colour trends are a little harder to identify in craft then they are in say, home decorating”, says Judy, “but in fabrics we’re seeing a lot of natural linen, beautiful soft greys that are complimented by bright colours like lemon and aqua, with a dash of gold or silver. It’s a similar palette that you see in fashion and home decorating. We’re seeing beautiful soft greys that are complimented by some brights such as lemon and aqua.”
“As far as sharing ideas, every crafter loves Pinterest, don’t they? You go to places that you never would’ve found otherwise,” says Judy. Research shows that crafters are high users of the internet, and love to share ideas through forums, websites, tutorials, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, but it hasn’t stopped people wanting to come together. “The internet and craft seem to compliment each other. That’s the great thing about The Stitches & Craft Show, people can meet specialist suppliers.....as opposed to a bricks and motor store, but buyers can see and trial their products and buy from them during the year online, and interact with other crafters through workshops.”
For more information on the Stitches & Craft Show visit stitchesandcraft.net.au
19 - 22 March - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
7 - 9 May - Adelaide Event & Exhibition Centre
13 - 16 August - Newcastle Entertainment Centre
22 - 25 October - Caulfield Racecourse